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Five observations from Ravens' 22-19 preseason victory over Panthers

Five observations from Ravens' 22-19 preseason victory over Panthers

BALTIMORE – Five observations from watching the Ravens defeat the Panthers, 22-19, in the preseason opener at M&T Bank Stadium:

1. A trio of young Ravens running backs looked good.

Terrance West (nine carries, 25 yards), two touchdowns) made people miss and changed direction on a dime.

Kenneth Dixon (eight carries, 46 yards) ran through arm tackles with authority. Buck Allen (six carries, six yards) accelerated nicely after catching a screen pass for a 19-yard touchdown.

Finding enough touches for all of these backs could be a pleasant problem. Veteran starter Justin Forsett had the night off. But Forsett saw plenty of fresh legs waiting in the wings if he falters at all.

2. Ravens linebacker Za’Darius Smith spent plenty of time in the Panthers’ backfield.

Smith had an impressive strip sack in the first quarter, picking up where he left off last season, when he had 3 ½ sacks over the final three games. Smith is lining up as a defensive end, rush linebacker, and strong side linebacker. But Smith looks ready to blossom as a pass rusher.

 3. Two names to watch are fifth-round defensive end Matt Judon and free agent linebacker Chris Carter.

Judon looked much better on the field than he had during training camp practices.

He was a sack artist in college, and Judon’s athleticism give the Panthers’ offensive line problems. Judon could find a role as a situational pass rusher. Carter has already been with the Steelers, Colts and Bengals, and he’s longshot to make the team. But Carter’s quickness as an edge rusher jumped out.  He did play in two games for the Ravens last season.

4. Neither Jerraud Powers nor Sheldon Price had a stellar night at cornerback.

After Jimmy Smith and Shareece Wright, the Ravens’ depth chart at cornerback remains very much uncertain.

5. Cornerbacks Kyle Arrington and Tavon Young left the game with injuries.

Arrington was being evaluated for a concussion. Young was having left knee examined. There was no immediate word on either’s condition.



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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

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.


“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

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.