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Ahead of playoff clinching game, Ravens' John Harbaugh not happy with schedule change

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USA Today Sports

Ahead of playoff clinching game, Ravens' John Harbaugh not happy with schedule change

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh isn't happy with the NFL's latest schedule change.

The league announced Sunday that Week 17 games with playoff implications would be flexed from the 1:00 p.m. ET slot to the 4:25 p.m. ET slot.

This means the Ravens' potentially playoff clinching game against the Cincinnati Bengals will now kick off at the later time.

RELATED: AFC PLAYOFF PICTURE AHEAD OF WEEK 17

Sunday also happens to be New Year's Eve, a night where the majority of people already have plans. And with attendance visibly down at M&T Bank Stadium, John Harbaugh doesn't think the league is doing the team any favors.

I don't think the NFL did us any favors by moving it back, Harbaugh said. But they don't care about us. So, we just have to care about ourselves. We have to take care of our own business. That goes for our team, for our fans and for our city. Let's go win the football game.

Last week team president Dick Cass sent a letter to season-ticket holders addressing the "no-shows" during the 2017 season, admitting protests during the National Anthem prior to their Week 3 game in London has had an effect.

But now with the playoffs on the horizon for the first time since 2014, the Ravens are hoping attendance will get back to how it's been in seasons past.

I don't know what their considerations are at the league office, and why they do what they do, Harbaugh said. I really don't care, other than the fact that I hope our fans are OK with it. I hope they're into it. I hope people get there. The people who have plans, I hope they give their tickets to someone else so they get there. I want the place to be packed and loud.

In total, five games have been shifted with no Sunday night game. In addition to Ravens-Bengals, Bills-Dolphins and Jaguars-Titans were flexed for the AFC.

In the NFC, Panthers-Falcons and Saints-Buccaneers will now be played at 4:25 ET.

RELATED: THREE RAVENS HEADED TO 2018 PRO BOWL

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How 'Big Truss' helped define the 2019 Ravens season

How 'Big Truss' helped define the 2019 Ravens season

For nearly two months, all anyone in Baltimore — and around the NFL — could talk about were the Ravens. Those conversations likely spanned from Lamar Jackson to the team’s 14-2 regular season. 

It wouldn’t be a surprise if someone said, “Big Truss,” during that conversation, either. 

In what started as a simple phrase between Jackson and Marquise Brown which originated from South Florida, the saying “Big Truss” grew to something much bigger than something between two people. It was something woven into the fabric of the 2019 Ravens, even if they didn’t know it.

“If they aren’t laughing at you, your dreams aren’t big enough,” coach John Harbaugh said after the team’s final regular season game. “So, we have big dreams, big goals, big ambitions, big faith, Big Truss — that was not planned, either."

As the phrase “Big Truss” graced signs and t-shirts and tattoos, it became a rallying cry for the NFL’s best team in the regular season. 

“Big Truss” was printed on doughnuts and used as names for fans on Twitter while everyone from Jackson to Mark Ingram to Harbaugh to Justin Tucker took their turns in the spotlight due to their play on the field. When they got the opportunity, they made sure to say “Big Truss.”

But what went under the radar about “Big Truss” was that the Ravens weren’t a fun team to follow simply because they had fun postgame. Rather, they were one of the most fun teams in the NFL on and off the field as well. 

Their quarterback had one of the most electrifying seasons an MVP player has ever had, they broke the single-season rushing record and they dominated talented teams each week during the regular season. The defense was opportunistic and boasts a likely future Hall-of-Famer in Earl Thomas and was pieced together by a handful of players that, as of September, were looking for work. 

The Ravens made football fun in 2019, as their personalities on the field shined just as bright, if not brighter, as they did off the field. 

“Big Truss” spread across the NFL and, as could be expected, was the source of mockery once the Ravens lost to the Titans. In the offseason, it even reached the presidency.

Make no mistake, the phrase wasn’t the reason why the Ravens were fun to watch in 2019. That was due to every Jackson spin move, Ingram touchdown and double-digit victory the team had. 

“Big Truss” just was the rallying cry behind it all. 

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Ravens held a moment of silence in remembrance of George Floyd

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Ravens held a moment of silence in remembrance of George Floyd

The Ravens organization held a team-wide moment of silence on Thursday to in honor of George Floyd, whose funeral took place on Thursday as well.

According to a statement released by the team on Twitter, the moment of silence took place at 3:45 p.m. ET and lasted 8 minutes and 46 seconds. The timeframe was the same length as how long Minneapolis police office Derek Chauvin was recorded kneeling on Floyd's neck, restricting him of air and ultimately causing him to die.

The gesture by the team was in accordance with the NAACP and other organizations that deemed Floyd's funeral on Thursday as a "National Day of Mourning." 

Ravens fullback Pat Ricard shared a message head coach John Harbaugh had written to the team informing them of the moment of silence. Taking place through Zoom, Harbaugh hoped that players and their families would join in to honor Floyd.

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