A new name appears in the Tuesday Top 7 today as the Ravens roll on with a big road win at Houston. This week is absolutely the most difficult week so far to actually put the players in the 1-7 point order. Naming the 7…not so hard. Ranking them…extremely hard. By the way, who would have ever thought that XXXXXXXXXXXX (you have to read the blog to find out!) is the leading point getter at the 9-game mark of the regular season? Pretty cool, stuff, I think. So, here we go with the week #9 TT7.
7. Derrick Mason — Only had 3 catches for 41 yards, but his spirit and character were in full display after suffering a dislocated shoulder in the first half. With the team ahead and in control, Mason could have packed it in the for the day but he came back out in the second half and continued to catch passes and contribute to the offense. This is the kind of player Mason is – and the kind of player the Ravens need more, actually.
6. Ray Lewis — Both of those picks were balls your Aunt Betty could have caught, so I’m trying not to get so worked up about ’em — but INT’s are INT’s and Ray was Johnny-on-the-spot in the 4th quarter when Houston was pressing the issue to try and get back in the game.
5. Todd Heap — Yep, Todd Heap. It took until week #9, but #86 is finally on the list. Broke out with two TD’s and 58 yards receiving. Not bad for a guy that some fans said was “washed up” this time last week.
4. Haloti Ngata — I keep saying it over and over and over and over…the man is a beast. Got the early-game INT that helped change the course of the first half and was stellar in run support once again. He’s pulling double-duty now, subbing in on the offensive line during goal-line rush situations. He’ll catch a TD before the end of the season, you can bet on that. See ya in Hawaii, 92.
3. Joe Flacco — 15-for-23 with 185 yards, 2 TD’s and no interceptions. Efficient, professional and highly effective as the Ravens mixed the pass and run to near perfection. What more can you say? The guy is playing way beyond his years. Let’s hope it continues this week in New York.
2. Jared Gaither — He had an easier day than expected with Mario Williams out of the lineup for Houston, but Gaither was still a rock on the left side, helping the Ravens run for 162 yards on the day and protecting Joe Flacco and his 185-yard passing game. Oh, what’s that? Mario Williams DID play? OK, then…I guess that’s why Gaither is #2 on the list.
1. Willis McGahee — A huge day for McGahee boosted the Ravens in a big way, as he carried the ball 25 times for 112 yards — PERFECT numbers all the way around if you’re a Ravens coach…this game was why they brought #23 to Baltimore and it’s why they gave him $7.5 million to sign with them in ’07.
Year to date point totals
7. Haloti Ngata — 16 points
Jarrett Johnson — 16 points
5. Jared Gaither — 18 points
4. Terrell Suggs – 22 points
3. Ray Lewis – 23 points
2. Derrick Mason – 24 points
1. Joe Flacco – 29 points