EXTRA, EXTRA, REED ALL ABOUT IT
Despite the Ravens opting not to make a play for ex-Raven Ed Reed, who was cut by the Houston Texans on Monday, the future Hall of Fame safety will make one more appearance in Baltimore.
It won’t be with the Ravens, but instead with the New York Jets and Rex Ryan, who jokingly said Thursday that he “pulled a hamstring” rushing to tell GM John Idzik to sign Reed after he cleared waivers on Wednesday.
Reed seems to have taken the Derrick Mason route to retirement, leaving Baltimore to play for a while in Houston, before eventually joining Rex Ryan in New York. Ryan has been known to go after ex-Ravens from his days of being the defensive coordinator in Baltimore including Mason, Bart Scott, and Trevor Pryce, just to name a few.
Ryan and the Jets travel to Baltimore a week from Sunday to play the Ravens in a game that will be a big part of shaping the AFC’s playoff picture, as the Jets currently are one game ahead of the Ravens for the sixth and final seed.
JIMMY SMITH: THEY GROW UP SO FAST
After the Hail Marry debacle against the Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday, where AJ Green caught the game-tying touchdown pass as time expired after it was tipped in the air by James Ihedigbo, some of the Ravens were in silent shock and disbelief.
Not Jimmy Smith.
He went right up to Ihedigbo and began cursing him out, much to the surprise of the other Ravens starters. Cornerback Corey Graham said he was shocked, and fellow cornerback Chykie Brown applauded Smith, saying, “It’s a good thing,” because it showed the Smith was growing up.
Ihedigbo and the defense ultimately got the job done, stopping the Bengals on a fourth down attempt on the first possession of overtime, before the Ravens eventually won on the next drive. For fans who have heard all season that the team lacks leaders after losing Ray Lewis and Ed Reed last offseason, the fire from Smith was a welcome sight.
“IT’S GAME DAY, BABY!”
The Ravens and their wives are developing a very odd sense of timing for having babies. Last Sunday, punter Sam Koch became a father after his wife gave birth to their first daughter, Gianna, just nine hours before the Ravens played.
Koch did not make it to the hospital, because his phone was on silent and he did not see his wife, Nikki, trying to reach him. All went well however, and Nikki is on record as completely supporting Koch and his decision to play the same day.
The circumstances are weird, notes Ravens reporter Ryan Mink, because the Ravens have been having game day babies all season. Joe Flacco’s wife gave birth to their second son on September 15th before the Ravens played the Browns, and Daryl Smith’s wife gave birth to a beautiful little girl late the night after the Ravens defeated the Texans (a game in which Smith scored a touchdown on an interception return).
It is worth noting that the Ravens are undefeated this season when they receive an addition to their family on game day, so although it may just be a coincidence, it could also be the start of a really weird tradition.
Perhaps there is a commercial for Bud Light in here somewhere. “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work,” after all.
IS THE RICE FINALLY COOKED?
Time is running out for Ray Rice if he is ever going to turn his season around. Coach Harbaugh said earlier this week that the Ravens are going to begin running with the “hot hand” at running back between Rice and backup Bernard Pierce, after Pierce ran stronger against the Bengals last week.
The Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson agrees saying, “I do think it’s pretty much now or never for Ray Rice, considering how porous the Bears front seven has been without Henry Melton and Lance Briggs and the poor tackling of much-maligned safety Chris Conte.”
The Bears have not been able to stop any running back the last few weeks, as Brandon Jacobs, Alfred Morris, Eddie Lacy, and Reggie Bush have run all over the defense that is ranked as the second-worst in the NFL at stopping the run.
It’s important that Rice gets it going this week, because the Ravens are in must-win mode if they want to have a shot at a postseason berth. After being compared to a child in a snowsuit in the last week, it’s time for Rice to shed the suit and finally break out.
Although, at this point, a “break out” may just mean gaining more than 45 yards on the ground, something that hasn’t happened in over a month and something Rice has only done once all year.