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Ravens News 7/9: Best/worst case scenarios and more

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Baltimore Ravens v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

NFL’s top rivalries of the 2010s: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady take top spot again - Bryan DeArdo

4. Ravens vs. Patriots

Best games: 2011 AFC Championship: Patriots 23, Ravens 20; 2014 div. round: Patriots 35, Ravens 31

If there’s one AFC coach that’s consistently managed to give the hoodie fits in the playoffs, it’s Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, who has managed to win two playoff games against Bill Belichick’s Patriots. Harbaugh, Baltimore’s coach since 2008, won his first playoff game against Belichick in 2009. And while they were unable to duplicate their regular season success during the postseason, Lamar Jackson’s success against Belichick’s defense in Baltimore’s regular season stomping of New England last season appeared to foreshadow a possible changing of the guard as it relates to the balance of power in the AFC moving forward.

3. Ravens vs. Steelers

Best game: December 25, 2016: Steelers 31, Ravens 27

No. 2 on our recent list of the NFL’s greatest rivalries from the 2000s, the Ravens-Steelers rivalry was nearly as good in the 2010s. Not only did the Ravens win their first ever decade against the Steelers (as far as win-loss record is concerned), Baltimore also won their first-ever playoff game over Pittsburgh, as Joe Flacco led his squad to a 30-17 win over the Steelers in the 2014 AFC Wild-Card round.

Best- and worst-case scenarios for every NFL team ahead of the 2020 season - Ben Linsey

10th percentile outcome: 8-8

How they get there: The Ravens find themselves playing from behind more often than they did in 2019. They were the only team in the NFL to play fewer than 250 offensive snaps when trailing last season, and Lamar Jackson’s splits were noticeable when he was forced to play from behind. When playing with the lead or when tied, Jackson posted a 92.1 PFF grade. When trailing, that figure dropped to 68.2. His ability to play from behind — when the advantages of unpredictability in the run and pass game start to dwindle — remains the biggest question mark for the reigning league MVP heading into his third season. This 8-8 record also comes in part thanks to the loss of Marshal Yanda inside, who is surely on his way to Canton.

90th percentile outcome: 13-3

How they get there: NFL defenses are still unable to handle Baltimore’s unique offense, and the Ravens’ defense emerges as the best in the NFL. There’s no reason the second part of that statement can’t be true. Their secondary is loaded with talent, and it’s a group that returns Tavon Young from injury to man the slot. They significantly bolstered the defensive line and linebacking corps, as well, with the additions of Calais Campbell, Derek Wolfe, Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison, among others. A team doesn’t get to 13-3 without offense and defense working in tandem, and Baltimore looks to be in a good position to have that be the case.

Marquise Brown continues to add bulk, strength for Ravens - Todd Karpovich

The Ravens wide receiver has routinely posted videos of his arduous workouts and has added significant muscle to his 5-foot-9 frame.

“When he’s not involved, he’s making the offense better, because there’ll be two defenders guarding him sometimes,” quarterback Lamar Jackson said. “He’s so fast, and he runs great routes. And he’s not even 100 [percent] to his full potential, so he plays a big part in our offense. And we have to do a better job at getting him the ball.”

“The biggest thing, in our run game, sometimes we use him on the backside when a lot of times [previously] we’d use runs,” assistant head coach David Culley said. “We’ve [put] him on the front side because he understands what we need to get done on that side. And from a standpoint of scouting, normally, if we’re running the ball sometimes, you think he’s always to the backside.”

Ravens reduce seating capacity for 2020 to less than 14K - Adam Maya

Baltimore announced Wednesday that fewer than 14,000 seats will be made available for 2020 home games at M&T Bank Stadium — if state and local government regulations permit fan attendance at all amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This would leave about 80 percent of the stadium’s 71,008-seat capacity empty.

“To offer a proper level of safety for fans who want to attend games, a reduction in capacity is necessary,” Ravens president Dick Cass said in a statement. “We are disappointed that this will be a disruption for many ticket buyers, but we have an obligation to our fans and our community to keep M&T Bank Stadium as safe as possible.”

With more than 62,000 season tickets already sold, the Ravens are deferring those reservations to the 2021 campaign for their Permanent Seat License Owners. Single-game ticket sales have also been discontinued and refunds will be issued for purchases already made.

PSL Owners will have priority in buying 2020 individual game tickets once a new seating chart is finalized. The team has not determined when single-game tickets will go on sale to the general public.