It’s not that the Ravens played spectacularly in Carolina for their game against the lowly Panthers. It’s that they had players who made some spectacular plays to lead them to a rebound win, 37-13.
“You’ll never find another love like mine…” Lou Rawls. This could be the theme song for Ed Reed and Ray Lewis’ his career. We may not have or probably will never have someone like these two defensive studs in our lifetime. Cloning is possible but let’s just leave at that. The contribution that these two make to the Ravens defense, despite Father Time knocking hard on both of their doors, is incalculable. In the fourth quarter, Reed and Lewis had back-to-back interceptions that resulted in tocuhdowns. With his 50th interception, Reed decided to allow Dawan Landry in on the fun as he pitched the rock to him for a TD on the the return. On the next defensive play for the Ravens, Lewis intercepted Brian St. Pierre’s next pass and returned for a TD, thereby closing the game out.
Not to be outdone by their defensive counterparts, the offensive stars kicked in some milestones of their own. Joe Flacco, 24-31 for 301 yards and 1 TD, got his 51st TD pass tying Vinny Testaverde for the franchise record. TJ Houshmanzadeh got it in the endzone with his 600th career reception. Even better was that this TD was the second play from scrimmage giving the Ravens a fast start. Flacco’s favorite target of a year ago, Derrick Mason, got his milestone when he became the 13th player in NFL history with 900th receptions.
The final score suggests that the Ravens put a spanking to the Panthers’ hide, but that wasn’t the case. The Ravens stalled in the 2nd half allowing the Panthers to get within a touchdown when St. Pierre went deep on the Ravens secondary with an 86- yard TD pass to David Gettist. At some point during the season you would think that plays like this wouldn’t result in the following:
Opponent’s QB throws long dime; results in blanks stare; ball is caught by opposing receiver; suck the teeth, roll eyes, shake head with flick/wave of the hand and wrist at HD TV. Also affectionately known as “The 2 Train”
Unfortunately due to the ability of the Ravens secondary to give up the long ball and memorize the last name of every receiver that flashes past or in front of them, The 2 Train is inevitable every game. But this was not the only weakness of the Ravens defense this week as the run D went to sleep and let Panthers RB Mike Goodson (who?) run off 120 yards. Yeah, that would not be the third string RB, but the 4th! Yes, insert your own blank stare and start suckin’ yo teef!
Despite the Ravens inability to put this game away early in the second half, the milestones and records made up for some suspect play at times on both sides of the ball. A win is a win, no matter how ugly. But when does ugly get a facelift? Just saying…
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Written by Lea Anderson