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3 things we learned from the Ravens 26-15 win over the Eagles

3 things we learned from the Ravens 26-15 win over the Eagles

PHILADELPHIA — It didn’t take long for Marquise Brown to get tested.

On his first NFL snap, he caught a comeback route for a seven-yard gain. Later in the drive, his number was called on an end-around. The play went for a loss, but the tone was set early: Brown was going to be involved. 

In his first action of the preseason, Brown was on the field through the first quarter and parts of the second and showed no signs of a foot injury that slowed him down through all of training camp. In the Ravens 26-15 win over the Eagles on Thursday at Lincoln Financial Field, Brown showed Ravens fans what they’d been clamoring for all preseason.

With Brown in the fold, the Ravens offense has an extra element of speed it simply lacks otherwise. 

Here are three things to takeaway from the Ravens 26-15 win over the Eagles. 

1. Marquise Brown

Brown touched the ball on five plays and registered 17 yards on three catches. 

He got the ball on those two plays in the first drive of the game, but stayed involved throughout the majority of the rest of the first half. He caught a bubble route that went for five yards, an out route for five yards and had his catch on a two-point conversion overturned due to a holding call. 

Battling a Lisfranc injury in his foot all summer, Brown has slowly made his return to the Ravens practice fields. He made his first appearance in team drills in practice less than two weeks ago and has slowly ramped up his recovery.

"It seemed like he did OK," coach John Harbaugh said. "He had a hitch and got a couple yards on that. I thought about trying to get him a deep ball in there, but it just didn't work out for us. He wasn't in long enough. It was good to see him out there. He didn't really flinch and now he's played a little bit so that's a positive."

It’s unknown whether he’ll play in the final preseason game of the season in Washington, but his performance on Thursday in Philadelphia is a welcome sign for the Ravens offense.

2. Youth Movement

On the Ravens first offensive snap of the game, five of the 11 players in the huddle were rookies: Right guard Ben Powers, quarterback Trace McSorley, running back Justice Hill and wide receivers Miles Boykin and Marquise Brown.

"We came in with the mindset we were going to come in and work hard, so being able to go out there and move the ball effectively and score points...it's fun," Hill said.

With Marshal Yanda, Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram all not in the lineup for Thursday’s game, the Ravens turned to some younger players to get the job done in Philadelphia.

Although it’s unlikely McSorley will see significant time on offense this season, Boykin and Brown will likely see starter’s reps early on. 

With Jackson in just his second full season as a quarterback, the Ravens offense that took the field Thursday has an abundance of speed, talent, and most importantly, youth.

3. Lamar-less

The Ravens starting quarterback didn’t dress against the Eagles and it’s presumed his preseason is over with only one preseason game left against the Redskins. 

"I don't really want to touch on any reasons," Harbaugh said. "It's not like he has a major injury or anything, if that's what you're thinking. There's a lot of reasons for doing stuff like that. We didn't play Ronnie (Stanley) — we didn't play a number of guys."

Jackson’s night off gave the reigns to the rookie McSorley, who will likely start next week against the Redskins in his battle for a roster spot. McSorley shined with Jackson out of the lineup, further boosting his chances at making the 53-man roster.

Harbaugh said that Jackson would play about the same as he did against the Packers and Jaguars in previous weeks, but injuries to the offensive line could have changed the coaching staff’s minds. 

Jackson's final preseason line appears to be 10-of-16, 117 yards, 1 TD and 0 INTs. He also carried the ball twice for 14 yards.

Baltimore’s first game is in Miami on Sept. 8, where Jackson — and presumably his offensive line — will be ready to go.

This post has been updated with quotes.

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NFL Pro Bowler Deonte Harris donating meals to hometown of Baltimore

NFL Pro Bowler Deonte Harris donating meals to hometown of Baltimore

Deonte Harris, a Pro Bowl return man for the New Orleans Saints who originally hails from Baltimore, is helping provide food for those facing food insecurity as COV-19 continues to strain wallets and resources across the world.

According to the NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, Harris is working with local food banks in New Orleans and Charm City to provide 10,000 meals to the two communities.

Harris was an undrafted rookie free agent just one year ago, and was a D-II player at Assumption College prior to that. Now, he joins a growing list of athletes to step up for the communities during the pandemic.

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What are the fantasy implications of the Ravens trading Hayden Hurst?

What are the fantasy implications of the Ravens trading Hayden Hurst?

Fantasy football and the NFL season now go hand-in-hand. For many, drafting players and setting lineups each week in hopes of beating friends or co-workers has become the main incentive to keep up with the sport.

So, when the Ravens sent tight end Hayden Hurst to the Falcons in exchange for draft picks, it was more than a standard football trade to many. The swap will have an effect on the fantasy value and performance of both Hurst and the remaining tight ends on the Ravens roster.

On the latest Ravens Talk Podcast episode, NBC Sports Washington's Jordan Giorgio, Andrew Gillis and Ryan Wormeli discussed the trade and what's to come for both sides. From their analysis, one can begin to evaluate how the move will impact the fantasy football world.

Beginning in Baltimore, the trade doesn't mean that the Ravens are losing their No. 1 option at tight end. Though Hurst put up a solid 30 receptions for 349 yards and two touchdowns in 2019, it was Mark Andrews who had the breakout year on offense.

With 64 catches for 852 yards and 10 touchdowns, the Pro Bowler quickly became one of Lamar Jackson's go-to pass catchers. Now with Hurst departing, Andrews looks to be in line for even more production. Despite his impressive numbers from a season ago, it's possible that Andrews was held back a little by Hurst due to both tight ends needing time on the field and targets. 

Baltimore's three tight end system worked well in 2019, but with Hurst now in Atlanta, it seems that Andrews could benefit from more targets coming his way. Already a high-value fantasy tight end, there's no reason to think he's hit his peak just yet.

Fellow tight end Nick Boyle could see a bump in his production as well. Used more often as a blocker last season, Boyle still essentially mimicked Hurst's statline, catching 31 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns.

However, it would be naive to assume that all of Hurst's production will transfer to Andrews and Boyle. As Gillis explained on Ravens Talk, Baltimore will have to find someone new to replace Hurst's numbers - even if it isn't a tight end.

“You do lose that three-headed monster at tight end, you have to replace that with something," Gillis said. “It doesn’t have to come in the area that you would expect. It can be a receiver, It can be another running back if you like.”

That hole will most likely be filled during the 2020 NFL Draft in April. For now, all signs point to Andrews, and even Boyle, providing fantasy upgrades. Yet, their full value may be unknown until the Ravens 2020 offense takes its full form.

As for Hurst, the tight end could be heading for the breakout season that Baltimore had hoped for when it selected him 25th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. To get an idea of what may be in store for Hurst in Atlanta, Austin Hooper's 2019 numbers are helpful.

The former Falcons tight end, now a member of the Cleveland Browns, had 75 receptions for 787 yards and six touchdowns a season ago. Hurst can be looked at as his replacement, meaning he'll garner all of the targets Hooper received in an offense that loves to throw the football.

That, paired with Hurst's potential, could lead to a big 2020 season, according to Wormeli.

“It would not surprise me if he has a breakout season in Atlanta," Wormeli said. “They obviously lost Austin Hooper, Matt Ryan likes to throw to his tight ends so he’s going to get looks over there."

Gillis believes that being in Atlanta could help turn Hurst into "that Mark Andrews-type" player.

The coming months will help paint a clearer picture in terms of what is to come for Hurst and Andrews both on the field and in fantasy lineups. On paper, however, the trade looks to have increased both of their value come fantasy draft season.

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