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Defense tips Palmer's passes, hurts Oakland's air game

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Defense tips Palmer's passes, hurts Oakland's air game

Paul Kruger said defense spent time this week practicing trying to tip passes. Well, practice made perfect on Sunday.

The Ravens tipped six Carson Palmer passes, one of which Kruger turned into an interception that set up a second-quarter field goal as Baltimore rolled to an easy 55-20 victory over Oakland Sunday afternoon. 

Palmer has torched the Ravens before during his days with the Bengals and made a lot of good plays in this game, completing 29 of 45 for 368 yards plus two touchdowns. But the Ravens did a good job of pressuring him and making life tougher. The front line really worked at jumping up and getting in Palmer's face, tipping those six balls to ruin those plays.

"Six tipped balls," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "That is something that has been an emphasis for our [defensive] front going forward. I thought those guys did a real nice job in that."

Terrell Suggs again played well, and he knocked two balls away, destroying a swing pass Palmer was trying to throw. Kruger deflected a Palmer pass into the air and caught it for an interception in the second quarter which led to a field goal and a 20-3 lead. 

Kruger talked about how defensive coordinator Dean Pees also had been pushing the importance of trying to knock passes down.

"It's something Dean Pees has been harping on us all week," Kruger said. "We've been practicing it. It's a credit to the coaches, to just [make] sure we had all the little things in our minds. That really paid off today."

Kruger had a good game all the way around, finishing with two sacks and six tackles -- although one of the sacks came when Palmer tripped and fell while the Raiders were going for it on fourth down in the first quarter -- as the Ravens had players flying all over the place throughout the game. 

The defense turned in a solid performance that they can use to feel better heading to Pittsburgh next week.

"Having a victory like this is a huge motivator and confidence boost," he said. "Big win today."

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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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