Continuing with my top 20 moments of the 2008 Ravens season, it was much more difficult to pick my middle ten than my top five and bottom five. I would love to hear what you all think about these or even give me your top 20 as well.
You can read about numbers 20-16 by clicking here.
15. Lewis Ends Mendenhall’s Season – After Rashard Mendenhall ran his mouth to his buddy Ray Rice via text message prior to the Ravens/Steelers Monday Night match-up, Ray Lewis met him in the A-gap and ended his season early by breaking his collar bone. Mendenhall said that he was going to have a big game against the Ravens, who were tops in the league in rush defense at the time. On the evening, the rookie running back amassed a whopping 30 yards on 9 carries. “He said later that he was just joking, but it’s too late. Thanks for the bulletin-board material, rookie,” said Bart Scott.
14. Flacco Finds Figurs - After Derrick Mason injured his shoulder and the city of Baltimore was holding their collective breath, Joe Flacco found Yamon Figurs (who actually caught the ball for a change) for a 43 yard touchdown pass. This gave the Ravens an early 7-0 lead over the Houston Texans midway through the first quarter. Watching the replay, Flacco just heaved the ball up there and allowed his receiver to make a play, as Figurs altered his route and ran under the ball. Now if only we could get Figurs to catch the ball consistently and stop being afraid of contact.
13. Reed Breaks His Own Record – Ed Reed’s 108 yard interception return for a touchdown was the icing on the cake in the Ravens beat-down of the Philadelphia Eagles. Reed broke his own previous record of a 107 yard touchdown return, which he collected against the Redskins a few years ago. The pick-six gave the Ravens a 29-7 lead and ended Philly’s best chance to score another touchdown. It was Reed’s second pick on the day, and that play was the catalyst that launched Ed Reed into Defensive Player of the Year discussions, and eventually led to a unanimous selection to the All-Pro team–the only unanimous selection of any player and any position. Reed finished the year by having five two-pick games in the last nine games of the season including the playoffs.
12. Ngata’s End Zone Pick In Houston - Going back to the Lonestar State, Ngata’s end zone interception of a Sage Rosenfels pass ended the Texans’ attempt to tie the game in the first quarter. On the drive following the touchdown pass to Figurs, the Ravens found themselves defending from their one yard line following a pass interference call in the end zone. Rosenfels attempted a pass intended for TE Owen Daniels, but Ngata tipped the pass at the line of scrimmage. In one of the most athletic plays ever made by someone who weighs 345 lbs., Ngata spun around and made a diving catch in the end zone, ending the Texans drive and giving the Ravens the ball at the 20 yard line.
11. Lewis’ Hit on Winslow – In week three, at the start of the 3rd quarter the Ravens were down 10-7 to the Cleveland Browns. Derek Anderson completed a short pass over the middle to TE Kellen Winslow, and Ray Lewis made one of the best hits of the year, which jarred the ball loose. Chris McAlister found the ball in mid-air and grabbed it, giving the Ravens the ball at the Browns’ 12 yard line. On the ensuing possession, Le’Ron McClain ran in a one yard touchdown behind Ben Grubbs to put the Ravens ahead 14-10.
Check back tomorrow for the start of the Top 10 moments in the 2008 Ravens season.