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Ravens' Joe Flacco drowning out all the noise with two critical division match-ups looming

Ravens' Joe Flacco drowning out all the noise with two critical division match-ups looming

As they enter Week 9 of the NFL regular season, the Baltimore Ravens have found themselves at a crossroads.

Sitting at 4-4 and third in the AFC North, the 4-2-1 Pittsburgh Steelers will roll into Baltimore Sunday looking for redemption from their Week 4 loss on home turf. Then enters the 5-3 Cincinnati Bengals who handed the Ravens their first loss of the season on national television

Getting a win against the Steelers and Bengals hasn't always been easy, and after dropping their last two, the Ravens' season depends on the outcome of the next two weeks. But for the man under center, all the big-picture stuff is getting pushed aside. 

"It's very tough to play in this league when you're constantly thinking about the outcome of so many different things," Joe Flacco said Wednesday. "Our job is to go play football. When you worry about the outcome of things before it has actually happened, that's when you start making mistakes. That's when you start playing tentative." 

Flacco's play in 2018 hasn't been the issue. After a lackluster 2017, Flacco has looked sharper, more mobile and has a group of receivers and tight ends he connects with. It has been the Ravens' No. 1 total defense and No. 1 scoring defense that has allowed matchups with the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers to slip through the cracks the last two weeks. The recipe to rebounding and fixing all of the problems of the past two losses on Sunday, he says, is simple. 

"The way that you do those things is to just go out there and play," Flacco said. "The outcomes - the wins and losses - they end up falling into place because of the way that you were able to keep your focus for a full 60 minutes. If you're thinking about all kinds of [things like] 'Where are we going to end up after this?' [or] 'Who do we have next?' all that stuff, it just gets in your way. It puts little blocks in your head, in my opinion. Obviously, there's a certain awareness of it, but you have to try to put it out of your head."

What the Ravens do have in their favor is history.

October has historically been a bad month for the Ravens, but the month of November has been historically good. Under head coach John Harbaugh, the Ravens are 7-0 at home in November against AFC North rivals. 

"Don't jinx it," Flacco said jokingly. "No, we don't pay attention to that. It's one of those things when we've been grinding to go win football games ... We've had a couple close ones, and obviously, a couple that got away from us a little bit [in October].

"It's a little disappointing to be where we are, but it is the reality of it. What our record is, is reality of the situation. We just have to continue to press forward and do the best we can to turn that around."

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens announce 2019 open training camp dates

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens announce 2019 open training camp dates

Kick off your Tuesday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

1. The Ravens have announced 2019 training camp dates that will be open to the public. 2,000 fans will be able to attend the 14 open practices at the Owings Mill Underarmour Performance Center. Additionally, the Ravens will hold their annual open practice at M&T Bank Stadium July 27 with Fireworks Night to follow.

2. Wide receiver Jaleel Scott has had a standout offseason thus far after spending his entire rookie season on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. According to Ravens media, Scott has been a big playmaker at OTAs and mandatory minicamp and is looking forward to the start of training camp. “I think I had a great practice to end minicamp, and now I’m going to get ready for the start of training camp,” Scott said to Ravens media. “I want to show people I can be a deep threat, that I can make big plays and do things in the red zone, help us score points. That’s my goal.”


Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Baltimore Ravens and Rotoworld for news points.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Michael Pierce responds to last week's dismissal from practice

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Michael Pierce responds to last week's dismissal from practice

Kick off your Monday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

1. Last week, defensive tackle Michael Pierce was dismissed from practice after showing up in "less than ideal shape" according to The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec. Pierce joined WSNP-FM 105.5 Friday where he responded to being dismissed from practice. “Throughout the offseason, I tend to lift more than run,” Pierce said. “Being a nose guard, I want to be strong or what not. I, honestly, just mismanaged my running a little bit.”

2. On the other hand, tight end Mark Andrews looks "bigger, faster and stronger" Zrebiec said. Andrews had a standout year last season as a rookie with three touchdowns and 34 catches for 552 yards. Zrebiec said Andrews has not slowed down and will be an even bigger asset to the Ravens offense this season.


Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Baltimore Ravens and Rotoworld for news points.

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