Let’s hop right into the top 10 moments of the 2008 Ravens season. Which of these moments are in your top ten? I’d love to hear from the readers as we finish this thing up.
You can read moments 20-16 by clicking here.
You can read moments 15-11 by clicking here.
10. Wild Card Win vs. Dolphins – The rematch at Dolphins Stadium…well, pretty much went like the first game. Led by their defense, the Ravens beat Miami in the Wild Card round of the playoffs to advance to the divisional round. Ed Reed broke a 3-3 tie in the second quarter with an impressive 64 yard interception return for a touchdown. He added another pick late in the game as the Dolphins were driving down the field which all but sealed the game for the Ravens. Reed and Co. forced five turnovers by Comeback Player of the Year QB Chad Pennigton–the Dolphins had only turned the ball over thirteen times total in the regular season. Most of us thought that it was a foregone conclusion that the Ravens would emerge victorious, which is why this moment didn’t break into the top five.
9. Cry Eagles Cry – The Ravens lambasted the visiting Eagles in week 12 36-7, highlighted by 24 fourth quarter points that left Eagles fans boiling mad. Of course, this was the game where the infamous benching of underappreciated quarterback Donovan McNabb occurred. After this game, the outcry in Philadelphia could be heard in Elkton. There were hateful calls to local radio stations, where Eagles fans attacked Andy Reid, Donovan McNabb, and the Eagles defense. Although the sack-happy Eagles got to Joe Flacco three times, Flacco still managed to throw two touchdown passes and didn’t turn the ball over. Le’Ron McClain had a big day, rushing 18 times for 88 yards and a touchdown. But the lasting memory from this game was the sweet, sweet sound of crying Eagles fans. What made it even sweeter was the fact that the Ravens were the reason for their sorrows.
8. Mason Mans Up – The win in Dallas was special for many reasons, and one of those reasons was the play of Derrick Mason. Still battling a dislocated shoulder that had plagued him since the Texans game, Mason played the entire game with one arm. Despite not being able to lift his arm above his shoulder, he recovered a Le’Ron McClain fumble that kept a drive alive and eventually led to a touchdown pass that would be caught by…guess who? Mason’s ability to perform so well with such a painful injury was one of the main reasons that Baltimore picked up a key win in Dallas. Mason put on one of the grittiest performances in the history of the NFL, as he had to come out of the game several times to get work done on his shoulder. And it’s strange to say that about a wide receiver, which is a position that is usually occupied by divas and cry babies.
7. Sunday Night Smackdown – The Ravens beat up on the Redskins on national television back in week 14 by a score of 24-10. Ray Lewis and the staunch Ravens rush defense held Clinton Portis to just 30 yards on the ground and forced two Jason Campbell interceptions and a Portis fumble. Ed Reed ripped the ball away from Portis, scooped it up, and returned it for a touchdown. I’m sure we all remember #20 back-peddling into the end zone after bouncing off several poor tackling attempts by the burgundy and gold. The Ravens rushing attack rolled over the Redskins, amassing 147 yards on the ground against an overrated Redskin rush defense. Le’Ron McClain led the way with 61 rushing yards and a touchdown. Hail!
6. Flacco’s Opening Day TD Run – Who would have thought that Joe Flacco’s first professional touchdown would be made with his legs and not his arm? Well Bazooka Joe shocked the purple faithful on opening day by scampering 38 yards down the sideline, and aided by some good down field blocking, dove for the endzone to give the Ravens a 17-3 lead. His numbers that day weren’t spectacular by any stretch (15/29 for 129 yards), but he didn’t turn the ball over and looked calm and poised in the pocket. It was too early to know for sure, but after week 1 there was definitely a buzz around Baltimore. “Maybe this kid from Delaware is for real.”
Check back later for the final five.