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Unlikely hero Renner lifts Ravens over Saints on final drive

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Unlikely hero Renner lifts Ravens over Saints on final drive

BALTIMORE – The Ravens provided some excitement in their preseason opener, scoring a touchdown with two seconds left to pull out a 30-27 victory over the Saints at M&T Bank Stadium. Here’s an instant analysis:

Game recap: 

Ravens third-string quarterback Bryn Renner engineered the winning drive, an 80-yard march that started with 1:54 left, after the Saints had taken a 27-23 lead. Renner scored the winning touchdown on a one-yard rollout run, scrambling into the end zone with two seconds to play. 

Impressive touchdown drives on their first two possessions sparked the Ravens to a 17-0 second-quarter lead. However, the Saints rallied with two second-quarter touchdowns, moving the ball well once the Ravens’ defensive starters departed. By the fourth quarter, the Saints had pulled even at 20-20, setting up the close finish.

After a quick start, the Ravens squandered a 17-point lead. The Ravens’ first-team offense looked very good. The Ravens’ second and third-team defense did not look very good.   

Key moment:

There were several key moments on the Ravens’ game-winning drive. Rookie tight end Maxx Williams ran over a couple of Saints defenders after making a catch for a key first down, and backup wide receiver Tom Nelson drew a pass interference penalty in the end zone that set up Renner’s winning score.

Player of the game: Joe Flacco

Joe Flacco could not have been much sharper in his only series – 5 for 6 for 33 yard, leading the Ravens on a 16-play, 80-yard drive. This is exactly what the Ravens wanted from Flacco – solid work, and quick work. The process of Flacco adjusting to new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman appears to be going very smoothly.

“In the first preseason game, you always feel a few nerves,” Flacco said. “You really want to do well, because you’re not playing that many reps and you need to make the most of them. It was a great way for us to start off the game, to have a good, solid drive with everybody in there and feel good about it. Now, we need to get back to practice and continue what we have been building.”

Injury update:  

Here’s the list of Ravens’ in-game injuries:

WR Kamar Aiken looked like he may have suffered a minor leg injury, but did not appear concerned after testing it on the sideline.

Rookie NT Carl Davis left the field slowly in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed injury. 

CB Asa Jackson – (knee) did not return, although further details were not immediately given.

OLB Steven Means – limped off the field with an apparent leg injury and was taken to locker room. 

TE Allen Reisner - suffered a broken ankle and will undergo surgery.

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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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