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What you need to know from the Ravens' 21-0 win over the Titans

What you need to know from the Ravens' 21-0 win over the Titans

The Baltimore Ravens came into Nashville and followed up an overtime loss with a 21-0 shutout win.

The defense dominated Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota all day long and Joe Flacco and the offense continued to show 2018 is a new year for this group. 

Here's what you need to know from the Week 6 win. 

Crabtree redeems himself

After dropping what would have been the game-winning touchdown against the Browns last Sunday, Michael Crabtree said his priority this week was to get back into the lab and correct his mistakes. Well, whatever he did this week worked as the receiver ended the Ravens' first drive of the game catching three passes for 52 yards and one touchdown.

The 94-yard opening drive took 17 plays and 9:04 off the clock as well as ending their drought of seven straight red zone trips without a touchdown. Crabtree finished the day 6-for-9 for 93 yards and one touchdown. 

Music City turned into Sack City

The Ravens defense would not allow Marcus Mariota and the Titans to get anything going all afternoon. The defense recorded six sacks in the first half alone, a franchise tie for the most sacks in a first half since December 26,1999 and November 26, 2006. Za'Darius Smith recorded two followed by Terrell Suggs, Patrick Onwuasor, Anthony Levine Sr. and Chris Wormley with one apiece. At the half, the Titans were limited to just 69 yards.

By the end of the game, the Ravens D put up a franchise-record 11 sacks with Tony Jefferson, Kenny Young and Matthew Judon adding to the mix. Oh, and holding an NFL team to zero points is impressive on its own. Marcus Mariota finished the day 10-for-15 for 117 yards. 

Ravens come out strong and stay strong

The Ravens offense was strong out of the gate putting up two touchdowns on their first two drives of the game. Flacco hit seven of his receivers and two of their touchdown drives took more than 16 minutes off the clock. Lamar Jackson even got in the mix recording a season-high 22-yard run to set up Alex Collins' two-yard touchdown run to put the Ravens up 21-0 in the third.

Joe Flacco finished the afternoon 25-for-37 for 238 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

News and notes:

—Offensive tackle Alex Lewis was carted off the field on a stretcher in the beginning of the fourth and placed immediately into an ambulance. CBS sideline reporter Steve Tasker reported it appeared to be a neck injury, and even though he had movement in his extremities, he was taken to Vanderbilt Hospital as precaution. 

—The Ravens are now 4-2 and head back to Baltimore to host the New Orleans Saints Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET. 

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Ravens' options in a potential Matthew Judon trade

Ravens' options in a potential Matthew Judon trade

According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Ravens have expressed interest in moving on from Matthew Judon through a trade this offseason. 

Judon, who isn’t under contract for next season, was tied for 19th in the league in sacks with 9.5 — a team-high. He was also the team-leader in quarterback hits with 33. The next best pass-rusher was Tyus Bowser, who registered 10. 

Lined up for a big payday, and with a high-priced franchise tag an option, the Ravens could lose their second pass-rusher in as many years on the free agent market should they elect to not pay Judon the elite pass-rusher money he’ll likely command.

Which brings the Ravens to the report from Schefter that indicated the team could move on from Judon, 27, through the sign-and-trade route. 

Should Judon, or the Ravens, walk away from the negotiating table in free agency, two options exist: The Ravens could either let him walk freely to another team and likely receive a 2021 third-round pick as compensation, or place the franchise tag on Judon. 

With the franchise tag option, the Ravens could keep him for a season and essentially kick the can down the road for a year, or trade him for a return that would likely be greater than the compensatory third, and more importantly, the help would be immediate. 

A few weeks ago, coach John Harbaugh said re-signing Judon would be, “pretty hard,” but that the team was going to try.  

But if the Ravens aren’t able, or are unwilling, to sign Judon, a potential blueprint for a future trade might have been laid out last year by the Chiefs. 

Last season, the Chiefs traded Dee Ford to the 49ers for a second-round pick just a month before they sent first and third-round picks to the Seahawks for Frank Clark and a third-round pick.

Ford had 13 sacks in 2018 and 29 quarterback hits while Clark had 13 as well and 27 quarterback hits. They both immediately signed long-term, expensive contracts with their new teams. 

Baltimore could make a move similar to that with Judon and get better, and more immediate, compensation for him and later add a pass-rusher with the draft capital than the team added.

The Ravens have just under 29 million dollars in cap space, meaning they’ve got the space to sign Judon to a long-term deal or keep him on the franchise tag, but they’d need to make some moves to be able to field a full roster. And that full roster, if Judon isn’t in Baltimore in 2020, needs pass-rushing help. 

Baltimore had 37 sacks as a team, and just over a quarter of them came from Judon. It also had 111 total quarterback hits, and 29.7 percent came from Judon. 

So the report that the Ravens could move Judon could play out, perhaps the most interesting aspect of a Judon trade would be the replacement the Ravens would need to have lined up.

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With big decision looming, Ravens guard Marshal Yanda mum on retirement plans

With big decision looming, Ravens guard Marshal Yanda mum on retirement plans

Ravens guard Marshal Yanda has a decision to make on his playing future, but he's in no rush to make it.

The 35-year-old is under contract with the Ravens through the 2020 season, but will take the next month or so to decide if he wants to continue playing or hang up the cleats.

"I'm going to take my time now," Yanda told Ravens.com regarding his future. "Done playing for the year, just take some time over the next month and basically just go with my heart and see how I feel."

The eight-time Pro Bowler was a vital piece in the NFL's best rushing attack in 2019. Yanda, the leader of the offensive line, started and played in 15 games this season for Baltimore, missing the regular-season finale as the Ravens rested multiple starters with the No. 1 seed already clinched.

Following Baltimore's upset divisional playoff loss to the Titans, a visibly disappointed Yanda refused to address his future, but he was definitely thinking about it then.

But if Sunday's Pro Bowl was the last time Yanda put on the pads, he didn't treat the game or experience any differently.

"Not necessarily," Yanda said if he cherished Sunday's Pro Bowl differently. "You're not in that frame of mind. I definitely didn't think about [my retirement decision] too much today, just because it was the Pro Bowl. It's more of a relaxed game, not like a really intense game.

"I didn't have those feelings as much as the Tennessee game," he continued." Yeah, it's a possibility. But those feelings were more in the Tennessee game."

Even at age 35, Yanda remains one of the best guards in the game. He's made the NFL's second-team All-Pro squad the past two seasons and has been a Pro Bowler every season since 2011, minus the 2017 season where he played just two games due to a season-ending ankle injury.

There's no debate: Baltimore would greatly benefit from Yanda returning.

"You want people that want you back," Yanda said. "You want to be playing very well when you end. Nobody wants to fade out; you want to go out strong."

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