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Ravens upset Steelers: Five things we learned


Ravens upset Steelers: Five things we learned

BALTIMORE – Five things we learned watching the Ravens upset the Steelers, 20-17, Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium:

1. Ryan Mallett made a strong debut in his first start for the Ravens.

Mallett (28 for 41, 274 yards, one touchdown) delivered the ball quickly, played with confidence, showed his big arm, and gave the Ravens a jolt of energy. Several of Mallett’s completions were whipped through tight windows, and his fourth-quarter deep completion to Chris Givens could not have been thrown better. Mallett definitely earned the right to start the season-finale at Cincinnati.  Easy to see why the Ravens were intrigued by him, despite his off-the field issues that led to his departure.

2. The Ravens (5-10) have cost the Steelers (9-6) dearly this season.

Two of Pittsburgh’s defeats have come against the Ravens, and if the Steelers don’t make the playoffs, they will look back at this loss harshly. The Steelers had much more at stake, but instead of starting strongly and putting the game away early, the Ravens started fast and gained confidence. The Ravens have played hard through adversity all season, and this time it paid off.

3. Rookie running back Buck Allen showed his resiliency after being benched last week.

Allen ran hard (15 carries, 79 yards) and didn’t fumble, after being benched for fumbling the previous week. Losing Justin Forsett (broken arm) was one of many costly injuries for the Ravens, but it gave Allen more playing time, and he took full advantage. With Forsett already 30 years old, It is not hard to envision Allen being the Ravens’ lead back in the not-too-distant future.

4. This may have been the best game the Ravens’ defense has played.

Cornerback Jimmy Smith had a pick-six wiped out by a penalty, but did a superb job matched against Antonio Brown and the Steelers’ other receivers. Cornerback Shareece Wright was also excellent in coverage, linebacker Daryl Smith had an interception, and Courtney Upshaw and ZaDarius Smith also got pressure on Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Pittsburgh came into the game having scored at least 30 points in six straight games, but the Ravens kept the Steelers from making back-breaking big plays.

5. Forget about the Ravens having the No. 1 pick in next year's draft.

The Ravens will still have a high pick, but they won’t pick first, and Ravens fans should not be disappointed. They’ll have a chance to fill some of their needs from wherever they pick next spring.


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

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.


“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

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.