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With Suggs, what's the rush for Ravens?

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With Suggs, what's the rush for Ravens?

In his five games back from a torn Achilles tendon, Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs has posted stats that have been modest by his standards. He has two sacks, one in his first game and another on Sunday, and no more than four tackles in any game.

But his presence has had an impact on the way the Ravens play defense.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, in the first six games of the season, before Suggs returned, the Ravens blitzed on about 40 percent of opposition pass plays. In Suggs’ five games, they have been blitzing 20 percent of the time.  And the difference has been evident in opponents’ average gain per pass attempt — 8.7 yards pre-Suggs, 6.0 with Suggs.

Less blitzing means more defensive backs and linebackers dropped into coverage, fewer receivers with one-on-one coverage, increased options in the secondary.

So it’s not all about a greater number of sacks — though the Ravens did total six on Sunday against the Chargers — but it’s about the defense’s comfort level for pressuring the quarterback without having to risk exposure in the secondary when a blitz doesn’t get to the passer.

Call it a Sizzle synergy or don’t call it anything but fortunate for the Ravens to have Suggs’ presence to help shore up what had suddenly become a concern. Though they have improved, the Ravens defense still ranks No. 24 in the NFL in yards per game at nearly 373, but they rank seventh in the league in points allowed per game,  19.9.

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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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