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Ravens throw short, run for sticks

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Ravens throw short, run for sticks

Ray Rice’s game-saving, superlative-multiplying, instant-classic catch-and-run (there was a big discount on hyphens on Black Friday at the Blog Writing Store) against the Chargers on Sunday obviously stands on its own as a play Ravens fans will long remember. However, it is also the greatest example yet of the kind of play we have seen a few times this season.

The Ravens have been getting first downs — on third-down efforts, not last-ditch fourth downs like Sunday — when the pass is short of the marker and the success depends on the ability of the receiver to rack up YAC (yards after catch, though it is also sometimes used to indicate yards after contact).

When this play doesn’t work, you’ll hear the analyst on television say something about how the pass didn’t make sense because the receiver needed to get to the first-down stick to set up for the catch. The alternative is to throw it short and give your guy a chance to make a play to pick up the first down.

Rice’s effort on Sunday is an extreme version, but far from the only time the Ravens have played dump-and-run with him. The other Raven targeted in the same fashion in recent games has been wide receiver Anquan Boldin. He’s not the fastest receiving option, but he’s big and strong and capable of YAC-ing it up.

Of course, from now on, everyone’s YAC attack will be measured against Rice’s.

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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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