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Defense shines in 13-10 win over Steelers

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Defense shines in 13-10 win over Steelers

This game looked line something from last year or seasons past. The offense struggled from start to finish, the defense needed to rescue them, and that's just what happened when the Ravens edged Pittsburgh, 13-10, Sunday night for a key AFC North road win.

Here's a few observations from the game in re the defense.

1. The run defense did its job -- The Ravens allowed 134 yards on the ground overall, and the Steelers moved the ball in the second half with the rush. Still, the Ravens didn't let Pittsburgh control the clock or the game with run, something that's happened a bunch of times already this season.

2. The pass rush helped out -- The Ravens finished with three sacks in this game. Paul Kruger got a sack of Byron Leftwich in the first quarter, and Haloti Ngata and James Ihedigbo added big sacks in the second half to stop Pittsburgh drives. Leftwich seemed to be in some kind of pain after the ran for a touchdown in the game's opening minute, and he also seemed affected by that.

3. Corey Graham made some plays -- Stepping in at defensive back in the injury-depleted secondary, Graham swatted away one pass that would have been a touchdown. He picked off another to stop a scoring drive, and in the final minute made a bone-jarring hit that separated Heath Miller from the ball as the Steelers were trying to drive at the end.

4. Turnovers helped -- That's the formula the Ravens have used countless times over the years, get turnovers at the right time to stop the other team. Baltimore forced three Pittsburgh turnover, including one on the game's final play. Ed Reed recovered one fumble that new cornerback Chris Johnson forced.

The Ravens got a lot of big plays on defense at different times. The combination of everyone helping out is a big reason they pulled out the victory on a night when the offense didn't help much. Now, the Ravens have a two-game lead with six games left. 

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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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