Something special has been brewing for several weeks. There aren’t many scenarios where one player can be such a boost to a squad, but since Ray’s emotional announcement, there has been a different feel around Charm City. It’s a sense that words cannot describe. Something like what we all felt when Justin Tucker set up for a 48-yard FG.
I can’t provide a quote from Greg Gumble, as I was too busy screaming like a little girl.
Tucker drilled it, and the game was over. Earlier in the week, Ray Lewis asked the team, “What if we do the impossible?” Well Ray, it has been done. Peyton has fallen. The Ravens are on to the AFC Championship Game.
All in all, it was a team effort. But there were five certain players that contributed in the greatest of ways. At number 5, we have the man whose veins are filled with ice.
5- Justin Tucker: Ice, Ice, baby! Acquired in arguably the best move of the offseason, Justin Tucker replacing Billy Cundiff has paid its dividends. Tucker has had many memorable moments, but nothing will top Sunday’s thriller. With the 48-yard FG in double overtime, Tucker has helped Baltimore forget about that Cundiff guy…
4- Torrey Smith: Even though Smith was non-existent in the 2nd half, he started the trend of long balls. With his 3 catches for 97 yards, he provided 2 TD’s that not only aided the team, but Joe Flacco’s confidence. Torrey helped Joe Cool stay calm and collected throughout the game and let him unleash with poise. His skill-sets have proven to be crucial in the maturing of Flacco.
3- Joe Flacco: I have been one of Flacco’s biggest critics, and it has deserved. Prior to these playoffs, Joe had a very rough year and gave nobody any reason to believe in him. Boy, did he prove me wrong! I’m thrilled for Flacco and the real possibility of being in a Super Bowl. As Joe tossed 3 TD’s over 331 yards, he not only shut up the haters, but he played better than Peyton Manning. Flacco should be thrilled with himself, and he only needs one more win to be deserving of his “ELITE” money.
2- Corey Graham: Who would have thought that a defensive back would be the hero of the game? Corey Graham had the game of his life. He recorded two picks off of Manning. His first one went for six, but it was the 2nd that sealed his great day. He read an Eric Decker route perfectly and intercepted Manning to set up Tucker’s game-winner. After a day full of excellent coverage’s and perfectly timed INT’s, Peyton Manning will be having nightmares about #24 for a long time.
1- Ray Lewis: Why would it be anyone else? How COULD it be anyone else? Let’s be honest, Suga’ Ray has turned this team’s mindset from “we have a chance” to “this is real, we aren’t finished yet”. You can’t do anything but laugh at the people who say that Ray should be off the field and quit. With his 17 tackles, #52 is making more those people look more and more absurd each week. If the Ravens can keep riding the high that Lewis has provided, this team is unstoppable.