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Who to root for in Week 12 if you are a Baltimore Ravens fan

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Who to root for in Week 12 if you are a Baltimore Ravens fan

At the moment the Baltimore Ravens control their own playoff destiny. Win all six games to go 11-5 and the Ravens are in the postseason.

Thinking that would be naive based on what we've seen from Baltimore this year. On top of that, no one actually knows when Joe Flacco will return, which yes he is the best quarterback on the roster that gives the Ravens a chance to make the playoffs.

As the second place team in the Wild Card, the Ravens do not have much wiggle room in the standings. 

Playing only two teams that are in the heat of the playoff race means that Baltimore needs some help. 

This week the Ravens could really use a loss from the Cincinnati Bengals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Tennessee Titans.

Ravens Week 12 Rooting Guide

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7) vs. Buffalo Bills (3-7)
Sunday, Nov. 25 at 1:00 p.m.

Rolling the Bills in Week 1 makes this an easy choice on which team to root for. If Buffalo makes a huge comeback in the standings (only two games back of Baltimore), the Ravens already have the tiebreaker. Besides is everyone convinced the Jaguars are that bad? It's better off if that defense has all hope vanquished. Root for the Bills.

Cleveland Browns (3-6-1) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (5-5)
Sunday, Nov. 25 at 1:00 p.m.

On top of the Browns having the lesser record than the Bengals, the Ravens have the advantage of playing Cleveland one more time this season to pad their lead over their divisional opponent. With the turmoil on the Bengals coaching staff, its not too far out of the realm of possibilities to root for the Browns.

New England Patriots (7-3) vs. New York Jets (3-7)
Sunday, Nov. 25 at 1:00 p.m.

For the Ravens to pass the Patriots in the AFC playoff picture Baltimore would either have to climb back in the AFC North to pass the Steelers OR the Patriots would have to let the Miami Dolphins come back. Neither seems likely. The Jets don't look like a team about to turn it around either to make a run for a Wild Card berth. Might as well just go against New England and root for the Jets.

Arizona Cardinals (2-8) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (7-3)
Sunday, Nov. 25 at 4:05 p.m.

When it's AFC vs. NFC always root for the NFC. Given that it's the Chargers helps too. It's not going to happen but, root for the Cardinals.

Miami Dolphins (5-5) vs. Indianapolis Colts (5-5)
Sunday, Nov. 25 at 1:00 p.m.

A tie would be the best possible result at this point in time for the Ravens. Baltimore hasn't played, nor will play, either team before the year is out. Here we'll look at the remaining schedule for Miami (Bills, Patriots, @ Vikings, Jaguars, Bills) and Indianapolis (@ Jaguars, @ Texans, Cowboys, Giants, @ Titans). The Dolphins have a slightly easier schedule and it's too far to look ahead to record against common opponents. Root for the Dolphins.

Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2-1) vs. Denver Broncos (4-6)
Sunday, Nov. 25 at 1:00 p.m.

Baltimore is behind Pittsburgh in the division by 2.5 games. At the same time, Baltimore's only up by a game over the Broncos for the second Wild Card. A fan of the Ravens should not want either team to win. Under the assumption that the Ravens do their job and win games they're supposed to win, it's too early to give up on a division title. Besides, Baltimore has the head-to-head win over Denver. This is a tough call, but root for the Broncos.

Tennessee Titans (5-5) vs. Houston Texans (7-3)
Sunday, Nov. 25 at 8:20 p.m.

One team has to win the AFC South so it might as well be the Texans. Ignore the chance to pass them for a higher seed, Baltimore needs to lock down the Wild Card first. A loss from Tennessee helps in that regard. Root for the Texans. 

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A big Year 2 ahead, Lamar Jackson isn’t worried about Madden ratings

A big Year 2 ahead, Lamar Jackson isn’t worried about Madden ratings

The number eight is sports royalty in the city of Baltimore thanks to Cal Ripken Jr.

If Lamar Jackson has the career many are hoping for, he’ll be another reason for that one day down the road.

For now, he’s a young, athletic quarterback entering his second season in Charm City. But his successful rookie year hasn’t been reflected in Madden NFL 20’s newest ratings.

Jackson came in with an overall rating of 76, tied for 24th among all quarterbacks. Unsurprisingly, his athleticism is highly-regarded, as he leads all signal-callers in speed, acceleration, agility, and elusiveness.

Questions abound about his throwing abilities, leading to the low rating. But that’s not a concern for Jackson himself.

“I can’t feel no way,” the quarterback told media members prior to throwing out the first pitch at the Orioles-Nationals game Wednesday night. “You know, I don’t make Madden. That’s them. But I feel like our team, we’re going to show ‘em this season.”

Jackson continued to praise the Ravens roster. When asked about the high ratings for teammates like Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Earl Thomas, Jackson put his thoughts quite succinctly: “We look stacked!”

Of course, with speed and acceleration ratings like Jackson has, it’s fun to imagine how he might fit in on a baseball diamond as well.

“Whew, somewhere in the middle, to make a play,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde decided when asked where the Ravens quarterback might play on his roster.

“I’m looking forward to meeting him. I’m a big football fan, so watched him play a lot. And if he wanted to play center field or up the middle, it’d be great,” Hyde continued.

The speedy quarterback agreed, though it came with a caveat.

“Probably,” Jackson quickly answered when asked about his best fit being center field. “But you know, I’m the Ravens QB right now, so I’m good.”

He doesn’t know what his walk-up song would be if he played baseball, but Jackson was definitive about one thing at least: his hot dog preferences.

“I don’t really eat mustard,” he emphasized. “So I just put ketchup, relish...I just go from there. Pretty standard.”

When he’s not eating hot dogs, Jackson is working hard to build chemistry with his new receiving corps, and he seemed optimistic about the results it will bring on the field.

“Looking pretty good,” he described. “You’ll have to see for yourself.”

Knowing how many dual Orioles and Ravens fans there are in Baltimore, Jackson was also happy to provide a little hope as the city’s attention starts to shift from baseball to football. He gave a message to O’s fans who have sat through months of losing baseball and are looking to the Ravens to bring winning back to the city.

“Look forward to us coming out and balling,” he said. “Can’t say too much right now, [the] season’s not here!”

The Ravens season will be here soon enough, and when it is, Jackson will be ready to go out and show both local and national fans what he can do, regardless of what his Madden rating says.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Sports Illustrated predicts Ravens defense will regress this season

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Sports Illustrated predicts Ravens defense will regress this season

With training camp just eight days away, here is the latest news surrounding the Baltimore Ravens.

1. The Ravens are expected to have one of the best defenses in the NFL this season, but not the No. 1 ranked. Sports Illustrated's Andy Benoit says he predicts the Ravens defense will actually regress due to the loss of C.J. Mosely and Terrell Suggs in free agency. However, not as much as one would expect, he says.

2. Speaking of defense, Ravens outside linebacker Matthew Judon is entering his contract year. The Athletics' Jeff Zrebiec writes that this upcoming season should be a breakout year for Judon who could make a big impact on defense. 

3. Ravens Training Camp passes are now available. The Ravens have 14 different training camp practices open to the public this season. Claim your tickets and parking pass here or on the Ravens' mobile app.

Looking Ahead:

July 24: Ravens training camp begins. Rookies are set to report a week earlier on Wednesday, July 17. 

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: Rotoworld and Baltimore Ravens for news points.

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