Bills bounce Ravens, reach first AFC title game in 27 seasons

Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Matt Fitzgerald | Last updated 1/16/21

The first leg of the 2021 AFC divisional round was a gritty, throwback game determined largely by the mettle of defenses, as the Buffalo Bills emerged with a 17-3 home victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday evening in Western New York.

Usually, in a high-scoring affair, winners and losers can be determined rather easily. However, In increasingly rare cases such as these when there were so few splash plays made in any of the three phases of the game, it’s more difficult to find the positives.

In any event, we’ll give you the winners and losers from this Bills-Ravens slugfest.

Winner: Josh Allen, quarterback, Buffalo Bills

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The winning signal-caller lands here almost by default, and Bills wideout Stefon Diggs deserves an honorable mention thanks to his knack for getting open.

It’s an unavoidable narrative, however: Allen was the third QB selected in the 2018 NFL Draft, going seventh overall to Buffalo, while Jackson had to wait until the final pick of the first round (No. 32) to hear his name called after Baltimore traded up to get him. Talk about a sick walk-off move for Ozzie Newsome, netting an eventual second-year league MVP with his final first-round selection.

Anyway, Allen and Jackson have emerged as the most promising field generals from that class, along with top pick Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns. All of them were alive entering the AFC divisional round — how exciting!

But only one man could win Saturday in Buffalo, and it was Allen. There was clearly more trust in the Bills’ rising superstar, who isn’t quite the dual threat as a runner that Jackson is — who is? — but is the superior passer.

For better or worse, the Bills put the ball in Allen’s hands and told him to will them to the AFC Championship Game against a defense that boasts a pressure-heavy front and excellent back end headlined by cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey. Allen came through, finding Diggs for eight catches, 106 yards and a score. Allen ultimately delivered, finishing with 23 completions on 37 attempts for 206 yards and the touchdown to Diggs amid blustery conditions.

Loser: Justin Tucker, kicker, Baltimore Ravens

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Two bricked field goals off the uprights. It was truly shocking to see Tucker do such a thing, considering he’s quite literally the most accurate kicker in league history at better than 90%.

Ravens cleared to travel for Wednesday showdown with Steelers

By Zac Wassink | Last updated 12/1/20

The Baltimore Ravens have been cleared to face the Pittsburgh Steelers for an AFC North showdown on Wednesday afternoon and are traveling to Pennsylvania, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN and others. 

Baltimore (6-4) was first set to play Pittsburgh (10-0) on Thanksgiving night until a coronavirus outbreak within the Ravens forced the NFL to postpone the game to Sunday afternoon and then to Tuesday evening. Additional positive test results and subsequent quarantines caused the NFL to shift the game to Wednesday, and there were fears the Ravens still wouldn’t be able to compete with nearly two-dozen players on the reserve/COVID-19 list as of Monday. 

Per Hensley, however, the Ravens have since lowered that number to 16 and also expect to activate running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram before Wednesday’s 3:40 pm ET kickoff. 

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Ravens’ NIck Boyle out for season after suffering gruesome knee injury vs. Patriots

By Erin Walsh | Last updated 11/16/20

The Baltimore Ravens were upset by Cam Newton and the New England Patriots on “Sunday Night Football,” but they dropped more than just their record. 

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh confirmed after the game that Nick Boyle suffered a season-ending left knee injury in the third quarter of Sunday’s 23-17 loss, according to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. 

After making a four-yard catch, Boyle took a hit to his left leg, causing it to bend awkwardly. Patriots linebacker Terez Hall went right into the side of Boyle’s knee, and players immediately signaled for trainers to come onto the field. 

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Ravens sign First-Team All-Pro Ronnie Stanley to $99M extension

Originally posted on Pro Football Rumors | By Zach Links | Last updated 10/30/20

The Ravens have signed Ronnie Stanley to a five-year, $98.75M extension, according to Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). The pact includes a whopping $70.9M in total guarantees and takes the star left tackle through the 2025 season.

Stanley fell short of Laremy Tunsil‘s $22M-per-year watermark, but not by much. The deal still represents a major investment for the Ravens, who have secured one of the league’s best tackles for years to come. Baltimore did have the option of the franchise tag, but it would have saddled them with a massive cap hit for 2021. All in all, Stanley is set to earn $112.86M between now and the end of the commitment.

“Ronnie is the mainstay on our offensive line,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said. “He’s a shutdown left tackle who excels on the field and in our community. This is just the beginning for Ronnie, and we could not be happier for him and his family.

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Ravens plan to add Dez Bryant to practice squad

By Blake Harper | Last updated 10/22/20

Dez Bryant just took a huge first step in his journey back into the NFL, as the Baltimore Ravens are reportedly adding the former Cowboys receiver to their practice squad as they enter their bye week, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Baltimore could certainly use some help at receiver, as they have almost no depth beyond Marquise Brown and Willie Snead. Having a reliable veteran like Bryant could be useful for quarterback Lamar Jackson’s development, as he is in only his third season in the NFL. The former MVP offered a soft endorsement of the Ravens adding Bryant before the season.

“We’ve got a lot of great receivers on the team right now,” Jackson said. “It’s up to the front office. I’ve been seeing Dez Bryant on Instagram and stuff like that, running his routes, competing against cornerbacks. He’s looking pretty good on social media. If the front office likes him, we’ll have to see when he gets here.”

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Ravens will pay all stadium workers even if games are played without fans

The Baltimore Ravens are looking out for the people who work for them in a really big way.

The NFL is preparing for the potential that games may be played without fans in 2020. Regardless, the Ravens will pay all stadium workers, whether there are fans in the stands or not.

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Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Jesse Reed | Last updated 5/17/20

Two-time All-Pro OL Marshal Yanda retires from NFL

Marshal Yanda is calling it a career. On Wednesday, the Ravens guard will formally announce his retirement from the NFL, as’s Jamison Hensley tweets

Yanda, 35, spent his entire 13-season career with the Ravens. He also mulled retirement last year, and there have been rumblings for the past few weeks about him hanging ’em up before the 2020 season. He’s following through on that, choosing to focus on family and his life outside of football.

Last year, Yanda helped the Ravens rack up 3,296 yards on the ground as he protected superstar Lamar Jackson and Co. That was an NFL all-time record, one that they couldn’t have achieved without stellar protection on the interior line from the eight-time Pro Bowler.

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Originally posted on Pro Football Rumors | By Zach Links | Last updated 3/10/20

Steve Smith Sr. Should Not Decide to Retire Following Injury

Written by Evan Massey at Bloguin

Steve Smith Sr. went down with a torn Achilles this afternoon in the Baltimore Ravens’ game against the San Diego Chargers. It was a crushing blow to the Ravens and their fan base, although it could very well mean that Smith will be back for another season.

Going out with an injury isn’t in Smith’s DNA and he should not retire following the injury.

Why shouldn’t he retire at 36 years old following a very serious lower body injury? That just isn’t the kind of player he has been throughout his career and he would regret allowing a torn Achilles to be the last thing that he does on an NFL field. He has always been one of the fiercest competitors and hard workers in the game and coming back from this injury to play against would prove that once again.

Throughout the 2015 season to this point, Smith had made a major impact for the Ravens’ offense. He caught 46 passes for 670 yards and three touchdowns.

Those numbers came despite Smith being forced to miss one game due to a back injury that he suffered.

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