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Game preview: Ravens season finale at Bengals

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Game preview: Ravens season finale at Bengals

What: Ravens (5-10) at Bengals (11-4)

When: Sunday, 1 p.m.

Where:  Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati

Watch: Ravens Kickoff (12 p.m., CSN+) followed by Ravens Postgame Live (4 p.m., CSN+) 

Five questions to ask heading into Sunday’s game:

1. What will Ravens quarterback Ryan Mallet do for an encore?

Mallet was superb (28 for 41, 274 yards, one touchdown) in his Ravens debut against the Steelers, but the Bengals have given up fewer points (263) than any team in the NFL. This is a tougher assignment for Mallet, and it’s on the road. If Mallet plays well again, it will make an even stronger case for him being the backup quarterback to Joe Flacco next season.

2. Can the Ravens avoid being punished by Bengals wide receiver A. J. Green?

Green has averaged 142.5 receiving yards in his last four games against Baltimore. In Week 3 against the Ravens, Green went off for 10 catches, 227 yards, and two touchdowns. He’s a major reason why the Bengals have won four straight against the Ravens. However, two factors are working in the Ravens’ favor. No. 1, the Ravens pass defense has improved dramatically since November. No. 2, the Bengals’ offense has not been nearly as explosive with A. J. McCarron at quarterback as it was when Andy Dalton was healthy.

3. Will Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert be a difference-maker?

Eifert (concussion) is expected to play after practicing this week, and his presence as a third down target could help McCarron greatly.

4. Will Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap wreck the Ravens’ passing attack?

Dunlap is third in the league with 13 ½ sacks, and keeping him away from Mallett is a top priority for Ravens offensive tackles Rick Wagner and Kelechi Osemele. 

5. Can the injury-depleted Ravens pull off two straight upsets?

Ending the season with wins over the Steelers and Bengals would be a nice way for the Ravens to enter the offseason. But the Bengals have plenty of motivation, needing a victory to have a chance for a first-round bye.

PREDICTION: The Ravens are playing loose, and the Bengals are coming off a short week after losing Monday night in Denver. I smell another upset. 

Ravens 24, Bengals 23.

MORE RAVENS: Week 17 'True or False' with Clifton Brown

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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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