Coach John Harbaugh insisted he’d shift players around after the bye week, particularly on the offensive line which has given up 18 sacks of quarterback Joe Flacco which is five more than a season ago at this point.
He even hinted the Ravens might slow down the no-huddle offense.
He didn’t do any of that to start Sunday’s game at the Cleveland Browns, but the Ravens gave the ball to Ray Rice, who scored their first first-quarter touchdown since Week 2 and just their second touchdown on the road this season.
On the Ravens’ opening drive, Rice ran the ball six times for 32 yards, including from eight yards out for the score. In the Ravens' last game before the bye, a 43-13 loss to the Houston Texans, Rice only had nine total carries as Harbaugh admitted they abandoned the run too quickly.
Bernard Pierce, Rice's backup who averages more than 5 yards per carry, also got into the action early. On the Ravens' second drive, he carried the ball three times for 10 yards. He scored his first TD of the season on third-and-goal from 12 yards on a pitch back from Flacco.
With the Ravens in inside the Cleveland's 10-yard line, Pierce ran for a first down to the 3 but was called for a 15-yard penalty after the play. But he made up for it.
Pierce ended the quarter with four carries for 25 yards. Rice had 11 for 58.
Harbaugh’s change to the defensive line was out of necessity though expected because of a thigh injury to Pernell McPhee (thigh). His backup, Arthur Jones, got the start.
The Ravens forced the Browns into consecutive three plays-and-out possessions, stopping them twice on third-and-1 plays.
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.”
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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