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Famous for his patented ball-hawking abilities, Ed Reed dominated opposing wide receivers during his 12-year career. Before he receives his Gold Jacket at the 2019 Enshrinement Week, we’re counting down the five moments that made Reed worthy of the Hall of Fame.
When: November 23, 2003
While special teams are often the overlooked level of the game, Ed Reed made sure nobody forgot how important it was in a Week 12 meeting with the Seattle Seahawks in 2003.
The Ravens entered the game at 6-5, needing a victory to keep their playoff hopes within reach. With less than seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Baltimore found itself trailing 41-24 as the Seahawks lined up to punt.
On the ensuing play, Reed charged from the edge and blocked the punt, bringing it back 16 yards for the score. The special teams play sparked the Ravens, who went on to score 20 unanswered points and win the game, 44-41.
Baltimore finished the season 10-6 and earned a playoff berth.
When: November 7, 2004
In a midseason matchup between two AFC North rivals, the Ravens found themselves up 20-13 over the Cleveland Browns with 41 seconds remaining.
With Cleveland charging inside of the Ravens red zone, someone of Baltimore’s defense had to come up big to protect the lead. Enter Ed Reed.
As quarterback Jeff Garcia’s pass was deflected into the end zone, Reed corralled the ball right before it hit the turf and proceeded to turn on the jets.
One hundred and six yards later — paydirt.
The touchdown play not only secured a Ravens victory, but also gave Reed the record for the longest interception return in NFL history… at the time.
When: November 23, 2008
Records are meant to be broke, but who better to break your record than you?
Four years after setting the return for longest interception return, Reed one-upped himself. In a Week 12 matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles, Reed picked off Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb and jetted 107 yards down the field for the score.
The defensive play pushed the Ravens lead to 19-7 as they would eventually win by over four scores.
When: 2008 season
Reed’s 2008 season wasn’t just defined by the 107-yard scoring scamper against the Eagles. In fact, that campaign saw Reed tie his career high in interceptions (nine) and returned a career-high three turnovers back for touchdowns.
The success of Reed can also be contributed to the impact of new head coach John Harbaugh, who joined the Ravens in 2008 after running the Eagles secondary for almost a decade.
As the key cog in the Ravens secondary, Reed led Baltimore to an 11-5 record and they made it all the way to the AFC Championship Game, eventually falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 23-14.
When: February 3, 2013
In Reed’s final season in Baltimore, he finally brought the Ravens to the top of the mountain.
Reed, along with the retiring Ray Lewis, led a Ravens defense that dominated the league on their way to a matchup with the San Francisco 49ers in the 2013 Super Bowl.
While the game will be remembered as the meeting between brothers Jim and John Harbaugh and the infamous “blackout“, it also will go down as the last time both Reed and Lewis donned the purple and black.
In Reed’s swan song with Baltimore, he recorded five tackles and a six-yard interception to propel the Ravens to their first Super Bowl win in over a decade.
Witness one of the best safeties ever to play the game enter immortality in Canton with an Official Ticket Package from HOF Experiences. Select between single and multi-day packages, featuring exclusive parties and autograph sessions, for the ultimate experience at 2019 Enshrinement Week.
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