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The view from Houston

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The view from Houston

The Ravens' 43-13 blowout loss to Houston was certainly a statement game on Sunday. The statements made included these: Houston is the class of the AFC right now, and the Ravens need to get things right in a hurry if they want to be part of that discussion for much longer.  Here is what some of the Houston media are saying about the game:

Jordan Godwin, Galveston County Daily News

 "After Sunday’s 43-13 blowout of the previously 5-1 Baltimore Ravens, it’s tough to deny the feeling that this team is poised for something special. ...

 The Texans were taking on the same Baltimore Ravens team that ended their first playoff run in the AFC Divisional round last season. Well, for the most part, the Ravens were the same.

 Baltimore was playing without 17-year veteran linebacker Ray Lewis, whose season and possibly career ended last week with a torn triceps. The Texans’ offense took advantage of his absence, becoming just the fifth team to score 43 points or more against Baltimore in 280 games since the franchise drafted Lewis in 1996.  After two weeks of sub-par production, the Texans were firing on all cylinders offensively. ...

 While the offense was churning, the defense was burning. The Texans treated Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco like he stole something. By the end of the afternoon, Flacco was sacked four times by the Bulls on Parade, threw two interceptions, 11 deflected passes and finished with a passer rating of 45.4."

 John McClain, Houston Chronicle

It took the (Texans) offense four series to get going, and once it did, it didn’t stop. ...

A lot of Texans had big days on both sides of the ball, and fans let out a collective sigh of relief after the slow start by the offense and an exceptional job by the defense.

“There’s no need to panic,” (Matt) Schaub told his teammates after the slow start.

It was the Ravens’ injury-ravaged defense, playing without linebacker Ray Lewis and cornerback Lardarius Webb, that should have panicked after Baltimore led 3-0 and crumbled in alarming fashion.

Dale Robertson, Houston Chronicle

"The second-quarter box score boggles the mind. The Texans had 11 first downs to the Ravens’ one. Their 29 plays from scrimmage gained 171 yards — 5.9 per snap — to Baltimore’s 32 on 15 plays. Ray Rice’s two rushes netted 5 yards, and the flustered, flummoxed Flacco went 4-for-13 with two interceptions, computing out to a 0.6 rating. That’s right, zero-point-six. And the Texans held the ball, as they’re wont to do, for more than 11 minutes."

Jerome Solomon, Houston Chronicle

"If you had any lingering doubts about this team, the Texans answered them in resounding fashion Sunday ... The victory sends the Texans (6-1) into a week off with the best record in the AFC and further along the path to an accomplishment that would be a first for this city. ...

Never has an NFL player uttered the phrase “The road to the Super Bowl goes through Houston.” Just two years ago, the Texans’ seventh game began a stretch in which they lost eight of nine games. On Sunday, they scored the most points in franchise history against a team that played in the AFC Championship Game last season. ...

 There is a lot of football to be played, but no doubt the Texans are working toward something special."

 Dave Zangaro, CSNHouston.com

 "Now that was a statement game.

 After an embarrassing loss to the Packers on Sunday Night Football at home in front of a national audience last week, the Texans put together their best game of the season ... The offense clicked. The defense clicked. The special teams' units even did their part. It’s the kind of win that should leave the Texans feeling good going into the bye week. ...

Joe Flacco claims to be an elite quarterback in the NFL. He wasn’t against the Texans. Far from it. Flacco was awful for much of Sunday’s game. He struggled early and often and the Ravens’ offense never got going. Flacco completed 21-of-43 passes for 147 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions."

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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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