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Lewis barely cracks top 40 in Super Bowl player ranking

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Lewis barely cracks top 40 in Super Bowl player ranking

Here’s a case where the legacy of former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis might be underrated.

An ESPN panel ranked the top 50 players in Super Bowl history, according to their performances in Super Bowl games. Lewis was ranked just 39th among the top 50 players in Super Bowl game history, despite being MVP of Super Bowl XXXV, and helping the Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII in his last game before retiring.

Let’s look at Lewis in each game. In Super Bowl XXXV, the Ravens blew out the Giants, 34-7, and Lewis led a defense that cemented its place as one of the best in NFL history. Lewis was named Super Bowl MVP with five tackles and four passes defensed, and his numbers would have been better if the Giants’ offense hadn’t been rendered so inept.

Consider that only three defensive players in the last 20 years have been named Super Bowl MVP. Even if that was Lewis’ only Super Bowl, he might have deserved to be ranked higher than No. 39.

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However, Lewis capped his career in Super Bowl LXVII when the Ravens beat the 49ers, 34-31. Lewis didn’t have one of his best games with just seven total tackles, and he was beaten in pass coverage on several occasions.  However, he was part of a Ravens defense that preserved the victory with a goal line stand to end the game. It also cannot be denied that Lewis’ experience and leadership during the game’s key moments counted for something.

“The final series of Ray Lewis’ career was a goal line stand to win the Lombardi Trophy,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said after the game, via the Associated Press. “It was not perfect. It was not pretty. But it was us. That’s who we are.”

Lewis is in good company on ESPN’s list, sandwiched between Jets quarterback Joe Namath, ranked No. 40, and Packers quarterback Brett Favre, ranked No. 38. But Lewis, a current ESPN analyst, couldn’t crack the top 35, despite a 2-0 Super Bowl record and winning an MVP on defense. That’s tough love from his current employer.

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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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