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Ayanbadejo sparks Ravens defense

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Ayanbadejo sparks Ravens defense

Brendon Ayanbadejo has made his name in the NFL for his play on special teams. And that's understandable since he's been very good at it.

But Ayanbadejo also has helped out on defense from time to time -- and he did it again on Sunday when the Ravens needed some help.
 
With Dannell Ellerbe out following a first-half injury, and the defensive needing some help, Ayanbadejo stepped up. He came on at linebacker and played very well in the Ravens' come-from-behind 16-13 victory over San Diego.
 
Ayanbadejo finished with five tackles, but made several good plays later in the game. He made some key open-field tackles that helped the Ravens keep San Diego quiet, not score points and let the offense have a chance to make a move.
 
In addition, he did well on pass coverage, something that's not surprising due to his quickness, speed and athleticism. He's very valuable to the Ravens on special teams, but Ayanbadejo's help on defense at various times can't be ignored.
 
This is one of the things that the defense has been doing better of late -- making plays at the right time. They held the Chargers to three points in the second half and overtime after San Diego moved the ball in the air in the first half. The Ravens were able to tighten their pass coverage and make plays.
 
Ayanbadejo's open-field tackle of Antonio Gates on a second-and-6 in overtime held the big tight end to just two yards. A first down there would have put the Chargers in Baltimore territory. But it didn't happen.
 
Ayanbadejo then helped break up a pass on third-and-3 on San Diego's second overtime possession. The Ravens got the ball back and went on the game-winning drive, and Ayanbadejo's work helped set that up.

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

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USA Today Sports

Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

On Wednesday, February 14, a horrific school shooting claimed the lives of 17 innocent people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. 

The tragic event impacted people far and wide, and hit especially close to home for Ravens running back Alex Collins.

The former Arkansas star was born in Plantation, Fla., a suburb of Fort Lauderdale and went to high school just 15 miles south of Douglas High School. 

In the offseason, Collins took Irish dancing lessons to improve his footwork, and following the act of terror, the Ravens' tailback learned that one of his dance partners had been killed in the mass shooting.

17-year-old Cara Loughran attended The Drake school of Irish Dance with Collins in addition to two other Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and was fatally shot by the gunman on Wednesday afternoon. 

Collins took to his Twitter account to issue this heartfelt message.

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“The school shooting yesterday hit home,” Collins wrote.

“We received confirmation a few hours ago we lost one of the girls, Cara Loughran. Two other girls saw and experienced unspeakable tragedy. My heart goes out to these girls, all their families and their teacher Chrissy.”

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Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

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USA Today Sports

Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears will launch the NFL's 99th season by playing in the annual Hall of Fame game on Aug. 2.

The Ravens' first appearance in the Hall of Fame game, which launches the league's 2018 Enshrinement Week. Former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis is among the inductees, along with former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Lewis, who played 17 seasons with the Ravens, and Urlacher, who played all of his 13 seasons with Chicago, both were elected on the first ballot.

Lewis joins Jonathan Ogden as the only Ravens in the Hall of Fame. Both were selected by Baltimore in the first round of the 1996 draft.

The other members of the Class of 2018 include Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. All will be inducted on Saturday, Aug. 4.

This will be the record-tying fifth time that the Bears will play in the Hall of Fame game. They won the previous four, most recently 27-24 over Miami in 2005.

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