Sunday, January 01, 2012

The Top 10 Ravens Moments of 2011

Every year when the calendar winds down to its end, reminiscing runs rampant. So why should we be any different, right?

Earlier this week I posted a thread on our message board (which by the way if you haven’t seen the new one, check it out – without a doubt the finest Ravens community on the planet and I’m allowed to say it because I had nothing to do with it) polling asking our members their thoughts on the Top 10 Ravens Moments in 2011.

And they delivered.

Now I took it upon myself to cut and paste all of them which you can see at the link above. I then paired it down to the top 17 moments, gradually grinding it down to 10 – not an easy job. Then after assembling the 10 I ranked them. And here they are – in my opinion of course with a big tip of the hat to my collaborators – the message board members.

10. JUDGEMENT DAY ~ The front office taking the hard line approach to let go of some hometown favorites (Todd Heap, Kelly Gregg, Willis McGahee and Derrick Mason) in order to get younger and create cap space to extend Marshal Yanda and make strategic acquisitions in the form of Bernard Pollard and Vonta Leach.

I’M GOING TO KANSAS CITY ~ Joe Flacco connects with Anquan Boldin to seal the wild card victory in KC over the Chiefs to advance in last year’s postseason dance.

MUTE THE MEGAMOUTH ~ Rex Ryan brought his swagger and bloated bravado to Baltimore in an early season Sunday Night game and from the very start it was obvious that despite Ryan’s claims prior to the game, the best defense that night wore all black and from the opening snap they were on attack. Ed Reed on a blitz, sacks and strips Mark Sanchez, a play eerily similar to one back in 2004 against Sanchez’ back up Mark Brunell when the later was a Redskin. Reed nearly finished the trifecta by scooping up the fumble for a score but teammate Jameel McClain was there to clean up and score the game’s first points.

HERE COMES THE SPIDERMAN ~ Despite dominating the Jets offense during the aforementioned game, Sanchez & Co. were hanging around thanks to the struggles of Joe Flacco. The Jets forced a Flacco fumble and were ready to make it a 3 point game until Lardarius Webb picked off a Sanchez pass and returned it 73 yards for the score. It was the dagger the struggling offense couldn’t provide.

3 CATCHES, 3 TOUCHDOWNS ~ Torrey Smith's first 3 catches as a professional all went for scores and all in the first quarter in St. Louis.

REDEMPTION SONG ~ Anquan Boldin takes over and wills his team to overcome a 21 point deficit against his former employer, the Arizona Cardinals – the biggest comeback win in team history.

THIS IS HOW WE DO IT ~ On the season’s opening drive against their bitter archrival, Joe Flacco connects with Anquan Boldin on a scoring strike to set the tone for the game. The rout was on.

THE KILL SHOT ~ The Ravens have had the Steelers on the ropes in the past and let them off with devastating results. To start the second half in the season’s opener Haloti Ngata knifed through Pittsburgh’s interior offensive line to greet Rashard Mendenhall just as Ben Roethlisberger handed him the ball. The massive collision forced a fumble, recovered by Ngata, followed immediately by a nice waggle play the resulted in a Joe Flacco to Ed Dickson scoring strike. There would be no letting the Steelers off the ropes.

HARBAUGH BOWL ~ Who knows if the Ravens will be a host on Thanksgiving again in our lifetime. This special night was electric for so many reasons, not the least of which was the first ever meeting of opposing head coaches who are brothers. A special night, and a great defensive performance which included 9 sacks.

1. 92 YARDS ~ The Ravens trailed the Steelers at Heinz Field 20-16 with 2:21 remaining and 92 yards of real estate to navigate for the win. Despite the incredible odds and a history of failure Joe Flacco engineered the signature drive thus far in his young career. The exclamation point was a 26 yard strike to Torrey Smith in the right corner of the end zone. The Ravens completed the seasonal sweep of the Steelers.

Do you agree with our list? Did we leave any off the list that should be included?

Here’s to starting a new list for 2012 beginning TODAY!


Jerry B said...

Hard to argue with your selections, TL. Can't think of any other defining moments on the positive side, but the one negative that sticks in my craw, is Harbaugh's decision to try an onside kick in the waning moments of the Jacksonville debacle and his insistance in hindsight that it was the right decision! It's those things that have me questioning the guy's ability, notwithstanding his stellar won-lost record........