Looking back on the tenure of Joe Flacco in Baltimore

The Baltimore Ravens agreed in principle to trade Joe Flacco to the Denver Broncos in exchange for what is reportedly a fourth-round draft pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

The move comes as no surprise as the team makes their transition to 22-year-old Lamar Jackson as its next franchise quarterback. The move will create $10.5 million in salary cap space for the Ravens but will also include the team eating $16 million in dead money.

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Ed Reed elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019

For the second year in a row, a former Baltimore Raven has been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Just a few months after Ray Lewis joined Jonathan Ogden as the Ravens’ Hall of Fame representatives in August 2018, safety Ed Reed was announced as one of the 2019 class inductees. The announcement was made about 24 hours before Super Bowl 53 kicks off in Atlanta, Georgia.

The 2019 class, which will be inducted on Saturday, August 3 in Canton, Ohio, includes Reed, tight end Tony Gonzalez, center Kevin Mawae, cornerbacks Champ Bailey & Ty Law, safety Johnny Robinson, Broncos majority owner Pat Bowlen, and former Cowboys Vice President of Player Personnel Gil Brandt.

Just like Lewis and Ogden, Reed was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Players can’t be considered for the Hall of Fame until they’ve been retired for five years. Not all players nominated for the Hall of Fame get in on the first try, either.

Former Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome selected Reed with the 23rd pick of the 2002 NFL Draft out of Miami. Reed played 11 seasons with the Ravens, capping off his career by hoisting the Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl 47 in his home state of Louisiana.

Reed became a free agent after winning the Super Bowl when the Ravens decided not to re-sign the aging safety approaching his mid-30’s. The Texans signed Reed to a three-year contract worth $15 million, but he was released before the midway point of the 2013 season and finished the year (and his career) with the New York Jets.

Reed was elected to nine Pro Bowls and was a five-time First-Team All Pro selection. He won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 2004 and led the NFL in interceptions three times – 2004, 2008, and 2010. He holds NFL records for career interception return yards (1,590) and interception return yards (107). His 107-yard pick-six against Kevin Kolb in 2008 actually broke his own 106-yard record record from 2004 against Jeff Garcia.

Reed ranks seventh all-time in career interceptions with 64, right behind. Charles Woodson‘s 65. Paul Krause holds the record with 81 interceptions. Reed also recovered 13 fumbles (forcing 11), and scored 10 touchdowns (seven off interceptions, two from fumble recoveries, one from a punt return). In addition, he recorded six sacks and 643 tackles.

In the playoffs, Reed tallied nine interceptions with a touchdown. Pro Football Hall of Fame Baltimore presenter Scott Garceau of 105.7 The Fan brought up the following in Atlanta: Reed’s nine playoff interceptions ties an NFL record for the most in postseason history. The six players ranked ahead of Reed in regular season career interceptions combined for eight interceptions in 58 playoff games. Reed reached nine playoff interceptions in 15 postseason contests.

Even though the Ravens were known as Lewis’s team under the linebacker’s irreplaceable leadership, Reed was the best play-maker in Ravens history. He patrolled the secondary like a centerfielder and always seemed to know where the football was going to be thrown.

Whether it was the interceptions, the game-wrecking hits, or Reed singing “Two Tickets to Paradise” at the Super Bowl 47 parade, he will always have a spacial place in the hearts of not just Ravens fans, but football fans around the world. This August, Ravens fans will get the opportunity to travel to Canton to see Reed’s historic career be recognized for how amazing it truly was.

Image Credit: UPI

A look at the top five Ravens moments in the Ravens/Steelers rivalry

When the Pittsburgh Steelers notched their first win of the season on Monday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it officially became Steelers week in Baltimore.

In what is arguably the greatest rivalry in the NFL, the Ravens and Steelers will write their 49th chapter on Sunday night in the Steel City. Unfortunately, the Steelers lead the all-time series 27-21 and Baltimore will head into this game looking to snap a three-game losing streak in the series.

Ahead of this week’s game, let’s take a walk down memory lane and look at the greatest Ravens moments in the Ravens/Steelers rivalry.

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TJ Houshmanzadeh burns Bryant McFadden for the game winner. Image Credit: Getty Images

5) October 3,2010-TJ Houshmandzadeh wins it for Baltimore

In what was the Steelers fourth game without star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (who was serving the final game of a four game suspension for violating the NFL’S personal conduct policy), the Ravens found themselves trailing 14-10 with 1:08 left to play and no timeouts.

That’s when Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense took over at the Pittsburgh 40-yard line. Flacco connected with Anquan Boldin for back-to-back gains of nine and three yards to advance the ball to the Steelers 28-yard line. Next was 10-yard strike to T.J. Houshmandzadeh to get the ball into the red zone at the Pittsburgh 18.

On the next play, Flacco took the snap and pump-faked Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden out of his jock strap, allowing Houshmandzadeh to sneak behind him for the go-ahead 18-yard touchdown pass.

Ray Lewis and the defense put it away by intercepting Charlie Batch on the first pass of the subsequent Steelers drive giving the Ravens a 17-14 win over their arch rivals.

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4) November 26, 2006-Bart Scott rocks Ben Roethlisberger in Ravens Sack Fest

In what was the best regular season in Ravens franchise history, the best moment of that year may have come against the Steelers. The Ravens were leading 14-0 at the 3:30 mark of the second quarter and were in search of their ninth win of the season in week 12.

On a second-and-eight from their own 14-yard line, Roethlisberger dropped back to pass looking to get the Steelers back in the contest. Bart Scott came off the left side of the defensive front untouched and leveled Roethlisberger clean notching the Ravens third sack of the day.

Roethlisberger stayed down on the field for several minutes trying to collect his thoughts after the bone-jarring hit from Scott. It was one of nine sacks on the day for the Ravens defense en route to a 27-0 home victory. The game is one of only three shutouts in the history of the rivalry.

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Ray Rice Plunges into the endzone to give the Ravens a 14-0 lead. Image Credit: Getty Images

3) September 11, 2011- Ravens throttle Steelers in season opener

The Ravens and Steelers rivalry was fresh off of a 31-24 Steelers triumph in the 2010 AFC divisional playoffs. That was a game that saw the Ravens blow a 21-7 halftime lead with three turnovers in the third quarter to help the Steelers complete the comeback.

The Ravens didn’t have to wait long to see their rivals as they welcomed the Super Bowl runner-ups to town for the 2011 season opener looking to avenge that loss. The Ravens once again jumped out to a 21-7 lead on the strength of two Flacco first half touchdown passes.

As they sat in the locker room, Ray Lewis spoke loudly after his teammates compared the two games.”They were saying, ‘We’ve been here before,” Lewis said. “No, we haven’t been here before. This is a whole new year.”

The Ravens responded well this time when Haloti Ngata forced a Rashard Mendenhall fumble on the first possession of the second half. Flacco found Ed Dickson on the next play for an 18-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 27-7 and the Ravens picked up the two-point conversion when Sam Koch rushed it in.

The Ravens would pick up a season-opening 35-7 win over the Steelers in what remains the Ravens’ most lopsided victory in the rivalry.

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Joe Flacco celebrates with Crockett Gilmore after extending the Ravens lead to 30-15. Image Credit: Getty Images

2) January 3, 2015- Ravens pick up first playoff win over Steelers

To this point in the rivalry, the Ravens were 0-3 against the Steelers in the playoffs. The Ravens caught a huge break in the game with Le’Veon Bell missing the contest due to a hyperextended right knee.

Flacco and the offense got off to a good start in the game taking their second possession 80 yards over eight plays and capping it off with a Bernard Pierce touchdown to give the Ravens a 7-3 lead. The teams alternated field goals on the next three possessions giving the Ravens a 10-9 halftime lead.

After a Justin Tucker field goal on the opening drive of the third quarter, the Ravens notched a Torrey Smith touchdown after the Steelers were forced to punt to extend the lead to 20-9.

The Steelers cut it to 20-15 at the 11:01 mark of the fourth quarter but that was as close as they would get and the Ravens triumphed 30-17 for their first postseason win against the Steelers.

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Image Credit: USA Today

1) November 6, 2011- Flacco’s finest drive leads Ravens over Steelers

Ravens trail 20-16. 2:24 left to play. Flacco and the offense take over at their own eight-yard line.

No words can do this drive justice. Enjoy:

The win put the Ravens in a first place tie with the Bengals atop the AFC North. This drive is the best drive I have ever seen from a Ravens quarterback. This win also completed a season sweep of the Steelers which helped the Ravens with the AFC North and secure a home playoff game.

As Steelers week is upon us what are your favorite memories from the rivalry?

Image Credit: WNST