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Ravens News 8/31: Scrimmage recap and more

NFL: Baltimore Ravens-Training Camp Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Ravens scrimmage recap: Offense sputters early, MVP comes alive late - Aaron Kasinitz

Outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson took advantage of that freedom to tackle early in the scrimmage by bursting into the backfield and tripping up running back Ty’Son Williams for a loss.

A penalty wiped out one of the more exciting plays of the night. Wille Snead leapt to try to snag a pass throw high, but safety DeShon Elliott walloped him while he was the air and the ball sailed into the arms of cornerback Jimmy Smith. Referees flagged Elliott for his hit, wiping out Smith’s interception and his winding return.

Fullback Patrick Ricard was involved in the offense Saturday, and not just as a blocker. He hauled in a couple receptions in the flat and took a handoff at one point.

Safety Geno Stone — While Warrior provided the defensive highlight of the day, Stone offered a solid presence. He made two stops during his first drive of action, helping to force a punt. And the seventh-round rookie provided top-tier coverage on tight end Eli Wolfe later in practice to force a pair of red-zone incompletions.

Interception spurs Lamar Jackson in Ravens scrimmage - Jamison Hensley

Jackson completed 14 of 26 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns, but he finished on a hot streak after getting picked off by undrafted rookie Nigel Warrior on an underthrown deep pass.

Shaking off that turnover, he connected on six of his last eight passes for two touchdowns, including a 40-yarder to Marquise Brown. Scrambling to his right, Jackson uncorked the deep throw to Brown in the end zone.

Practice Report: Lamar Jackson Strikes Quickly to Cap M&T Bank Stadium Scrimmage - Clifton Brown

Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey was locked in on a strong day for the defense. Humphrey had a nice break up of a pass intended for Andrews.

With Marcus Peters not practicing, Jimmy Smith got plenty of work at cornerback and looked very solid.

Justin Tucker was in top form making field goals in stadium conditions.

Center Matt Skura continues to ramp up his work in his return from knee surgery. “To see him out there and see him competing is a pretty big deal at this stage with the injury he had. So, he deserves a lot of credit for that,” Harbaugh said.

Ranking all 32 NFL teams by training camp performance: Ravens, Steelers among the top five - Cody Benjamin

1. Baltimore Ravens

Lamar Jackson only just recently threw his first interception of camp. Marquise Brown bulked up. Team leaders quickly but wisely escorted Earl Thomas — sluggish on the field, distracting off it — out of the locker room. This team is locked and loaded.

NFL predictions 2020: Final standings, playoff projections, Super Bowl 55 pick - Vinnie Iyer

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens (11-5)

Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6)

Cleveland Browns (8-8)

Cincinnati Bengals (6-10)

AFC playoff predictions

Wild-card round: No. 2 Ravens over No. 7 Browns ... No. 5 Steelers over No. 4 Texans ... No. 6 Patriots over No. 3 Bills

Divisional round: No. 1 Chiefs over No. 6 Patriots ... No. 2 Ravens over No. 5 Steelers

AFC championship game: No. 1 Chiefs over No. 2 Ravens

Then comes the AFC championship game matchup one was denied last season, Mahomes vs. Jackson. Even with the potential of no loud home crowd, Mahomes rewards the Chiefs for rewarding him with a return trip to the Super Bowl.