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Ravens News 12/5: Postseason outlook, Tucker’s value and more

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NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Carolina Panthers Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

College Football’s best at everything - Cam Mellor

BEST WR BY ROUTE

Screen pass

Parris Campbell, Ohio State

The Ohio State passing attack has been a formidable one as Buckeyes receivers have been able to gain yards after the catch the likes of which we may have never seen before. Campbell is the true case study for this as Ohio State quarterbacks have gained 265 yards on screen passes to the shifty wideout but Campbell himself has gained 298 yards after the catch. He’s hauled in all 19 screen passes thrown his way and scored a touchdown to go along with eight other first downs. He’s forced four missed tackles and averages 13.9 yards per attempt and 15.7 yards after the catch per screen pass.

In route

N’Keal Harry, Arizona State

Harry leads the nation’s receivers with 189 yards on in routes, doing so on just nine receptions. Eight of those nine catches resulted in either a first down (7) or a touchdown (1) while he racked up four contested catches on in routes, showing an innate ability to take what the defense gave him but also fight to the catch point and utilize his strong hands to come down with the ball.

BEST RUN-BLOCKING OFFENSIVE LINEMAN

Terronne Prescod, NC State

What makes Prescod so good is his overall ability both in pass protection and run blocking. Basically, he’s the only full-time starting offensive lineman to have both pass-blocking and run-blocking grades of 85.1 or higher, as his 88.9 run-blocking grade is 4.5 grade points higher than the next closest lineman.

BEST DEEP SAFETY

Deionte Thompson, Alabama

Thompson makes all the splash plays you’d expect out of a top deep-lying free safety type. In coverage, he’s been targeted 30 times as the primary coverage defender and allowed only 14 receptions. He’s added two interceptions and six additional pass breakups as his coverage grade mirrors his overall grade atop the leaderboard among all safeties.

A sampling of prospects that could fill Ravens needs in the 2019 draft.

In facing Chiefs, Lamar Jackson is No. 1 defense’s best friend - Jamison Hensley

“It’s true the best defense is a good offense,” Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. “Whether you’re scoring a lot of points or whether you’re eating up the clock, one or the other. The number of plays they are playing, the fact that they are fresh and well rested to get after people makes a big difference. That’s the kind of football we’re playing right now.”

With Jackson, the Ravens’ average time of possession has been 37 minutes, 20 seconds, which is 2½ minutes longer than any other team over that span.

In Sunday’s 26-16 win over the Falcons, Baltimore continued its trend of wearing down defenses and taking control after halftime. In the second half, the Falcons had the ball for only 5:55 and ran a total of 13 plays.

”I told the guys before that last drive,” Ravens safety Eric Weddle said, “‘We’ve been sitting down for 15 minutes, so we better have the energy. You better hit whatever you see these next few plays and let’s go win this game.’”

“Obviously, the offense helped us out,” Weddle said. “The time of possession has been huge over the last three weeks. Keeping us rested. Keeping us fresh in the fourth quarter. It’s complementary football that we’re playing, and just got to keep rolling.”

During their three game losing streak before the bye, the Ravens were forced to defend 217 snaps. During the current three game winning streak, the defense has lined-up for 166 snaps.

Baltimore Ravens playoff outlook: Comparing their schedule to other contenders’ - Aaron Kasinitz

Broncos (6-6)

Week 14: @ 49ers (2-10)

Week 15: vs. Browns (4-7-1)

Week 16: @ Raiders (2-10)

Week 17: vs. Chargers (9-3)

The Broncos are a threat to swipe that second wildcard from the Ravens because of their weak remaining schedule. Denver’s next three opponents have a combined record of 6-27-1, and the game against Los Angeles appears winnable, too, considering the Broncos beat the Chargers earlier this year.

Colts (6-6)

Week 14: @ Texans (9-3)

Week 15: vs. Cowboys (7-5)

Week 16: vs. Giants (4-8)

Week 17: @ Titans (6-6)

While the Colts aren’t favored to beat the Texans, they’ll have pretty good odds in their final three games. Indy would set itself up to make a strong push for the final wildcard spot if it knocks off Houston this week.

ELO projections give the Ravens a 65-percent chance to make the playoffs and the Broncos a 21-percent chance. Tennessee, Indianapolis and Miami are still in the mix at 19-percent, 10-percent and 7-percent, respectively.

Why Justin Tucker Is Even More Valuable Now - Ryan Mink

Tucker may be even more valuable than usual right now. The Ravens have scored points in a franchise record 17 straight quarters. A big reason for that is Mr. AutomaTUCK.

Tucker hit four field goals (from 41, 21, 45 and 47 yards) in the Ravens’ 26-16 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. He accounted for 14 of the Ravens’ points, including extra points.

During the Ravens’ three-game winning streak, Tucker has gone 9-for-9. He was named the AFC’s Special Teams Player of the Month in November, and he’s off to a good start for December honors too.

“Awesome weapon,” Jackson said. “Greatest kicker in the game right now, man. Greatest kicker that I’ve seen. He’s the best.”

Follow this link to vote for the 2019 Pro Bowl team. Tucker, Ronnie Stanley, Marshal Yanda, Terrell Suggs, Marlon Humphrey and Sam Koch are Ravens worthy of consideration.