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Defense finishes the job

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Defense finishes the job

For a while, the roles appeared to be reversed in the Ravens season opener. The no-huddle offense and the very effective Joe Flacco carried the day into the third quarter against the Bengals Monday night.
The offense brought the Bengals to their knees. Then, the defense supplied the knockout punch as the Ravens pulled away in the second half for a 44-13 win.
Flacco completed 21 of 29 for 299 yards and two touchdowns. He used the no-huddle to move the offense up and down the field throughout the game with little trouble
But the Bengals were moving the ball pretty well on the defense in the second quarter and on the first drive of the third. The Ravens were then clinging to a 17-10 lead when Cincinnati had third-and-goal from the 7-yard line. Quarterback Andy Dalton tried to run and Lardarius Webb stopped him at the 1-yard line. Cincinnati kicked a field goal to make it 17-13 and then things changed.
The Ravens kept rolling on offense and got a TD and field goal on their next two drives before Ed Reed picked off a Dalton pass and ran it back for a 34-yard touchdown. That made it 34-13.Ray Lewis then sacked Dalton on the next drive and forced a fumble. Webb recovered at the Bengals 28. Ray Rice ran for a 1-yard touchdown three plays later. Three big plays on defense turned a seven-point game into a 21-point rout.
We didnt play perfect tonight as a defense, Lewis said. There are things that we have to correct ourselves. ..were just going one at a time. So, definitely well be ready to play next week.
Lewis and Reed helped lead the way. After having dropped a bunch of weight in the off-season because he wanted to keep up better with offenses in the pass-happy NFL, Lewis was all over the field in this game.
He finished with a game-high 14 tackles plus one sack and the forced fumble. Reeds interception helped change the game and set a new NFL record for yardage on those returns, passing former Raven Rod Woodson.
Ray Lewis is the best linebacker out there, said defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. He did a great job tonight. We know if we get double-teams, he has to make that play. Its just a great feeling to know that if youre getting double-teamed, Ray is going to make the play.
Ngata added two sacks as the Ravens finished with four overall, getting better pressure on Dalton after the game started to get out of hand in the second half.
We sure did pressure Dalton on him and made it a little bit tougher for him, said Ravens coach John Harbaugh. Thats a credit to our defensive front.

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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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