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News and analysis on the Ravens, Orioles, Terps and more
Barack Obama calls James Franco 'James Flacco'

I’m sure if the word "Flacco" was going to come out of President Barack Obama's mouth any time soon, the hope would be that he was addressing Ravens star quarterback Joe Flacco on a second visit to the White House along with the Lombardi Trophy.

Ravens fans can still dream, but until then, they’ll have today’s hot Internet moment to think of.

While addressing the hacks and threats that led to the Seth Rogen and James Franco film “The Interview” to be pulled from theaters before it was ever released, Obama called Franco “James Flacco.”

“I think it says something interesting about North Korea that they decided to have the state mount an all-out assault on a movie studio because of a satirical movie starring Seth Rogen and James Flacco," Obama said. "I love Seth, and I love James. But the notion that that was a threat to them, I think, gives you some sense of the kind of regime we’re talking about here.” 

The Internet, being the wonderfully horrible echo chamber that it is, immediately...

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Dean Pees sees bright future for Terrence Brooks after uneven rookie year

A knee injury Sunday cut safety Terrence Brooks’ season short after just 11 games, and defensive coordinator Dean Pees on Thursday kicked himself for trying to fit the first-year safety into too many positions instead of letting him get acclimated to the NFL in just one.

“As a rookie, we moved him around a little bit,” defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. “In retrospect, I probably would have gone back and maybe just put him in one place and just left him there, and let him soak. But we tried to kind of teach him a couple different things. I’m not sure that was the best for him. I’ll take the blame for that.”

Brooks, the 79th overall pick in the NFL draft who starred for the National Champion Florida State Seminoles last season, got off to a slow start in training camp, and practiced with the third-string for much of the summer before improving late in camp.

During later stages of camp, as the Ravens struggled with injuries to cornerbacks, Brooks took game and practice reps as the...

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Ravens' playoff chances above 80 percent, according to projection systems

The scenarios that lead to the Ravens playing in January are rather simple: win the remaining two games, then clear your calendar for the first weekend of 2015.

Whether it’s as a wild-card team or the AFC North champion, the Ravens’ path to the playoffs is straightforward, and they can even clinch this week with a series of scenarios outlined here.

But what are the chances of said things happening? And how big of an impact do the rest of the league’s games have on the Ravens' opportunities.

Again, kudos to those who took the time to crunch this actual data, as opposed to people like me who use a calculator for basic math and just compile it.

Here’s a small roundup of what the numbers-crunchers say about the Ravens’ playoff chances heading into Week 14:

- ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight places the Ravens at 85.7 percent chance of making the playoffs, a number that can raise to 96.8 percent with a win in Houston on Sunday. The website gives the Ravens a 23.5 percent chance of winning the AFC...

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Five Ravens stats that stand out ahead of Sunday's game against the Texans

Every week, reporter Jon Meoli will serve up five stats you should know heading into that week's Ravens game. This week's stats, prepared ahead of Sunday's trip to NRG Stadium for a grudge match against the Houston Texans, focus on the Ravens’ ball security, success on the ground, and yet another measure of quarterback Joe Flacco’s success this year.

17 – The Ravens have been among the league’s best in not turning the ball over this season, and they will have to be again against a Houston defense that ranks first in the league with 31 takeaways, and a league-high 110 points off takeaways. Quarterback Joe Flacco has thrown just one interception in his last five games, and a pair of fumbles by fullback Kyle Juszczyk are the only other turnovers in that span. Ball security will be at a premium, especially in the red zone, where the Texans have forced 11 turnovers.

3.0 – Last Sunday, running back Justin Forsett averaged 3 yards per carry, a full yard lower than his previous season-low in...

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Ray Rice attends fundraiser in Dundalk, says it's 'good to be out'

Ray Rice attended a Toys for Tots fundraiser in Dundalk on Wednesday night, his first public appearance in the area since the Ravens released him in September.

The fundraiser, at Jimmy's Famous Seafood, was hosted by Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith.

“It’s a warm welcome just to know that there are still people out there who still do support,” Rice told WJZ-TV. "It does feel good to be out and amongst the Baltimore community and just to give back." 

Rice's indefinite suspension from the NFL -- levied by commissioner Roger Goodell -- was lifted by an arbitrator last month.

Rice was charged with simple assault after punching his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, in an elevator at Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City in February.

A pair of videos posted by gossip website TMZ -- one in February and another in September -- led to discipline from the NFL. The Ravens released Rice after the second video was posted.

The running back has a pending grievance against the Ravens that claims wrongful...

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Baltimore to host knockout round matches in 2015 Gold Cup

CONCACAF, the governing body for North and Central American soccer, announced Tuesday that M&T Bank Stadium is one of four venues that will host the elimination rounds of the 2015 Gold Cup, the confederations bi-annual championship tournament.

One city among Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and Atlanta will host the championship of the tournament, which runs from July 7-26 next summer, while another will host both semifinal matches and the remaining two will host two quarterfinal matches each.

Those stadium assignments will be announced in early 2015, CONCACAF said in a release.

In 2013, M

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