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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Why Mark Ingram acquisition could have bigger impact in AFC North than Odell Bekcham Jr. trade

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Why Mark Ingram acquisition could have bigger impact in AFC North than Odell Bekcham Jr. trade

This story was updated from a previous publishing

Here is the latest news surrounding the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday, April 8.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. The Browns' trade for wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. shook the AFC North and was quite possibly the biggest trade of 2019 free agency. However, NFL Network's Tom Blair believes the Ravens' addition of running back Mark Ingram could be the difference in whether or not the Ravens hold off the Browns to defend their AFC North title.

"He's joining a Baltimore offense that, in 2018, posted 1,607 rushing yards from Week 11 to Week 17, the most rushing yards from a team's 10th game to its 16th in any season since the NFL expanded to 16-game slates in 1978," Blair said. "And that was with running backs like Gus Edwards and Alex Collins (since released following an arrest) splitting most of the carries that didn't go to Lamar Jackson. Whatever John Harbaugh and new offensive coordinator Greg Roman are cooking up for Jackson's sophomore campaign, Ingram will likely play a key role. Ultimately, depending on how things shake out, this acquisition could help determine whether or not Baltimore is able to hold off the Browns and defend its AFC North title."

2. Wide receiver Seth Roberts officially signed his one-year deal with the Ravens Monday, and despite Lamar Jackson's run-heavy style of play being viewed as a turnoff to potential receivers, Roberts told The Lounge podcast that playing alongside the second-year QB attracted him to Baltimore. 

"I like Lamar," Roberts said. "I like his style of game and I'm real happy to be apart of that offense. Like you said, energy. His style of play. He wants it. He makes it happen. He can get up and down the field. He can run. He can throw. I like that. I like his game."

3. After giving up his No. 29 jersey to safety Earl Thomas, cornerback Marlon Humphrey has decided on a new jersey number. The cornerback will now rock No. 44 for the Ravens. 44 is the same number his father, Bobby Humphrey, wore at the end of his career with the Dolphins.


Looking Ahead:

April 15: Voluntary OTAs may begin

April 19: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets

April 25-27: 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, Tn.

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Mark Andrews both excited, and sad, about Hayden Hurst’s trade to Atlanta

Mark Andrews both excited, and sad, about Hayden Hurst’s trade to Atlanta

Mark Andrews is in a unique situation with his friend Hayden Hurst. 

He’s happy that Hurst will finally get his chance to be a No. 1 tight end in Atlanta and earn the targets he wasn’t able to receive in Baltimore.

There also won’t be the same relationship between Andrews and Hurst, and fellow tight end Nick Boyle, anymore. 

The three-headed monster was inseparable in the locker room, incredibly productive on the field and one of the brightest spots for the NFL’s best regular season team in 2019. Now, one-third of the group is gone. 

“I think, first of all, it was kind of a shock for me,” Andrews said Tuesday during a conference call. “And selfishly, Hayden being one of my best friends and being someone that I talk to every day and I'm super close with, I'm sad. I'm sad that I won't be able to have him next year, I won't be able to talk to him next year as much, but I'm also excited for him. I'm excited for him to get more of an opportunity with Atlanta.”

Hurst was shipped to Atlanta in mid-March to give the Ravens some much-needed draft capital. It also gave Hurst, a first-round pick in 2018, a chance to be a true No. 1 tight end threat.

The trade gave the Ravens the 55th overall pick in the NFL Draft later this month, as well as a fifth-round pick in exchange for Hurst and a fourth-round pick.

Last season, Hurst posted 349 yards receiving on 30 receptions with two touchdowns. Those numbers ranked fifth on the team in receptions and third in yards.

With Hurst out of the fold, Andrews, Marquise Brown and perhaps a few new offensive additions in the draft will have to pick up the load Hurst left behind.

“He's a great player,” Andrews said. “I love him to death, but it's exciting for him as well. But, firstly, I'm sad. I know Nick is sad. The three-headed monster kind of got broken up a little bit, but again, we're going to be just fine. Nick and I, we'll do our jobs, and then, obviously, we're going to find someone else to help us out.” 

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The last team to make the Super Bowl without having a bye? The 2012 Ravens

The last team to make the Super Bowl without having a bye? The 2012 Ravens

The NFL announced on Tuesday that the league will have a new playoff format beginning in 2020, one where seven teams from each conference would make the league's postseason.

While the new format helps those teams that finish with eight, nine or 10 wins and had previously been on the outside looking it, the new system also has its drawbacks. Each conference will now only have one team that earns a bye week, as the conference's No. 2 seed will now play on Wild Card weekend hosting the No. 7 seed.

Over the past seven seasons, all 14 Super Bowl participants were either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in their respective conference, meaning they had bye weeks. For the teams that made a deep run in the postseason, the extra week of rest proved to be beneficial.

So, it was worth wondering: Who was the last team was to play in a Super Bowl without having a bye week?

That would be the 2012 Baltimore Ravens.

The Ravens finished the regular season 10-6 and as AFC North division champs. But Baltimore had the worst record of any division winner, giving them the No. 4 seed in the playoffs.

After Baltimore dominated then-rookie Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in the Wild Card round, the Ravens traveled to the Mile High City for a date with the Denver Broncos. The Ravens upset Denver in double overtime after quarterback Joe Flacco found Jacoby Jones on a 70-yard touchdown to tie the game with less than a minute remaining in regulation.

In the conference championship, Baltimore traveled to Gillette Stadium and cruised by the Patriots, winning 28-13 and clinching their first Super Bowl berth since 2000. In Super Bowl XLVII, Baltimore held off an epic San Francisco comeback and defeated the 49ers in a thriller, 34-31.

The Ravens proved that a team can win a Super Bowl without having a bye, but it hasn't happened in a long time. With the new playoff format, that will likely change.

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