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Ravens pass rush in trouble without Suggs


Ravens pass rush in trouble without Suggs

If this is life after Terrell Suggs, then the Ravens and their 2015 season are in far more serious trouble than previously thought.

The Ravens minus Suggs generated virtually no pass rush against Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who carved up the Ravens to the tune of 351 passing yards and three touchdowns en route to a 37-33 Oakland win on Sunday that sends the Ravens to an 0-2 start for the first time in the John Harbaugh era.

And if Carr -- who left last week's game with a hand injury -- can shred the Ravens defense that way, is there any reason that Andy Dalton, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer and others on the 2015 schedule cannot?

Suggs' season-ending Achilles injury was sure to be a game-changer for the Ravens, but his absence at Oakland proved to be staggering.  

The Ravens decided against activating newly-signed pass rusher Jason Babin, so much of the edge rushing responsibility at Oakland fell on Courtney Upshaw, rookie Za'Darius Smith and Albert McClellan.

But none of them was able to generate much heat on Carr. Elvis Dumervil, now tasked to be more of a three-down linebacker with Suggs out, had one quarterback hit. Technically, the Ravens were credited with one sack, for no yards, by Jimmy Smith. But in fact, pressure was virtually nonexistent all day.

Sometimes, Carr created time by rolling out of the pocket on bootlegs, as he did on a 21-yard pass to Andre Holmes that set up a Raiders touchdown.

"You gotta bring pressure off the edge to get in the quarterback's face on those (bootlegs)," Harbaugh said. "We never were able to do that."

But plenty of times Carr just dropped back, went patiently through a progression of receivers until he found one. Give any NFL quarterback enough time, and he will find his target.

Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan did get to Carr -- about two seconds too late, drawing a big roughing-the-passer penalty on what proved to be the Raiders game-winning drive.

The Ravens and defensive coordinator Dean Pees have to go back to the drawing board, and quick. They probably need to dial up more blitzes, because the three-man pass rush was completely ineffective. They have already gone out and signed Babin. Now they need the players they have to do the job better.

"We have to face the reality as a football team that we're not playing well enough to win right now," said defensive lineman Chris Canty, who had no tackles. "We've got to fix it. We've got to get better in a hurry."


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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

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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.


“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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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.