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Ravens report card: Defense, special teams

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Ravens report card: Defense, special teams

We've already graded the offense after the Ravens' 28-24 loss to the Bengals. Now it's time to get out the red pen and grade the defense, which gave up a late fourth-quarter lead for the second week in a row.

The report card:

DEFENSIVE LINE: B-

Brandon Williams might have been the Ravens best player yesterday. Against a strong offensive line he was a disruptive force at times and finished with a game-high eight tackles, including two for losses. Lawrence Guy, starting in place of injured Chris Canty, had seven stops. The Bengals have an impressive running back duo in Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard, but the Ravens held the Bengals to 2.8 yards a carry, with no run longer than 7 yards. It was interesting that rookie Carl Davis started in place of Timmy Jernigan, although Jernigan did play 36 defensive snaps, five more than Davis, and finished with four tackles.

RELATED: Ravens report card: Offense

LINEBACKERS: C

Elvis Dumervil finally notched his first sack of the season and it was a big one, a strip-sack that C.J. Mosley returned for a touchdown. Daryl Smith finished with seven tackles and Mosley with six. Courtney Upshaw remains a nonfactor as a pass rusher, and he had a potential interception bounce off his hands. Rookie Za'Darius Smith played 30 snaps in a hybrid rush role and had one tackle. Like Upshaw, he has not been able to get near the quarterback.

SECONDARY: F

A.J. Green destroyed the Ravens, with 10 catches for 227 yards and two touchdowns. Jimmy Smith simply couldn't handle him, but the Ravens problems in the secondary went much deeper than that. Rashaan Melvin saw his first game action and promptly picked up three quick penalties. Marvin Jones (5-94) had his way at times with Melvin or Kyle Arrington. The Ravens were in a zone on Green's 80-yard touchdown, and Green blew right by Kendrick Lewis, then broke a tackle by Smith. Lewis acknowledged after the game that miscommunication issues continue to dog the secondary. Poor coverage, poor communication and poor tackling. Add it up, and you get what is now the 29th-ranked pass defense.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C-

Justin Tucker suffered his first missed field-goal attempt of the season, a 50-yarder that looked off from the start. Sam Koch had a rough day, with a line drive punt that was returned 18 yards and another punt that was tipped. His net was just 37.3 yards. The bright spots on special teams included a fake punt by Anthony Levine -- which was successful only because he fumbled and then recovered just past the first-down marker -- and strong punt return work by Michael Campanaro (17.5 avg. on two returns). It looks like the Ravens have found their punt returner, since they can't afford to keep trotting Steve Smith back there.

MORE RAVENS: Five reasons why Ravens unlikely to escape 0-3 hole

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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.

MORE RAVENS: 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT RAVENS ROUNDUP 3.0

“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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