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These stats say: Flacco not so elite

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These stats say: Flacco not so elite

Who would have ever imagined that Joe Flacco would become so controversial?

Right now, somewhere someone is probably arguing that he doesnt deserve to be considered among the NFLs elite quarterbacks. The other day, that someone was Bill Barnwell and the somewhere was Grantland.com. The piece was headlined The Myth of Joe Flacco.

Barnwell uses a statistical model to opine that the strongest argument for Flacco how many games he has won has been built on the Ravens defense.

Joe Flacco's win total isn't really that impressive, Barnwell writes. Flacco's Ravens won 44 of 64 regular-season games from 2008 to 2011. By my count, an average NFL quarterback with a similarly effective defense would have won 42 games with that same defensive output. Flacco's winning ways, if you want to give him credit for them, were worth about a half-win per season.

Applying this model to other quarterbacks who have played since 1993, Barnwell finds, not surprisingly, that Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Steve Young and John Elway rank highest in what is sort of a simplified version of baseballs wins above replacement stat.

Barnwell acknowledges his model may not be perfect, but hes sticking with the idea that strictly using the Ravens record is giving too much credit to Flacco.

There are plenty of limitations to this simple metric, Barnwell writes. Perhaps there is something about Flacco's performance that is grossly underestimated in his statistical line and the defense's points allowed that makes him so valuable. In reality, though, people want to use Flacco's win-loss total as a measure of his level of performance, and when they do so, just about all they're reporting on is how well Baltimore's defense has played.

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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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