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Five observations from Ravens' tight victory over the Jaguars

Five observations from Ravens' tight victory over the Jaguars

JACKSONVILLE – Five instant observations from watching the unbeaten Ravens (3-0) defeat the Jaguars, 19-17, to keep the Jaguars (0-3) winless:

1. The Ravens aren’t pretty, but they are resilient.

— The Ravens made enough mistakes to lose this game, but found a way to win it. Joe Flacco threw two interceptions, Devin Hester muffed a punt, and there were untimely penalties on the offensive line.

Yet, Ravens defensive end Brent Urban made a huge play late in the game, blocking a 52-yard field goal attempt with just over two minutes to play. Then Justin Tucker delivered with a 54-yard field goal, and Ravens linebacker Zachary Orr sealed the win with a last-minute interception.

2. Having Tucker is a huge advantage for the Ravens.

— Tucker’s game-winning field goal, one of his four field goals on the day, was another example of why the Ravens franchised tagged him before giving him a contract extension.  For a team that plays plenty of close games, Tucker is a crucial weapon. There was never a doubt on his game-winning kick as soon as it left his foot.

3. Ravens inside linebacker C. J. Mosley is playing at a high level.

—Mosley had his second interception in two weeks, making an acrobatic grab when he leaped high in the air, and tipped the ball to himself. He also had a batted pass in the fourth quarter that stopped another Jaguars drive. Mosley looks locked in and could be headed for another Pro Bowl season.

4. There is nothing wrong with Flacco’s mobility. 

— The Ravens’ first touchdown came on a seven-yard Flacco scramble, when he escaped the pocket and ran into the end zone untouched, after no Jaguars accounted for him.

Nobody will confuse Flacco with Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt. However, Flacco shows no evidence of being gun shy after last season’s season ending knee injury. He also had a six-yard gain on a quarterback bootleg. The knee injury is clearly in Flacco’s rearview mirror.

5. There is something wrong with the Ravens’ rushing attack

— For the third streak week, the Ravens couldn’t move the ball consistently on the ground.

The long run for the day was a 15-yarder by Terrance West (10 carries, 45 yards), but neither he nor Justin Forsett (seven carries, 20 yards) did much business. Melvin Gordon of the Chargers had 102 yards rushing against the Jaguars in Week 2, and the Ravens expected to have more success. It will be hard for them to keep winning against better teams unless their offense finds more balance.

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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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