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Mike Preston: Ravens fans hurt, but pride and optimism still intact with Chiefs coming to Baltimore

Sports / Football /

BALTIMORE - When the National Football League released its 2020 regular-season schedule during the first week of May, it looked as if Baltimore fans were going to get an early look at the possible AFC championship game which had eluded them when the Tennessee Titans knocked the Ravens out of the playoffs last January.

The schedule makers have ...Read more

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Score! Chiefs, Ravens doing their part to contribute to NFL's trend toward big offense.

Sports / Football /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The scoreboard operator at M&T Bank Stadium figures to be a busy person when the Chiefs and Ravens, both 2-0, square off on ESPN's Monday Night Football.

Baltimore enters Week 3 ranked third in the league in scoring, averaging 35.5 points per game, while the Chiefs are eighth with 28.5.

The two teams have done their part to ...Read more

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Jalen Ramsey set to deploy his 'classified' shutdown game vs. Josh Allen and Bills

Sports / Football /

The question came this week during a videoconference call at the Los Angeles Rams' practice facility. A reporter asked receiver Robert Woods if star cornerback Jalen Ramsey provides him with any specific tips about how to beat cornerbacks.

Before Woods could answer, a voice emerged from the nearby parking lot.

"That's classified!" Ramsey ...Read more

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Why Ravens vs. Chiefs is a kicking matchup for the ages

Sports / Football /

BALTIMORE - It's not controversial to call the Ravens' showdown Monday night against the Kansas City Chiefs a matchup of the NFL's two best players.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was honored as the league's Most Valuable Player in 2018, and Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in 2019. Mahomes earned Super Bowl MVP honors in February, and ...Read more

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Bucs will play in front of home 'crowd' next week vs. Chargers

Sports / Football /

TAMPA, Fla. - The Bucs will open Raymond James Stadium to fans beginning with the team's next home game, Oct. 4, against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Initially, the Bucs planned to play their first two games in front of no fans - last Sunday's home opener against Carolina and the Chargers game - with the focus on reopening Oct. 18 against the ...Read more

Russell Wilson wants to win an MVP award. A win against America's Team would be another big step.

Sports / Football /

RENTON, Wash. - When the Seahawks and Cowboys kick off Sunday afternoon there will be three players on the field who have received an MVP vote since 2012.

None are named Russell Wilson.

The three who have are Wilson's teammate Bobby Wagner (one vote in 2014) and Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott (one vote in 2016) and running back Ezekiel ...Read more

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Rick Stroud: This, too, shall pass for Bucs' Tom Brady

Sports / Football /

TAMPA, Fla. - Mike Evans stood in the corner of the end zone during practice one Friday with his feet planted and both arms pumping, pausing only to catch pass after pass thrown slightly behind him from quarterback Tom Brady.

"We caught 50 back shoulders," Evans said.

Two days later against Carolina, Brady saw the Panthers in zone coverage and...Read more

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Mike Sielski: The Bengals' Joe Burrow is right where Carson Wentz used to be

Sports / Football /

PHILADELPHIA - Joe Burrow is in a nice, comfy place right now, the kind of place where he doesn't have to worry about a talk-show host worrying about how he wears his hat.

Burrow is the Cincinnati Bengals' starting quarterback, and he was the No. 1 pick in this year's NFL draft after putting together, for LSU, what might have been the greatest ...Read more

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Calling a game with Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is never boring. It's also not easy.

Sports / Football /

BALTIMORE - It's not that Gerry Sandusky thought he'd seen it all. He was open to the possibility of something new and fresh, something fun. But after hundreds of games as the radio voice of the Ravens, Sandusky had seen a lot. And a lot of what he'd seen seemed to play over and over, like a song stuck on repeat.

So when Lamar Jackson made his ...Read more

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Is Sunday's game vs. Seahawks a measuring stick for Cowboys, Dak Prescott?

Sports / Football /

FRISCO, Texas - It was a question that would normally draw scoffs or eye rolls.

Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy was not only game but he was in full agreement.

Never mind that this is just Week 3 of a long season and the Cowboys remain a work in progress in terms of getting on the same page with a new staff and new schemes.

Per McCarthy, ...Read more

Gerry Dulac: Why the Steelers might want a Watt in the backfield Sunday

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PITTSBURGH - With three brothers preparing to compete on the same NFL field for only the second time in nearly 100 years, the most intriguing question surrounding the reunion at Heinz Field is this: Which Watt will spend more time in the Steelers backfield on Sunday - J.J. or Derek?

The answer would appear to be simple. J.J. Watt, the NFL's ...Read more

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Bucs' Shaquil Barrett returns to Denver on different terms, with a new title

Sports / Football /

TAMPA, Fla. - Shaquil Barrett left the Broncos looking for the opportunity to be a full-time player he never received in Denver. He returns this week as the NFL's reigning sack king.

After playing his first five seasons in Denver learning under premier pass rushers Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware before recording 19.5 sacks in his first season ...Read more

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Hurt Cam Akers out of running, so Rams' Malcolm Brown-Darrell Henderson duo is in

Sports / Football /

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Rams rank third in the NFL in rushing, but they will not be at full strength in the backfield when they play the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at Bills Stadium.

Rookie running back Cam Akers will not play because of a rib injury suffered during last Sunday's victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, coach Sean McVay said ...Read more

Lions' Kenny Golladay set to return vs. Cardinals, but hamstring not 100%

Sports / Football /

DETROIT - Kenny Golladay's strained hamstring is not 100%, but the Detroit Lions' No. 1 receiver is expected to make his season debut Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

"God willing," Golladay said by video conference Friday. "I'm going to try everything in my power to be out there with the guys."

Golladay took part in his third straight ...Read more

The Ravens always lead big. The Chiefs always come back. What happens on 'Monday Night Football?'

Sports / Football /

BALTIMORE - The week before the prime-time clash many dubbed the "Game of the Year" when the NFL released its 2020 schedule in May, the Ravens (2-0) and Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) won their Week 2 games in a manner that has recently come to define the respective teams.

Against the Houston Texans, the Ravens jumped to a 10-point halftime lead and ...Read more

'I broke your face one time': Watt family hijinks on full display ahead of Steelers-Texans

Sports / Football /

PITTSBURGH - They didn't know it at the time, but in the late '90s and early 2000s, the Watt family had three rambunctious future pro football players rough-housing in the backyard, the living room, really anywhere the brothers could find some room to get in a scrap.

You might picture vases falling, chairs being smashed or tables breaking, but ...Read more

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Vikings OC Gary Kubiak takes blame for Kirk Cousins' poor performance

Sports / Football /

MINNEAPOLIS - Count Vikings offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak among those accepting a chunk of the blame for Kirk Cousins' awful play during the Vikings' 0-2 start this season.

"I've got to find some room for him is the best way to put it," Kubiak said. "We had some plays last week where he had no place to go with the ball. Me sitting there ...Read more

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Sam Farmer's Week 3 NFL picks

Sports / Football /

The Los Angeles Times' NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week's matchups. Lines according to (O/U = over/under). Last week's record 16-0 (1.000); season 26-6 (.813).

Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 9-7 (.563); season 17-15 (.531). Times are Pacific.

_...Read more

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Bucs' Rob Gronkowski: 'I came here to block, baby!'

Sports / Football /

TAMPA, Fla. - Rob Gronkowski is as surprised as anyone that he has only two catches this season and has been targeted four times by Tom Brady, with one of those passes intercepted.

A couple days after coach Bruce Arians said of Gronkowski, "I don't see him running 40 yards past people anymore," the 31-year-old tight end tried to mockingly ...Read more

49ers QB Nick Mullens has something up his sleeve for start against Giants

Sports / Football /

Nick Mullens is the 49ers' starting quarterback again, nearly two years after "Mullens Mania" enlivened a fan base desperate for a sign of hope.

Since then, Mullens has toiled in the superstar shadow of Jimmy Garoppolo, amid the franchise's transition into Super Bowl contender.

It's no secret what Mullens needed work on most to prepare for ...Read more