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Ravens-Browns observations

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Ravens-Browns observations

It wasn't beautiful, but it was a win. That's probably the best way to summarize the Ravens' 25-15 victory over the Browns on Sunday in Cleveland. That let the Ravens improve to 6-2 this season. 

Here's a few quick observations on the defense and special teams:

GOOD WORK IN THE RED ZONE-- The Browns were able to drive down into the red zone five times, but never scored a touchdown. Keeping Cleveland 0-for-5 on those drives inside the 20 proved crucial for the Ravens in this game. The defense got one big break when the Browns were called for a penalty that wiped out a touchdown pass from Brandon Weeden which would have given them a 19-14 lead near the midway point of the fourth quarter. Instead, they had to kick a field goal for just a one-point edge. That left the door open for the Ravens to rally and score the game's final 11 points.

DOING WELL ENOUGH-- The defense gave up 17 first downs and 290 total yards on a day when they bent but really didn't break. The Ravens wasted an early 14-0 lead, but the defense forced the Browns to kick just those five field goals while the offense sputtered for over two quarters. This was a game where the defense did just enough to help post a victory.

STRANGE DECISIONS-- The Browns had fourth-and-two from their own 28 with just under four minutes left -- and went for it. It was an odd decision because there was still about four minutes left with the Ravens leading by just four. Weeden's pass was incomplete which gave the Ravens the ball back and easily set up a game-clinching field goal. 

TURNOVERS-- Cary Williams and Ed Reed both came up with second-half interceptions which stopped the Browns on two of their possessions. Reed's interception late in the fourth quarter locked up the victory.

GOOD KICKING-- Justin Tucker kicked a 43-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter that gave the Ravens a 25-15 lead with 2:49 left in the game. That kick clinched the victory and improved the Ravens to 6-2 on the season. 

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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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