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Ravens defense slows down torrid Seahawks in convincing road win

Ravens defense slows down torrid Seahawks in convincing road win

As Marlon Humphrey scooped up a fumble and ran into the end zone, his teammates followed closely behind to take a group picture. 

After all, they deserved it.

The Ravens defense held MVP-candidate Russell Wilson at bay for most of Sunday’s game in Seattle, and the offense was able to do enough for a 30-16 victory. 

“I felt like nobody really thought we could win,” Marlon Humphrey said. “I think there’s not been many games I felt like, really in my whole career, that no one really felt we could win.”

While Lamar Jackson stole the show, the Ravens defense played its best game of the season when the team needed it most

Marcus Peters, the team's newest addition, returned an interception for a touchdown in the second quarter, and capped with Humphrey’s scoop-and-score, the Ravens' defense nearly outscored the Seahawks offense by itself. 

“I’m just here to do my part, and my part is whatever they tell me to do,” Peters said. “If it’s to go run into a wall, I go run into a wall. I’m not here to complain about nothing, just keep doing my job.”

Wilson, who hadn’t thrown an interception all season before Peters’ pick, was held to 241 yards on 20-of-41 passing. He didn’t eclipse 200 yards until the outcome was no longer in doubt. Over the Seahawks' final five drives, they scored just three total points.

The Ravens’ in-season additions — Josh Bynes, L.J. Fort, Jihad Ward and Peters — played significant roles Sunday. 

Fort had an excellent open field tackle in the first quarter on Wilson, Bynes led the team in tackles with eight, Ward was in the rotation on defense and Peters had his pick six. 

“Those guys were good selections,” coach John Harbaugh said. “They were just good football choices by our personnel department, led by Eric. We were really stabilized by Josh Bynes and by L.J. Fort. They know how to play, they know how to play the position and they got us calmed down.”

The leader of the defense, however, and the one every Raven played for, was Earl Thomas.

In his return to Seattle, he was the vocal leader on a defense that slowed down one of the NFL’s best teams.

“I told him, ‘We’re going to win it for you,’” Lamar Jackson said. “‘I know you’ve been here years, this is your original home and we’ve got your back.’” 

Thomas didn’t register a ton on the statsheet, but his presence was certainly felt by the Ravens all week long. 

“All week, really, we kept saying, ‘We got you, Earl, we got you,’” Humphrey said. “Seahawks moved on from him, and I think everyone knew they felt like he didn’t have it anymore, that it wasn’t like a happy go-away. It was more like, ‘You don’t got it anymore, we don’t really want you.’ It’s just a game, but for Earl, it’s a little bit more.”

The Ravens defense has seemingly found its stride after a rocky patch against the Cardinals, Chiefs and Browns. 

Tougher opponents await, namely the Patriots after the bye week. But for now, the Ravens defense has nothing to hang its head about.

“For us to come in and get this victory, with Earl on our team, it was really big,” Humphrey said.

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In light of Patrick Mahomes' extension, which DMV athletes would we give a 10-year contract to?

In light of Patrick Mahomes' extension, which DMV athletes would we give a 10-year contract to?

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes sent shockwaves through the sports world on Monday when he agreed to a 10-year extension with Kansas City. Mahomes' contract is worth a maximum value of $503 million -- the richest deal in sports history.

So, in light of the passer's lucrative deal, NBC Sports Washington's Tyler Byrum and Ethan Cadeaux took a look at one athlete from every DMV professional team they would give a 10-year deal to.

Washington Wizards: Bradley Beal

During the 2019-20 season, Beal emerged as an All-NBA-type player putting up outstanding numbers and a 30.5-point average. But not only is he great by himself, he’s also a dynamic player that fits with other stars on the floor. Entering the prime of his career, extending Beal well into his thirties will lock up an All-Star in the nation’s capital with a relatively light injury history. It will keep Washington a playoff threat and could lure other top-level talent to the district.

-Byrum

Washington Capitals: Jakub Vrana

The Capitals guard is aging, and aging quickly with Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson and Braden Holtby all north of 30. Evgeny Kuznetsov is already locked-up until 2025, so next up is the 23-year-old Vrana who has combined for 99 points over the past two years. 

-Byrum

Washington Nationals: Juan Soto

Giving Soto a 10-year deal is the most realistic of any name on this list. In recent years, we've seen stars such as Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and Mike Trout all sign lucrative deals for a decade-plus. Soto is already one of the brightest young stars in the MLB and just turned 21 this past October. Washington still has multiple years of club control now, but it may be wise to lock him up long-term before it's too late.

-Cadeaux

Washington Redskins: Terry McLaurin

This decision came down to McLaurin and No. 2 overall pick Chase Young, but the player who already has shown success at the NFL level gets the nod here. Despite a revolving QB room, McLaurin was exceptional as a rookie in 2019, finishing just eight yards short of the team's rookie receiving yards record. With consistent QB play, there's no telling how good McLaurin could be.

-Cadeaux

Washington Nationals: Trea Turner

Locking up position players long-term is not a typical practice of the Nationals. Aside from Soto, though, Turner is another obvious option. In five MLB seasons, he has a .291 average with 63 home runs, 159 stolen bases and a 14.1 WAR. A solid hitter with a strong burst bodes well for him to have a long career, with numbers similar to former Red Sox Dustin Pedroia. It will be easier to sign him now on a friendly deal than to re-up year after year before he explodes for a season similar to 2018.

-Byrum

Washington Mystics: Elena Delle Donne

Sure, she turns 31 this year – and hypothetically would be 41 at the end of this exercise – but her age 29 season was the best of her career. She continues to elevate her game as the years go by. Besides, in the WNBA stars push into their forties. Sue Bird (39) and Diana Taurasi (38) are suiting up this year and there is barely a let up in their games. Even if there is a fall-off late in her career, she will have Washington a title contender for a better part of a decade. 

-Byrum

Baltimore Ravens: Lamar Jackson

Jackson is coming off an MVP season and has already cemented himself as one of the league's best quarterbacks. Should he parlay his exceptional 2019 season into an even better 2020, Jackson could find himself in the ballpark of Mahomes' contract come next offseason.

-Cadeaux

D.C. United: Paul Arriola

The 25-year old has been a staple of D.C. United lineup since arriving at the club in 2017. Although he recently ruptured his ACL, he's still the best player on United and the only one that's worth the consideration of a lengthy deal like this.

-Cadeaux

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Robert Griffin III tweets that there will be no NFL preseason

Robert Griffin III tweets that there will be no NFL preseason

Last Thursday, the NFLPA's board of representatives came to a unanimous decision that the entire 2020 NFL preseason should be canceled. In a memo obtained by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the union recommended eliminating the preseason as a way to avoid injuries as well as greater health risks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even with the players united on that front, it's unclear what the final decision will be in terms of the preseason. However, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III is hearing that what the NFLPA voted for is going to come to fruition.

Whether or not the preseason should be played is a debatable topic for many. For Griffin, he believes the reasoning for canceling the games that don't officially count comes down to one essential factor: the health of the players.

RELATED: NFLPA VOTES TO ELIMINATE PRESEASON

While preseason games still bring in money for teams and the league, the quarterback doesn't see that as a reward big enough to ignore the risk of putting players in a situation that could compromise their safety.

The NFL had recently announced that it would be cutting down the preseason to only two games, but it now looks like even further reductions could be made. As for the status of the 2020 regular season, Griffin knows just about as much as everybody else.

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