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Rice defers to Flacco in Ravens' victory

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Rice defers to Flacco in Ravens' victory

The Cleveland Browns werent afraid of the pass-happy attack of the Ravens on Thursday.

It was the running of Ray Rice, who had 291 yards rushing in two games against the AFC North foe last season, which concerned the Browns most.

So they stacked the line of scrimmage and dared quarterback Joe Flacco to air it out. And he did.

In a light drizzle at M&T Bank Stadium, Flacco was 28-for-46 for 356 yards and a touchdown in a 23-16 victory. The Ravens have won 12 in a row at home and 21 of their last 22.

If you come into the game and your main goal is to stop the run, youre going to stop the run, said Rice, who finished with just 49 yards on 18 carries as he failed to reach the end zone. Its not hard to put a pencil on a guy and say, Were going to shut their guy down and make the rest of the team beat us. Thats what they did in the run game.

That was fine with Flacco, who hit Torrey Smith for an 18-yard touchdown strike in the second quarter and ran the ball in from one yard to start the third as the Ravens appeared to be on their way to a comfortable victory.

But their inability to move the ball allowed Cleveland to stay alive. While it is a winless team, it didnt play like one.

You hope they theyre all easy, but they are not. This is the National Football League. This is the AFC North, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. When you watch the Cleveland Browns on tape, you knew what kind of game you were going to get.

Rice worked his way into the passing game, getting eight catches for 47 yards. Anquan Boldin had his best game of the season, getting nine catches for 131 yards. He had 10 for 118 in the first three games combined. Torrey Smith had six catches for 97 yards.

The game-changing play came from the Ravens defense. With the offense stagnant late in the third quarter and the Browns driving behind just 16-10, cornerback Cary Williams intercepted Brandon Weeden and took it back 63 yards for the touchdown in what would prove to be the winning margin.

It was Williams first interception of his career. He was beaten on a 43-yard pass play that set up Clevelands only touchdown in the second quarter when Trent Richardson ran the ball in from one yard out.

The Ravens have played four games in 17 days, including on Monday Night Football and Sunday Night Football in high-profile affairs. Theyre looking forward to 10 days until their next game on the road Oct. 7.

We were fortunate to get (the three) games at home, so we didnt have to travel, Flacco said. Its physically tough. Its good that we came out with a win and now we can get a couple of extra days to heal up and get ready to play Kansas City.

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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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