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Which Ravens will follow in Ray Lewis' steps and be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

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Which Ravens will follow in Ray Lewis' steps and be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Ray Lewis will have his football legacy sealed when he's enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. 

The first-year ballot inductee will join Jonathan Ogden as the only Ravens players in franchise history to receive their gold jackets.

That list is destined to grow, and when it does, whose names will be added to the list of legends? Let's look at a few players who are worthy of consideration. 

Ed Reed

The Ravens selected Reed in the first round of the 2002 NFL Draft, and he would go on to play 11 seasons with the organization. During those 11 seasons, he was voted to the Pro Bowl nine times, was a five-time First-Team All-Pro and started 159 of 160 games. 

On the field, Reed had 61 interceptions for 1,541 yards and seven touchdowns. In addition, the safety raked up 11 forced fumbles and 13 fumbles recovered for 152 yards and two touchdowns. Not to forget a Super Bowl XLVII championship.

Reed will become eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019, and is expected to be a first-year ballot inductee. He currently owns the two longest pick-sixes in NFL history at 107 and 106 yards. It will not be long before Reed is joining his fellow Miami Hurricane and Ravens defensive star in the Hall of Fame. 

Terrell Suggs

Drafted in 2003 by the Ravens in the first round, Suggs' play has yet to diminish, even at 35 years old. In 15 seasons, the linebacker has been voted to seven Pro Bowls, a First-Team All-Pro in 2011, AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2011, AP Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2003 and has started 197 of 213 games.

Entering the 2018 season, Suggs has seven interceptions for 144 yards and two touchdowns, 32 forced fumbles, 125.5 sacks and 576 tackles. With a Super Bowl win under his belt, he continues to be the heart of the Ravens defense. Suggs has no plans for retirement, but when the time eventually comes to call it a career he could very well be a first-year ballot inductee. 

Steve Smith Sr.

Smith Sr. only spent three seasons with the Ravens before retiring, but considering the bad blood he has with the Carolina Panthers when they let him go after 13 seasons, he would likely be enshrined as a Raven. 

Over a 16-year career, the wide receiver played in 219 games racking up 1,031 receptions for 14,731 yards and 81 touchdowns. He also rushed for 387 yards and two touchdowns earning him five Pro Bowl honors.

Just in 2005, Smith Sr. was the NFL's leader in receiving touchdowns, yards and receptions leading him to win Comeback Player of the Year. Known for taunting players with his "Ice up, son" motto, Smith is the Panthers' all-time leader in touchdowns, receptions and receiving yard. In 2016 when he retired, the then 37-year old ranked 7th on the NFL's all-time list in all-purpose yards, 7th in receiving yards, 12th in receptions and 25th in touchdown receptions. 

Jamal Lewis

Picked fifth overall in the 2000 NFL Draft, Lewis spent seven seasons with the Ravens. Over his nine-year career, the Super Bowl XXXV champion appeared in 131 games rushing for 10,607 yards and 58 touchdowns. 

A combination of unstoppable speed and power, Lewis had his best career year in 2003 where he set the all-time record for rushing yards in one game and went on to win AP Offensive Player of the Year. 

Marshal Yanda

Drafted by the Ravens in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft, Yanda has emerged as one of the best offensive linemen in the league. Over the last 12 years, he's won a Super Bowl, is a six-time Pro Bowler, two-time First-Team All-Pro and has started 135 of 146 games. 

During the 2014, '15 and '16 seasons, Yanda was named a top-ranked guard by Pro Football Focus and was ranked 37th in the NFL's Top 100 Players of 2016. While he missed the 2017 season with a broken ankle, the 33-year old is making a strong case for one of the best to ever do it. 

Haloti Ngata

The Ravens' first-round pick in 2006, Ngata spent nine seasons with the Ravens where he started 133/135 games and was named to five Pro Bowl rosters. While in the purple and black, he put up 25.5 sacks, 282 tackles, 167 assists and five interceptions for 84 yards. The defensive tackle also had six forced fumbles and five fumbles recovered for 28 yards and one touchdown. 

Ngata was undoubtedly a fan favorite during his time with the Ravens and continues to instill fear in quarterbacks around the league. 

Justin Tucker

The once undrafted free agent has gone on to become the most accurate kicker in NFL history. 

Since making the Ravens' 53-man roster back in 2012, Tucker has made 90.2 percent of his field goal attempts, is 59 of 65 from 40-49 yards and 33 of 47 from 50+ yards. His longest in career history is 61-yards. Tucker has also made 100 percent of the Ravens' extra point attempts. 

In 2016, JT became the ninth kicker in NFL history to kick three 50+ field goals in a single game and is the first kicker in NFL history to kick a field goal from 20-, 30-, 40-, 50- and 60-yards in a single game. 

On top of being a two-time Pro Bowler, he is the fastest kicker in NFL history to make 100 field goals and to reach the 500-point milestone.


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With season on the line, rookies Lamar Jackson and Gus Edwards carried Ravens to another week

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With season on the line, rookies Lamar Jackson and Gus Edwards carried Ravens to another week

This was one of the most interesting weeks the Baltimore Ravens have experienced in a very long time.

Coming off three-straight losses and preparing to face division rivals with their season on the line, their starting quarterback was likely out with an injury, their backup spent an afternoon in the hospital with a stomach illness and job security was the buzz around town. 

But when the clock read one at M&T Bank Stadium and it was do-or-die, two rookies took their team and carried them to a win, literally and figuratively. 

In his NFL start, first-round draft pick Lamar Jackson was 13-of-19 for 150 yards in the air while rushing for 117 yards on 27 attempts.

All afternoon long we were in awe of his speed, and probably at times nervous, by just how confident the rookie was in taking the game into his own hands.

"I thought he played spectacular," head coach John Harbaugh said after the win. "I thought he played winning football. It's tough being a quarterback in this league."

"For a first-time-out rookie in an environment like that...All those operation things, I think, speak to his intelligence, his studiousness, and just his ability to run the show. And that's everything. The playmaking — that comes from God. He made use of that, too. Very proud of that."

Jackson hasn't been one to put his feelings into many words, and in the week leading up to his NFL start, the Heisman Trophy winner continuously remained humble.

When asked how it felt to lead the Ravens to a 24-21 win over the Bengals, Jackson said, "I don't know. Come out with a win. It was pretty good, I guess."

On the Ravens' opening drive, Jackson rushed five times for 46 yards while converting two third downs that ended with a seven-yard touchdown run from Alex Collins. The QB is so fast that according to NFL Next Gen Stats, Jackson reached 15+ mph on 14 rushing attempts. No other player has hit 15+ mph on more than nine rushing attempts this season. 

Plus, his 27 carries were the most by a quarterback in an NFL game since Pittsburgh Steelers' Joe Geri's in 1950. 

"I think he brings a different dynamic to the game. As you can tell, our offense looks totally different, obviously from when Joe [Flacco] is in. It's hard for defenses to game plan for Lamar. And I think that shows with Gus [Edwards] having 100 yards as well. It's good to see, and it's a great win."

That brings us to our next rookie speedster; Gus Edwards.

The undrafted free agent out of Rutgers put up 115 rushing yards on 17 attempts averaging 6.8 yards-per-carry and one touchdown.

"I've got a great coaching staff," Edwards said on getting his big chance and playing well. "I've got a great group of veteran running backs [that] told me to always be prepared, from day one when I came in here, they told me what it was going to be like. This game, a lot of things played into it, and you;you've always got to be ready."

The last time the Ravens had two 100+ rushers in a single game was December 23, 2012 against the New York Giants when Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce ran for 107 and 123 yards respectively. Today also marked the first time in NFL history that a team had a rookie quarterback and running back each surpass 100 rushing yards in a game, per Elias Sports Bureau.

For a team that had many daunting questions surrounding them just a week ago, two young bloods came out and managed to change the aura in the city of Baltimore, at least for now. 

"It's just a confidence builder to be honest," Willie Snead said on having a quarterback like Jackson. "When we were running the ball how we were, it just gives us so much momentum and a lot of flexibility to do what we want. It was awesome to see that today, and [we] look forward to keep doing it."


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What a rush: Lamar Jackson ran for 117 yards in win

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What a rush: Lamar Jackson ran for 117 yards in win

The opening drive set the tone.

Stepping on the field for the first time as a starting quarterback in the NFL, Lamar Jackson led the Ravens on an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown to get the team out to an early 7-0 lead over the Bengals.

In that drive, the rookie from Louisville did not attempt one pass. His legs did the work as he rushed for 46 yard on five carries. 

That was the type of day it was for Jackson. While his passing numbers (13-19, 150 yards, 1 INT) were pedestrian, the 117 yards rushing are what left the Ravens fans and the Bengals defense with their heads on a swivel.

Showing the lighting quickness that help make a name for himself in college and made him such an intriguing prospect coming into this year’s draft, Jackson was the team’s leading rusher in the much-needed, come-from-behind 24-21 win over the Bengals.

It was clear head coach John Harbaugh and his staff came into the game with a run-first game plan. Jackson’s 117 yards, along with Gus Edwards’ 115 yards led the way for Baltimore’s 265 yards rushing on the day. 

Jackson got the start in place of Joe Flacco who was sidelined due to a hip injury.

While Jackson has seen time on the field in various offensive packages this season, his first start and win as an NFL quarterback came at a crucial time for the Ravens as the playoff race is heating up.