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Ravens News 11/23: Targeting receivers, Crabtree’s revenge and more

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NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson Is Determined to Throw More to His Wide Receivers - Clifton Brown

“That’s my guy, man,” said Ravens wide receiver Michael Crabtree. “We won the game, so I told him to not even put too much on getting targets and all of that, just worry about winning. I’m excited to go out there this week and see what he’s got. This is his second game, so he’s just adding on.”

“I was like, ‘I ran 27 times?’ I was shocked myself,” Jackson said. “I was ticked off. Crabtree was telling me, ‘You good?’ And I’m like, ‘No man, I have to throw you the ball.’ I need to get these guys the ball. I don’t want them to think I’m just out here and, ‘Oh, he’s going to run every time he gets a chance.’

“My eyes are always up the field. I have to get those guys the ball because they’re helping me out. They’re not out there to block – that’s not their job. Their job is to catch the ball [and] help us win games. That’s my job to get the ball to them. Yes, I was mad about that.”

Snead was also mad at one point during Sunday’s game and admitted that he got into a heated sideline discussion with Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. While not going into details, Snead said he is passionate about winning and wants to do whatever it takes to accomplish that. It’s not about stats or targets. It’s about winning.

Wille Snead led the receiving corps with eight targets in Week 11. Next in line were Nick Boyle (4), Michael Crabtree (3), John Brown (1), Chris Moore (1) and Mark Andrews (1).

Ravens’ top-ranked defense links this team to past glory - David Ginsburg

Ever since Ray Lewis anchored the middle of a record-breaking defense that carried the Ravens to a Super Bowl win in 2000, Baltimore has prided itself in playing rugged, relentless and in-your-face defense.

This year is no exception.

The Ravens rank first in the NFL in total defense (300 yards per game) and fewest points allowed (18.1). While these numbers don’t necessary stack up well against the 2000 team that surrendered only 247.9 yards and 10.3 points per game, the current unit can point to that 54-51 game between the Rams and Chiefs last Monday as proof that this year is unlike any other.

Baltimore currently ranks third against the run, second against the pass and fourth in third-down efficiency at 36 percent.

“One of the biggest things is turnovers. That’s something we focus on,” Harbaugh said. “And we want to stop people in the red zone. Those are two areas we’ve been great at in the past.”

The lack of turnovers is holding the defense below elite status, this 2018 unit is on pace for just 11.2 turnovers on the season. For comparison, Baltimore’s 2000, 2006 and 2008 defenses collected 49, 40 and 34 takeaways, respectively.

Week 12 Sleepers: Buy the Ravens run game - Adam Rank

Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens

The comparisons to Tim Tebow are going to be way too easy. But, since it’s the holidays, I’m going to take the easy way out. He had close to 16 fantasy points in his first start. I’m not sure if the rushing is going to be sustainable -- he can’t see 27 carries every week -- but I’m not worried about anything past this week. The Raiders have been worked by running backs this season, averaging more than 142 yards per game. That’s the second-most in the NFL.

Gus Edwards, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Was Edwards the real deal? I would think so. It’s not like he pilfered a touchdown and was never heard from again. He got 17 attempts. He would have had more in Week 9, but he fumbled and was relegated to the bench. He torched the Bengals sorry defense last week, and the Raiders are in no better shape. If you won him on the waiver wire this week, go for it.

The Ravens offensive line combined for their best game of the season last Sunday against Cincinnati. They are fully capable of replicating their success on the ground against the Raiders in Week 12.

Michael Crabtree denies revenge game vs. Raiders in return with Ravens - Scott Bair

Michael Crabtree was as clutch as they come during three seasons with the Raiders, often Derek Carr’s go-to guy even with Amari Cooper in the pattern.

Crabtree was eventually cut just before free agency in what was essentially a straight swap for Jordy Nelson, albeit in separate transactions with similar costs.

Crabtree quickly signed with the Ravens, setting up what might be considered a revenge game Sunday in Baltimore.

There is one big problem with that narrative: Crabtree’s willingness to play along. He shot down having any extra motivation against his old team talking to Baltimore reporters on Wednesday.

“We’re on the end of the stretch right here, so every game counts for us,” Crabtree said. “The next game is the Raiders.”

Crabtree was asked if there was any special meaning playing the Silver and Black.

“Nope,” Crabtree said. “I just played football.”

Judging by their comments, the players are prioritizing team success above personal achievements. “Just win, baby!”