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Defense benefits from total team effort


Defense benefits from total team effort

The Ravens have gotten some good games from their offense this year. They've also taken advantage of good work from the defense.

But the big problem is both haven't often come at the same time.

That did happen on Sunday in the 55-20 rout of the Raiders, improving Baltimore's record to 7-2. The Ravens finally were able to benefit from strong performances on both sides of the ball, plus an even better one from special teams.

"The point-scoring and everything else, it’s good to throw 55 on the board or whatever, but at the same time, you’ve got to know when you put that on, you put a target on your back. When you put that on the board and you put that on film, you put a target on your back," said safety Bernard Pollard after Sunday's game when talking to the media. "So, I just think for us, like I said, this is the closest to 60 minutes that we’ve played all year as a team, and we have to build from this. "

The consistency of offense, defense and special teams is something the Ravens have taken advantage of since John Harbaugh arrived on the scene. They've been solid most of the time in all parts of the lineup.

But the defense hasn't found that yet this year. The injuries to players like Ray Lewis, Lardarius Webb and others -- yesterday saw Haloti Ngata and Jimmy Smith out even though they dressed -- really disrupted the lineup on defense.

However, the bye week plus games against weaker teams like the Browns and Raiders helped the defense find its footing a little in recent weeks. Pollard said the Ravens now have to keep doing what they've been doing on defense, in practice and in games, to keep getting wins. 

"We have to stack the weeks as far as practice," he said. "We have to have exceptional practices. We have to. It’s a must for us to play this type of football that we play.”

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

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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.


“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

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.