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How Baltimore (literally) dropped the ball in latest loss

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How Baltimore (literally) dropped the ball in latest loss

The Ravens dropped the ball in San Francisco.

Yes, they let a winnable game get away from them --- again -- which has become a recurring theme this season. But this time, they really did drop the ball: At least five catchable balls fell through their hands; had they caught any one of them, another demoralizing defeat probably turns into a win. Instead, the Ravens fell 25-20 to the 49ers on Sunday to fall to 1-5, the worst six-game mark in franchise history.

It happened on both sides of the ball, too, and even afflicted the Ravens most reliable playmakers.

On the 49ers second possession, Colin Kaepernick's pass over the middle glanced right off Jimmy Smith's hands. Instead of an interception, the 49ers retained possession and hit a field goal on the next play.

Then early in the second quarter, Steve Smith had a third-down pass bounce off his hands in the end zone. The ball was slightly behind him, but the 15-year veteran has hauled in plenty of tougher catches. Instead of a touchdown, the Ravens settled for a field goal.

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Not long after that, linebacker Albert McClellan sniffed out a pass in the right flat and make a leaping two-handed deflection. The ball then bounced off his chest and fell to the ground before he could hold on. The 49ers kicked a field goal on the next play.

On the Ravens next possession, Flacco threw two passes in succession into the end zone, first to running back Buck Allen and then to Steve Smith. Both were well defended, but both times the Ravens receiver got his hands on the ball but could not haul in the score. The Ravens had to settle for a field goal.

"When we get down in there (in the red zone) we gotta score touchdowns," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "That makes a big difference in this kind of game. When things aren't going well for you as a football team you gotta make every play that's out there, and we just are not doing that."

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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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