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Jones ties NFL record with 108-yard return

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Jones ties NFL record with 108-yard return

Jacoby Jones took over as the kick-off returner Sunday against Dallas. He hadn’t returned a kick-off yet this season but gambled a bit and came up with one of the game’s biggest plays.
 
Jones tied an NFL record with his 108-yard return for a touchdown in the third quarter. That gave the Ravens an 11-point lead, and that played a big role in helping Baltimore outlast the Cowboys, 31-29, at M&T Bank Stadium and improve to 5-1.
 
The Ravens had problems stopping the Dallas offense, which gained a total of 481 yards overall and kept the ball for long stretches. But after the Cowboys cut the lead to 17-13 in the third quarter, Jones fielded the ensuing kickoff eight yards deep in the end zone and took a shot.
 
He quickly broke to the right, burst through a wide-open hole and nobody touched him. Jones quickly turned on the jets and raced to the 108-yard touchdown that tied an NFL record set by Ellis Hobbs (New England, 2007) and Randall Cobb (Green Bay, 2011).
 
“Honestly, in practice, we had one that hit the same way,” Jones said. “So I already had a vision. So, when I caught it, I found Anthony Allen, and he said ‘follow me.’ He was my eyes; he led me to daylight. That thing spread like the Red Sea.”
 
Kick-off returners don’t often bring back kicks that are eight yards deep, but Jones wanted to give it a shot.
 
“You just get that itch,” he said. “And I wanted to scratch it. So, I took it.”
 
That gave the Ravens a 24-13 lead with 11:24 left in the third quarter. It put extra pressure on Dallas because Baltimore had a two-possession lead. The Ravens held on for the win, thanks to a missed field goal in the final minute, but that kickoff return proved crucial.
 
Coach John Harbaugh, a former special teams coach, was very happy with Jones’ return and how it helped change the game.
 
“The 108-yard kickoff return by Jacoby Jones…We’ve been talking about getting a big play and breaking a play like that all year,” Harbaugh said. “To set the National Football League record for a kickoff return, in what was the difference in the game, was pretty special.”
 
Deonte Thompson handled kickoff returns for the first five games and fumbled last week against the Chiefs. Harbaugh and the coaches changed up and went to Jones, a move that paid off handsomely in this game.
 
“He’s a guy that’s got experience in there, that’s probably the biggest thing,” Harbaugh said. “He’s done it before. I know one thing, he wants the ball in his hands, so that might be as big a part of it as any.”

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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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