Ravens, Bears to open NFL’s 2018 preseason slate in Hall of Fame Game

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Warm up prior to the NFL Hall of Fame preseason game. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

CANTON, Ohio – The Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears will travel to Canton in August to kick off the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls. The Ravens and Bears will face each other in the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday, Aug. 2 at 8 pm ET in the spectacular Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

The Ravens are making their first-ever appearance in the Hall of Fame Game while this year’s game will mark the fifth time that the Bears will play in the preseason classic. Chicago has posted a perfect 4-0 record in the previous trips to Canton with victories over the Miami Dolphins (27-24 in 2005), Cleveland Browns (13-0 in 1990), New York Jets (20-6 in 1977), and Dallas Cowboys (30-24 in 1968).

Quarterback Joe Flacco throws against the Chicago Bears. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The Ravens and Bears will kick off the NFL’s 99th season in Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium that was featured among “13 Game-Changing NFL Stadiums” by Forbes. The venue is a major component of the $899 million Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village underway on the Hall’s campus.

The Hall of Fame Game launches the 2018 Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls and takes place two days before the recently elected Class of 2018 is enshrined into the Hall. Star linebackers from each of the participating teams – Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher – were elected to the Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility on the eve of Super Bowl LII earlier this month. The other members of the Class of 2018 include Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. The Class of 2018 will be enshrined on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky runs against the Baltimore Ravens.
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Lewis was picked, along with fellow Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden, in the first round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the expansion Ravens. He quickly established himself as a team leader with his hard-hitting and relentless style. Regarded as the preeminent linebacker of his era, Lewis was twice named Defensive Player of the Year. He helped the Ravens to two Super Bowl titles and was named the game’s MVP in Super Bowl XXXV. Lewis was named All-Pro eight times, voted to 12 Pro Bowls and selected to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s.

Urlacher was drafted as the ninth player overall in the 2000 NFL Draft by the Bears. Over the next 13 seasons, all in Chicago, Urlacher became the face of the franchise. He earned NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2005 after helping the Bears lead the league in fewest points allowed. A season later, he guided the team to a NFC title and Super Bowl appearance. Urlacher was selected All-Pro five times, voted to eight Pro Bowls and named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s