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Game preview: Will red hot Chiefs roll over Ravens?


Game preview: Will red hot Chiefs roll over Ravens?

What: Chiefs (8-5) at Ravens (4-9)

When:  Sunday, 1 p.m.

Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore

Watch: CBS

My five storylines to watch:

1. Who will play quarterback for the Ravens?

I’ve already said that I would go with Jimmy Clausen. But coach John Harbaugh left the door open for starting Matt Schaub after Friday’s practice. Planning for next season has already begun for the Ravens. Starting Clausen would fit into that way of thinking. I wouldn’t be surprised to see newly-signed Ryan Mallett see some action before the season ends. But for this game, I’d give the ball to Clausen. We’ll see if Harbaugh agrees.

2. Can the red-hot Chiefs (8-5) avoid a costly defeat?

Kansas City is riding a seven-game winning streak and is currently the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoff picture. The Chiefs know they can’t afford to stumble against the Ravens. The Seahawks didn’t mess around last weekend, blowing out Baltimore, 35-6. But the Chiefs can’t match Seattle’s explosiveness. If this game stays close into the fourth quarter, all the pressure will be on the Chiefs.

3. Will the Ravens pull any tricks out of their bag?

The Ravens should gamble Sunday. They are out of the playoff hunt. They are shorthanded offensively. Onside kicks, fake punts, reverses, and halfback passes should all be in play.

4. Can the Ravens’ secondary avoid another meltdown?

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw five touchdown passes against the Ravens, and defensive coordinator Dean Pees took some of the blame for his strategy.

“I think I put some guys in some tough situations worrying about Wilson scrambling, the run game, I guessed on a couple of things,” Pees said. “I guessed wrong, and we got hit.”

Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith does not throw downfield nearly as much, but the Ravens need to reduce their coverage mistakes, or they will have a tough time winning.

5. Can the Ravens’ offensive line deal with the Chiefs’ pass rush?

Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston (knee) won’t play Sunday, but the Chiefs are still fourth in the NFL in sacks. Playing his second game at left tackle, Kelechi Osemele and his fellow offensive lineman will face a challenge keeping the Chiefs from harassing whoever plays QB for the Ravens.

PREDICTION:  It won’t be as bad as last week for the Ravens, but I don’t see them winning.


[RELATED: Mallett's signing triggers other roster moves]

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

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.


“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

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.