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Richard Sherman defends 49ers’ hits on Lamar Jackson: ‘It is a tough position to put the defense in’

Richard Sherman defends 49ers’ hits on Lamar Jackson: ‘It is a tough position to put the defense in’

BALTIMORE — After Sunday’s game, there was somewhat of a bitter taste in the mouths of some Ravens players about the hits that Lamar Jackson took from the 49ers. 

One, in particular, a hit from 49ers safety Jimmie Ward in the third quarter, left Ravens players and coaches — notably coach John Harbaugh — furious with the lack of a penalty. 

"I don't care,” Harbaugh said in his Monday press conference. “I’m not getting into it. Our job is to protect our quarterback. The officials’ job is to officiate the game. They called two roughing the passer (penalties) when he was in the pocket. It is what it is."

Harbaugh had to be held back by Jackson after the hit in question from Ward. 

Richard Sherman, who received an earful from Harbaugh after the play, had his own version of the play. 

“...That’s the thing the league needs to clarify as a defensive player, you don’t want to hit the quarterback, you want to stay off of him, but when he is about to run, there is a fine line between him faking like he is going out and getting an extra six or seven yards, and him going out of bounds,” Sherman said. 

While he clearly took issue with the outrage, Sherman sees an issue for players that could pop up as they face more mobile quarterbacks who frequently escape the pocket.

“That is where it is tough on defensive players,” Sherman continued. “Every play where the quarterback slides, they are like, ‘Oh my God, that should be a flag,’ but he was running just a half-second ago, and you are making a split-second decision like, ‘Hey I’ve got to tackle him,’ and then he slides. It is a tough position to put the defense in, but I think our guys did a great job.”  

Jackson was on the receiving end of two roughing the passer penalties but otherwise didn’t draw a call outside the pocket all afternoon. 

“They were going after him for sure,” Marshal Yanda said. “That’s football. Obviously, when he is a runner, they are not going to let up. That is part of the playing and that is good defense.”

Sunday’s game was the first time in weeks where the Ravens found themselves in a close game, and against one of the NFL’s top defenses, there was a fair share of big hits to go around.

“I think they definitely were trying to take advantage of him as far as once he got past the line of scrimmage or running out of bounds,” Orlando Brown Jr. said. “A few times, I think it should’ve been a penalty but that’s not my responsibility, that’s on the refs, but Lamar did a great job popping back up and getting right back to it.”

If anything, the 49ers may have given the Ravens a look at what opposing defenses may do to take Jackson off his game.

“We’re just going to fight our way out of it,” Mark Ingram said. “Of course they’re going to take shots at Lamar. He’s an electric athlete. When he has the ball in his hands, standing in the pocket, he can deliver it. But we’ve got his back. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure they don’t get to him.”

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Impossibly, the Orioles have lost a game more recently than the Ravens

Impossibly, the Orioles have lost a game more recently than the Ravens

Hard to believe, right?

Somehow, some way, the Baltimore Orioles have lost a game more recently than their football neighbors.

As a reminder, the Orioles season ended on *September 29*. They lost their regular season finale to the Red Sox that afternoon.

The Ravens’ last loss also came on September 29, though it came earlier in the afternoon.

It’s hard to fathom an NFL team winning for two-and-a-half straight months. 10 consecutive wins in that span is in the top-60 longest winnings streaks in NFL history, a sign of just how rare and impressive this Ravens stretch has been. 

It won’t be easy for Baltimore to maintain their play all the way through to the Super Bowl. If they do, however, they’ll have a chance to go almost an entire calendar year until their next loss.

Unfortunately, there will probably be a whole lot more Orioles losses in that span.

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Why a Terrell Suggs return to Baltimore makes sense and what could prevent it from happening

Why a Terrell Suggs return to Baltimore makes sense and what could prevent it from happening

The Cardinals made a splash on Friday by waiving outside linebacker Terrell Suggs after just 13 games played in his Arizona career. 

The 37-year-old is now on waivers until Monday, where he’ll wait to see if he was claimed by one of the 31 other teams. Should he go unclaimed, he’ll be a free agent. 

Naturally, the immediate inclination was to assume a reunion was destined to happen between Suggs and the Ravens. Suggs is the all-time franchise leader in sacks (132.5) and games played (229), too.

But a reunion is more complicated than it might seem on the surface. 

This year, Suggs has 5.5 sacks, seven quarterback hits and 23 tackles. On the Ravens, those numbers would rank second, tied for third and 15th. But Suggs hasn’t registered a full sack since Oct. 20 and didn’t register a statistic in the team’s last game against the Steelers. 

Even still, with the need for proven pass-rushers across the league, Suggs is a desirable addition to any team looking to make a run.

Baltimore ranks 15th in sacks with 34, even with having played one more game than 30 other teams. The need is there for Suggs, who has already returned to the Ravens as a member of a different organization.

“It wasn’t circled, but when the schedule came out, I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to downplay it as just another game,’” Suggs said in September. “But we all know that’d be (expletive). It’s kind of a unique situation, isn’t it?”

Suggs has shown the ability this season to be, at the very least, a situational pass-rusher and one that can contribute through the end of the season. Which, as the season winds down, makes his services valuable to teams looking to make a playoff push. 

He’ll be cheap too, as he wouldn’t cost a ton of money against the cap — and would fit into the Ravens plans moving forward. 

The problem, however, is where the Ravens are in the waiver wire order — dead last.

Teams like the Seahawks and Texans, whose pass rush ranks worse than the Ravens at the moment, and the 49ers, who just lost Dee Ford for a month, all could use pass-rushers to bolster their front seven.

That doesn’t include the possibility of a team in the AFC adding Suggs for two reasons: To add to their pass rush, while keeping Suggs away from Baltimore. 

Preventing the AFC’s top team from acquiring a late-season pass-rusher, one that would provide a significant boost to the organization, might be tempting as well. 

But for storylines, need on the field and fit with the organization, Suggs is a match to return to Baltimore.

It seems clear that Suggs and the Ravens would’ve preferred to be married to one another for the duration of Suggs’ career, and now there’s a chance to bring him back on board for another run at a title. 

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