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News & Notes: Earl Thomas: 'I Plan on Eliminating All the Big Plays'


Patrick Mahomes' 24th birthday was Tuesday, so the Kansas City Chiefs posted a video of the reigning MVP's 24 best throws from his short career.

Three of the 24 came in last year's overtime thriller against Baltimore and the top was (you guessed it), his fourth-and-9 heave across his body, under pressure, deep down the middle of the field to Tyreek Hill that gave the Chiefs life.

The Ravens haven't forgotten that play either, and it may have been part of their thinking this offseason when they signed free safety Earl Thomas – one of the game's premier ball hawks. Baltimore hopes Thomas makes the difference this time.

"Luckily the Ravens have me playing free safety, controlling the deep end," Thomas said. "I plan on eliminating all the big plays."

Thomas has already shown the impact he'll have in Baltimore this season. On the first series of his first game as a Raven, he ranged far to his left to make a leaping interception against Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Meanwhile, Hill will not be on the field for the Chiefs this Sunday after suffering a shoulder injury in the team's season-opener. That won't stop Mahomes from taking shots down the field, however. Without Hill last week in Oakland, Mahomes still threw for 443 yards and four touchdowns.

The Ravens know that Mahomes will extend plays and take chances to try to get big gains. Baltimore picked him off once last year (Chuck Clark). Now the Ravens will try to get him even more this time around.

Mahomes was made aware of Thomas' comment by a Kansas City reporter, and knows Thomas will give him a challenge.

"He's extremely smart," Mahomes said. "He's able to recognize routes and break on them fast. You think there are times where you can shoot some balls into seams and he makes plays on them."

Lamar Jackson Wants No Part of Jinxes

Part of what has made Lamar Jackson so good this season, and really over his entire young NFL career, is that he hasn't thrown the ball to the other team.

Jackson doesn't have any interceptions through two games this season. He hasn't thrown a pick in his last seven regular-season games (he had one in the wild-card playoff loss) – a streak of 178 passes.

But Jackson wasn't having any part of a reporter's question about the streak.

"See, now you want to jinx me!" Jackson said. "You're not supposed to say anything about it. We've been going good, baby! … My job is to not have any turnovers."

Robert Griffin III Takes Notice of Backup QBs Around NFL

Every year, there are injuries to quarterbacks. This year, however, it seems like some of the bigger names are going down.

The Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger (elbow), Saints' Drew Brees (hand), Jets' Sam Darnold (mono), Jaguars' Nick Foles (broken clavicle) and Colts' Andrew Luck (calf/retirement) are all out.

That has left a slew of backup quarterbacks taking center stage, and it hasn't been too pretty. The Jets were down to their third quarterback on Monday Night Football and struggled mightily on offense.

Ravens backup Robert Griffin III has taken notice of the NFL quarterback landscape.

"For lack of a better term, QBs are dropping like flies right now," Griffin said. "It really does suck for those guys. You pray for them and hope they heal quickly. Hopefully we can get quarterback play around the league that keeps people not only interested but wanting to consume the product.

"Nobody wants to see me get on the field on this team right now because we want to make sure that L.J. is fine and can continue to go out and produce at an extremely high level. But if the opportunity came up that I had to be out there on the field, you just try to instill confidence in your teammates that they can trust you. I think I have done that here and that's why I'm here. I don't know how many other teams have the luxury of having two Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks on their roster."

Steve Smith Sr. Helps Miles Boykin During Wednesday's Practice

Former Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. is at the Under Armour Performance Center Wednesday in his reporter capacity with the NFL Network.

However, that didn't stop Smith from stepping onto the field once again – this time in a teacher role.

During the portion of practice open to the media, Smith was seen working with Boykin on his releases from scrimmage. It seemed like it was how to better use his hands to beat press coverage.

Ravens Aren't Worried About Greg Senat Spreading Information

It may have been no coincidence that the Chiefs picked up tackle Greg Senat off waivers after Baltimore released the second-year blocker over the weekend to make room for cornerback Maurice Canady on the 53-man roster.

Ravens safety/linebacker Anthony Levine certainly didn't think Senat's landing spot was just by chance.

Some teams have been known to get released players from the teams they're about to play in order to pump the new player for information about their old squad.

Asked how much the Ravens would have to change things up from what Senat knows, Head Coach John Harbaugh said he's not too worried about it.

"It's an overblown story," Harbaugh said. "Players know what they know in their world, in their realm. There might be some subtle things, but on the list of concerns playing the Chiefs this week, I'd say that's toward the bottom."

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