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Five unsung Ravens who stepped up in their first victory

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Five unsung Ravens who stepped up in their first victory

The Ravens may have saved their season with Thursday night’s 23-20 overtime victory over the Steelers. Here are five Ravens who don’t always make headlines whose contributions should not be overlooked: 

WR Kamar Aiken

With the Ravens trailing 20-7 in the third quarter, Aiken ran a beautiful sideline route, and Joe Flacco hit him Aiken with a perfect touchdown pass to change the game’s momentum. This was Aiken’s best game of the season (five catches, 77 yards. He figures to be more important in the near future, with wide receiver Michael Campanaro suffering an injury and being carted to the locker room.

CB Will Davis

Acquired in a trade after Week 2, Davis was excellent in coverage as a nickel corner, even holding his own when matched up with Steelers star wide receiver Antonio Brown. Davis showed he could be an asset at a position where the Ravens could never have too much depth.

OLB Za’Darius Smith

The rookie got his first two career sacks on back-to-back plays, and had the first impact game of his young career. If Smith continues to make his presence felt as a pass rusher, it will have an important impact on the Ravens’ front seven, which has missed the presence of Terrell Suggs (out for season).

ILB Daryl Smith

He is simply one of the NFL’s most underrated players, overshadowed since joining the Ravens by Suggs, C. J. Mosley, and Elvis Dumervil. However, Smith was all over the field Thursday night, the game’s leading tackler with 13, including a sack that pushed the Steelers out of field goal range. Smith never seems to age, and his strong play never seems to fluctuate.

WR Darren Waller

He made his first NFL catch, and it was a big one –  a 17-yarder on the game-tying drive in regulation. With Steve Smith out with a back contusion, and Campanaro being carted to the locker room injured, Waller stepped up in a big spot. That is a good sign for a raw 6-foot-6 receiver with potential. 

MORE RAVENS: Ravens report card: Offense

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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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