We've already graded the Ravens offense after the 25-20 loss at San Francisco on Sunday. Now it's time to take the red pen to the defense and special teams. The report card, please ...
DEFENSIVE LINE: B-
The Ravens run defense was solid once again, holding Carlos Hyde to 2.6 yards a carry (21-55). Lawrence Guy led the group with five tackles and a sack, and Timmy Jernigan had a half-sack. Jernigan was back in the starting lineup for the first time in four games. Brandon Williams finished with two tackles and batted down a pass. He continues to be the Ravens most consistent defensive player by a wide margin.
Daryl Smith led the Ravens with nine tackles and a sack, but C.J. Mosley struggled for the second straight week. He has had some very atypical tackling issues. Albert McClellan saw some time at outside linebacker and batted down one pass, nearly coming up with an interception. But overall the group did not get to Kaepernick enough, especially on the edge, and didn't keep him contained enough.
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Shareece Wright was a disaster in his Ravens debut, but really, what did the Ravens expect? They took a player who wasn't good enough to make the active roster of the 31st-ranked defense and entrusted him to play 78 percent of the defensive snaps four days after joining the team. The thought was his familiarity with the 49ers would be an advantage, but clearly, the 49ers thought that as well, picking on him at will. He was badly burned on Torrey Smith's long touchdown and slipped and fell on another touchdown. Jimmy Smith was beaten deep by Anquan Boldin and had a potential interception clank off his hands. Adding injury to insult, safety Kendrick Lewis left with an apparent knee injury. Whether the biggest problems are technique errors or communication errors or personnel issues is up for debate. But it's been the same old story all season.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B
Jeremy Ross has been one of the few Ravens bright spots the past couple of weeks. He had a 41-yard kickoff return on Sunday. Sam Koch was outstanding, with a net of 51.7 yards a punt. Justin Tucker again recorded touchbacks on every kickoff but missed from 45 yards when the grass gave way beneath his plant leg. It was his first miss from inside 50 yards in two years.
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.”
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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