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Pick-and-whew: Refs' calls key for Ravens

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Pick-and-whew: Refs' calls key for Ravens

High on the list of the things the Ravens should be grateful for regarding Sundays 9-6 victory over the Chiefs: the presence of the NFLs regular officials.

Two key offensive pass interference calls went against the Chiefs in the fourth quarter. On the strength if thats the right word of how the replacement referees performed in the first three weeks of the season, its not unfair to assume the Ravens would not have gotten the benefit of either flag without a veteran crew working the game.

Both penalties came when two Chiefs receivers ran crossing patterns and one receiver picked off a Ravens defensive back. Running a pick is all well and good in basketball, but not legal in football.

The first time, on third-and-five from the Ravens 45 with 12:40 left in the game, Dwayne Bowes pick sprung Dexter McCluster for a 25-yard pass play. But instead of first down at the Baltimore 20, the Chiefs were pushed back to their own 45, failed to connect on a pass and had to punt.

A bit later, the Chiefs tried it again, maybe thinking they wouldnt get called for it a second time. With 5:24 remaining, on third-and-11 from the Ravens 15, McCluster and Bowe reversed roles. This time, McClusters pick busted Bowe open across the middle for what would have been a touchdown and, with the extra point, a 10-9 Chiefs lead. But the flag came down, and the Chiefs had to settle for a field goal.

And the Ravens could breathe a big sigh of relief and give thanks for the end of the NFLs lockout of its officials.

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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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