Jameel McClain on beating his former coach Rex Ryan
If you’re a Ravens fan, this isn’t how you want to remember Ed Reed. He’s a future Hall of Fame safety, and you want to recall him as he was in his final game as a Raven, playing his usual center field, around the ball as usual, intercepting Colin Kaepernick’s overthrown ball in the Super Bowl. Not this. Not a second visit to M&T Bank Stadium as a visitor and another loss.
Not a season in which his teams haven’t won a game. Reed lost all seven games as a Texan and now two as a Jet after Sunday’s 19-3 Ravens victory over New York. Not when he looks to be hanging around one year too long, though, to be fair, who among us would turn down the chance to make another $6 million guaranteed? So let’s not begrudge him — or any player, for that matter — for wanting to keep getting paid and finding someone willing to pay him.
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But still, there was something sad about watching him get so badly beaten on Jacoby Jones’ 66-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter on Sunday. Reed looked so lost. He had no idea where Joe Flacco’s pass was. He tried closing in on Jones, only to completely overrun the play and leave Jones in the clear.
"They had the wind at their backs,” Reed said. “So we knew they were going to throw deep. Jacoby made a play. He adjusted to the ball really well. I probably should have grabbed him and taken the penalty, but he was the one that made the play."
CBS’ Dan Dierdorf said what a lot of people were probably thinking: “What would the Ed Reed of five years ago have done on that play?”
Ravens fans know the answer. That Ed Reed would have located the long pass in flight, stuck to the receiver and either gotten his hands on the ball or nailed the potential pass catcher so hard that a reception was nearly impossible.
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In fact, in the first quarter, Reed, for just a moment, was that Ed Reed again. He went flying at Jones in the end zone, knocking the ball loose with a perfectly timed and placed hit that prevented a touchdown. But, according to NFL stats, that was Reed’s first pass break-up of the season. In 2012, he had 15 passes defensed for the Ravens and he has 137 for his career in 169 regular-season games.
So, even though it was in the wrong uniform, there is at least one image from Sunday that fits Reed’s legacy.