Like Peyton Manning, Ravens safety Ed Reed isn’t getting any younger.
And despite his age, he is to be reckoned with. Reed, that is.
"I thought you said he was one of the best safeties, and I was going to correct you," Manning, 36, quarterback of the Denver Broncos who play at Baltimore on Sunday. "He is the best safety in the league and has been really for this past decade."
Reed, 34, is in his 11th season. Manning has rebounded from neck surgery that kept him out for all of 2011 and has led the Broncos (10-3) to an AFC West title by throwing for 30 touchdowns, just 10 interceptions and 3,812 yards.
Reed has played through torn cartilage in his shoulder as far back as Week 3. He has had trouble wrapping up runners to make tackles but he still makes can make plays.
In the first game of the season, Reed intercepted Andy Dalton and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown in that 44-13 rout. That return made him No. 1 in NFL history for return yards. Reed has 4 interceptions pushing him to 61 for his career. He also has 3 fumble recoveries, one at the goal line of a 9-6 win at the Kansas City Chiefs that kept the Ravens from losing their lead.
"(He has) unbelievable ball skills, unbelievable range, great hands," said Manning, who has been intercepted 4 times by Reed. "You can tell what kind of athlete he is by what he’s done once he’s got the ball in his hands -- returning (turnovers) for touchdowns. (He’s a) smart player. The list goes on and on."
Manning has led the Broncos to an eight-game winning streak, last losing 31-21 to the New England Patriots in Week 5.
The way the Broncos are playing certainly looks familiar.
"It sort of looks like Indy over there to me," said Reed of the Colts with Manning who went 7-1 vs. Baltimore since 2002. "You see Peyton on the sideline, he’s coaching everybody. That’s no different from when he was in Indy. So, I don’t see too much of a difference. I really don’t."