While it’s about time to inject fresh faces and young talent into the Ravens line up, we may need to remind ourselves about the Ravens we loved in 2010. Here are the top 5 things that made last season memorable to the Ravens. Do you remember?
1. Haloti Ngata breaking Ben Roethlisberger’s nose.
This was my favorite part about the 2010 season, literally almost crying of happiness while this happened. On December 5, it was the second World War for these hard-nosed teams. On a 3rd and long, while the M&T conjures a piercing and obnoxious roar, Ben Roethlisberger takes the snap around midfield and drops back. On scanning for an open receiver, Ben gets a flying 300+ behemoth going for the kill. Haloti Ngata sacks Roethlisberger for a loss, and while the quarterback is still trying to figure out where that train came from, you see the red ooze gushing from his face. Next you see him lift up his face and see his nose as straight as a dog’s leg.
2. Josh Wilson’s game winning pick-6.
To solidify a place in the playoffs, the “Purple Ops” needed a win over the 5-6 Texans on Monday Night Football. While Ravens lead by 21 in the third quarter, Houston’s Matt Schaub orchestrated Peyton Manning-like drives of 99 and 95 yards to score. When Schaub erased the Ravens lead by hitting Andre Johnson with over 20 seconds to play, the Ravens knew they needed someone to step up. With the score even with 28 apiece, they went into overtime. The Ravens won the toss and elected to receive, but inevitably did nothing with it except pin the Texans behind the 10 yard line. With 1 down already gone for no gain, Schaub steps back, gets pressured by Ngata, and tries to deliver a bullet to a receiver to his left. Instead, you see a flash of purple coming across the screen and next thing you know, Josh Wilson, the cornerback, takes it to pay dirt giving the Ravens a win and a shot of adrenaline heading deeper into the Playoff push.
3. Ed Reed toss to Dawan Landry for a TD.
Ed Reed and his laterals. You gotta love them. Ed Reed picks off Carolina’s Brain St. Pierre and while weaving his way through an ocean of Panthers, he pitches the ball to Dawan Landry who takes it 23 more yards to the end zone. Simply amazing.
4. Ray Lewis’s spine shattering hit on Dustin Keller to seal a win against the Jets.
With the Jets having all off-season to talk about the first Monday Night Football game against the Ravens on the HBO show Hard Knocks, they almost guaranteed a win over the Ravens in their new stadium. What Rexy may have forgotten is that Ray Lewis knows all about Hard Knocks, both by remaining the most feared and dominant linebacker since 1996, and being on the show Hard Knocks when it first debuted in 2001. With 50 seconds left on the clock in the final quarter of play, Mark Sanchez makes a toss to the middle for his tight end, Dustin Keller. Little did Mr. Keller know that he was in “Ray Ray’s House” and before his athletic fingers can even grasp firm to the pigskin, the 52 bulldozer shows him how we do it in Baltimore. This seals the 10-9 victory over the Jets and shutting up Rex Ryan for about… 2 minutes.
5. Joe Flacco’s picture perfect throw to Houshmandzadeh for the win.
The first game in the Steel City for the Ravens in 2010 and all hopes are high. That is, until there’s 37 seconds left and you’re down by 4. Good thing we have Joe “Cool” Flacco on our side, getting us inside the red zone. The Ravens come in with a split back set. Flacco takes the snap with 4 seconds left on the play clock. The Steelers start blitzing and Joe does a pump-fake, and, shortly thereafter, he rips the ball towards the end zone and T.J. Houshmandzadeh plucks it from the air, putting the Ravens on top.
I hope you enjoyed looking back upon this wonderful season with all the destruction, mayhem, and innovative touchdowns only Coach Harbaugh could fathom. Next season with all the young guns primed for action should bode more earth-shaking hits, more death-defying interceptions, and more indescribable touchdowns. Hold on to your Todd Heap jerseys and rub Unitas’s shoe extra hard.