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Ravens set tone with first play

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Ravens set tone with first play

The first play of Mondays game against the Bengals caught the attention of many. Maybe because it was on national TV. Maybe because of the play itself.
But the Ravens sent a message intended or not with that play. Joe Flacco let one fly deep down the middle of the field for Torrey Smith, who outran the coverage to make a great catch. The play went for 52 yards and put the Ravens right into Cincinnati territory.
I think it was huge, Smith said after the game. It was big for us to go out there and hit a play like that early.
Everyone who follows the Ravens knows that consistency on offense and the lack of an ability to make big plays on a regular basis has been a problem for the last several years. Thats why coming out and rolling the dice and going for something big right away was interesting.
They may have been trying to tell those watching that things are going to be different this year. One of the criticisms of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and his group is that the Ravens simply are too bland and dont take chances.
They did on the first play. The stadium exploded with noise, and thats something the players certainly noticed.
We got the crowd into the game, and they got us going in the right direction, Smith said. We were able to finish that drive with some points on the board.
That drive stalled, and rookie kicker Justin Tucker followed with a 46-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead, and the Ravens never trailed en route to a 44-13 win.
Smith said the call surprised him a bit, but he just went out and did his job.
I had no clue. I just came out and he called the play, Smith said. I said OK, I better get on my horse. I saw the coverage, and I knew we had a shot at it, and we completed it.

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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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