Game-changers RG3, Reed meet in Ravens-Redskins
Time to break out more superlatives. Robert Griffin III is about
to play another game.
”He’s unbelievable. He’s back there, he makes more plays than
anyone you’ve been around. He changes the game.”
Ah, but there’s a catch. While it certainly sounds like a
defensive player getting ready to face RG3, it’s actually
Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan talking
about Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed.
”There’s a reason people say he’s the best of all time,” added
Shanahan, adding a bit of praise that’s not even in Griffin’s
No active player has more interceptions than Reed. No regular
starting quarterback this season has a lower interception rate than
Griffin. The veteran ball hawk and do-everything rookie meet for
the first time when the Ravens (9-3) visit the Redskins (6-6) on
”You’ve just got to be aware of where he’s at,” said Griffin,
who has thrown just four picks this season. ”Just like he’s got to
be aware of where I am.”
Every Redskins game this season has revolved around the unique
challenge of defending a quarterback who can run the option with
world class speed, yet whose decision-making when dropping back to
pass is the envy of quarterbacks much older.
This week is no different.
”He’s making great decisions,” Reed said. ”He still has a lot
to learn, obviously. The offensive scheme that they’re running
helps him out a lot.”
Griffin is also proving to be a winner and a national
phenomenon, leading the Redskins on a three-game streak that has
them within a game of first place in the NFC East. His jersey and
cleats were sent to the Hall of Fame this week after he topped Cam
Newton’s NFL single-season record for rushing yards by a rookie
”We’ve got to contain him,” Reed said. ”We’ve got to get him
on the ground and not allow him to run, but that’s like telling
Superman not to fly.”
Baltimore’s reputation for defense has taken a bit of a hit this
season as opponents pile up chunks of yards, although the
statistics can be misleading. The Ravens are ranked 25th in the
conventional measuring stick of yards allowed, but they are eighth
in points allowed – and it’s points that determine wins and
Baltimore is in good shape to clinch a playoff berth for the
fifth consecutive season and could sew up the AFC North this
weekend, pending the results from other games. The Ravens lost to
the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, but they are currently the NFL’s
best bounce-back team, winning 15 in a row following a defeat since
their last two-game losing streak in 2009.
”There’s always a little bit of extra urgency after a loss, for
whatever reason,” Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco said. ”I don’t
know if it’s a bad thing or a good thing. But we are always calm,
cool and collected and confident around here.”
While the Ravens have a bit of a cushion in their division, the
Redskins have been playing in must-win mode since dropping to 3-6
last month. After a trio of intense games against division rivals,
Washington can now find motivation in winning the Beltway Bowl
against its neighbor to the north.
”This is for all the bragging rights right here,” Redskins
tight end Niles Paul said, ”because we see these guys, we’re
friends with these guys.”
That’s not a universal feeling in the locker room, however.
After all, it’s hard to build a rivalry between teams that play
only once every four years.
”We’ve got enough rivalries as it is,” Redskins cornerback
Josh Wilson said. ”We’ve got a whole division of rivalries, so I
don’t think we can accept any more applications.”
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