Matt Elam’s interception gets him off the hook

AP

Ravens rookie safety Matt Elam made himself the center of attention last week.

Fortunately, he was in the middle of one of the biggest plays of last night’s win, so he didn’t have to walk home.

Elam’s fourth-quarter interception took him off the hook for his semi-taunting of Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, a move which earned him the scorn of teammates and coaches alike.

No disrespect to Megatron, I didn’t mean it that way,” Elam said, via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “I just feel like it’s Monday night, everybody is watching. You’re going to give your best game anyway. It shouldn’t be somebody calling somebody out to play a good game. You’re going to play a good game anyway because it’s Monday night and everybody’s watching and you want to win.

“He’s one of the greatest receivers in the game. I have no disrespect for him. It was just my competitive spirit. I just want to win.”

At least he did something about it. Whatever his intent, firing up one of the best players in the game wasn’t a wise move.

And early in the game, it looked like he was going to pay for it, via karma. He was flagged for unnecessary roughness for hitting a sliding Matthew Stafford on a third down, and then missed a tackle in the open field that gave the Lions another first down en route to a touchdown.

But the late pick erased all those memories.

“I’m very proud of Matt,” cornerback Lardarius Webb said. “After he made those comments, the guys were messing with him, teasing him a little bit. You could tell by how he was focused this week, he was into it, so I knew he was going to have a big game.

“He was just trying to back up his words. I’m just so proud of him that the pick landed in his hands to end that game, to let him know that he’s here, that he’s a part of it. He needs to be known.”

For something other than his mouth, at least.

72 responses to “Matt Elam’s interception gets him off the hook

  1. That roughing call was both ticky-tack, and it wasn’t even Elam. It was the other guy coming in who contacted Stafford’s head. They got the call wrong. Then they miss the hit to Flacco’s leg. But then they also missed the arm bar on web. Thank you refs. In all my years of being a Ravens fan, (all of them) I’ve never seen the Ravens be the beneficiaries of so many blown or non-calls as the last two weeks. Phew… nice for a change after years of Pittsburgh and NE fiascoes.

  2. I believe the “hit” on Stafford was incidental and not worthy of the yellow flag; however, the helmet hit on Flacco should have drawn the flag.

    It is true the refs didn’t have a stellar performance in primetime; the pass interference non-call in the end zone was a prime example. But really? Were these refs any different than they have ben all year?

  3. It was not wise for him to say those things but it did end up being surprisingly true that the Ravens were pretty physical with Megatron and it seemed to affect him a few times.

  4. Let’s play a game: Find the Elite QB. One QB is elite; the others are not. Find the elite QBs numbers from this week.

    QB1: 30/48, 428 yds, 3 TDs, 1 INTs
    QB2: 26/35, 382 yds, 2 TDs, 1 INTs
    QB3: 20/38, 222 yds, 0 TDs, 0 INTs
    QB4: 25/37, 312 yds, 3 TDs, 0 INTs

    If you picked QB3, you found the Flacco! Sorry Foles, Cassel and Tannehill, you just aren’t elite.

    Thumb up if you won; thumb down if you lost.

  5. I continue to find it laughable how overplayed the “bulletin board material” angle is played in this situation. If it takes a rookie safety spouting off at the mouth to get CJ fired up for what was essentially a must-win game for the Lions, then Calvin has much bigger problems on his hands. The “sleeping giant” should’ve already been awake….

  6. Holy crap have the Lions screwed the pooch on this gift-wrapped this NFCN title opportunity (and yes I know my team sucks).

  7. Well I will say that CJ almost never gets into that kind of public trash talk, but Elam got to him and he got him to say something and start playing around with him and talking back. I think CJ is feeling a little pressure due to the pressure the team feels and I think that affected him ever so slightly and could have put him off his game just a tad. He dropped a couple balls although Stafford didn’t make it easy for him on some of those, but this was unlike CJ and well if you can talk trash and not get burned from it, then you win that round. Elam won that round, and the Lions had no answer for him.

  8. Jerry Jones made a massive mistake in the last draft. He passed on every safety available, including Elam to draft a center. That’s why they give up 600 yards a game. This kid is good

  9. I love how people pick apart flacco’s numbers and then compare him to bad QBs. Just look at the wins / losses, then playoff appearances, then playoff wins and then go a step further and look at Super Bowl wins and Super Bowl MVPs and after all that, make your dumb comparison.

    All Flacco does is win……

    Period.

  10. I think Elam did fine even before the interception. SOMETHING or SOMEONE got into Megatron’s head because he was not himself. And he DID look old getting up after every Ravens hit…or the Ravens are just THAT good, because you know it when they hut you.

    As for the calls, MNF was making a big deal about the Ravens getting favorable calls…which may even be true now. But that only means that we have finally reached the NFL elite, like the Squealers, Pats, etc. And I still think we would be called if our coach was on the field trying to trip a kick-returner. We also would have been called for hitting a QB the way Flacco was.

    The refs can’t see everything, but I’m more upset about the calls they make that aren’t that bad…like the “facemask” on the Lions defender. And there was another one on the Lions right after that. Missed calls are one thing, but made-up calls are worse. Like Gruden said, let them play.

  11. Elam should switch to place-holder for job security. Who needs defense when you have the scoring machine of 3-Pt Tucker.

  12. Ah yes, the jealous haters going to the ELITE well again. Dig deeper friends, you need something to sink your teeth into while your’re watching the Ravens in the post season every year.

  13. Megatron’s third-down drop in the first quarter with no one around him and Stafford putting it perfectly in his breadbasket was one of the worst drops I’ve ever seen. He followed it up with at least one other easy drop later in the game. Very strange night for him.

  14. yyyass says:
    Dec 17, 2013 10:26 AM
    In all my years of being a Ravens fan, (all of them) I’ve never seen the Ravens be the beneficiaries of so many blown or non-calls as the last two weeks.
    ___________________________________

    Please see XLVII, Super Bowl.

  15. “thegenoatkinsdiet says: Dec 17, 2013 10:52 AM

    Let’s play a game: Find the Elite QB. One QB is elite; the others are not. Find the elite QBs numbers from this week.

    QB1: 30/48, 428 yds, 3 TDs, 1 INTs
    QB2: 26/35, 382 yds, 2 TDs, 1 INTs
    QB3: 20/38, 222 yds, 0 TDs, 0 INTs
    QB4: 25/37, 312 yds, 3 TDs, 0 INTs

    If you picked QB3, you found the Flacco! Sorry Foles, Cassel and Tannehill, you just aren’t elite.

    Thumb up if you won; thumb down if you lost.”

    Of that same list how many of those QB’s have gone to the playoffs 5 seasons in a row (going on a 6th) and won a superbowl while being the superbowl MVP? You just found Joe Flacco! Sorry Foles, Cassel, and Tannehill, YOU JUST AREN’T ELITE!

  16. Elam did not make himself the center of attention last week, it was media who took a small comment out of the context in an effort to generate attention (and web page views). His actual overall comments, if you read them, made clear the respect he had for Johnson.

    He is a rookie, so perhaps he does not realize how the media likes to do this, and next time he can be more careful not to provide anything for the media to grab onto. But this one is not on him.

  17. Narrow the goal post! No game should ever be decided by a kicker! Absolutely awful! Kickers all through the nfl dont Miss anymore! A game should never be decided by that! Flacco had 0 tds. So glad they overpaid that bum!

  18. coachjohnharbaugh:

    Champions of a SB only because of the Refs. And the Ravens got a lot of favorable calls and non-calls in that game. But us Lions are used to getting shafted by the zebras, they don’t like lions. It’s ok though, we didn’t deserve to win anyhow, but we should have won the game if we actually came into it wanting it bad enough.

  19. Lions are a joke.

    They didn’t lose the division to the Bears, Packers, or Vikings. They lost to themselves.

    I said it years ago and I say it again. They’re coached by an undisciplined HC and they act like it. I’m surprised Schwartz didn’t sock Harbaugh thinking he was his brother.

    That team is a championship football team. There is no way you have a QB who has thrown for that many yards and have the best receiver in football and continuously lose like this.

    That D-line is overrated too. Even the D-coordinator knows it. That’s why he blitzed so much and ran stunts. He knew the front 4 wasn’t going to get the pressure they needed.

  20. thegenoatkinsdiet says: Dec 17, 2013 10:52 AM

    Let’s play a game: Find the Elite QB. One QB is elite; the others are not. Find the elite QBs numbers from this week.

    ——-

    Yeah but your team, the Bengals, lost. Ravens won. Isn’t that the more important statistic?

  21. It is time for Schwartz to go. However, ee don’t need Lovie. Stafford needs a HC who can talk him down or at the very least actually talk to him after one of those INTs. I remember Holmgren saying this to Brett Favre after an INT: “Did you see what happened there? Don’t do that again!” Stafford needs it. This team needs it.

  22. No doubt Megatron was off his game but for all of you that think it was due to what Elam said do you remember earlier in the season when Dez Bryant said he was as good as Johnson the week they played them and Johnson proceeded to have over 300 yards receiving? Point being is that I highly doubt 1 player is going to get in his head much less a rookie safety.

  23. The strategy expert, really?!?! Are you forgetting the mysterious power outage that allowed the 49ers back into the game??? The only reason we won the Super Bowl is because of the refs???? It didn’t count that we beat NE in foxboro? It doesn’t count that we beat Denver at mile high??? It didn’t matter that we ran it up on San Fran before the power outage??? All refs huh???

  24. I wish they would’ve included the 32 “you know what I’m sayin’?” Phrases that were actually part of the quote. I seriously think we have a new “Elam Interview” drinking game.

  25. So players just don’t respond well to playoff-like pressure no matter how dominant they are otherwise. It is what it is. Maybe its nerves.

    Peyton Manning
    Matt Ryan

    Maybe you can add Calvin Johnson to that list. He is a beast usually though, much like Peyton.

  26. Sore losers love to latch onto the bad calls that benefited the winning team, and ignore the bad calls that benefited the losing team.

    They also often ignore the fact that the game is 60 minutes long, and not decided on any one play.

    The Lions proved that they ARE a dirty d-line with that shot at Flacco’s knee that was not flagged and killed a drive that surely would have ended with at least a Tucker field goal.

    Quit whining.

  27. Not just the drops… Calvin took a beating,
    physically last night too. I thought at one point,
    he looked “woozy”.

    I was thinking concussion, but they never even
    looked like they checked him for one?

  28. bigbenownsthenfl Reed hooked us up many of times over the years. Keep the goal posts the same. If we could handled a snap we would have had our kicker win it for us this year too. I’d rather get rid of all PI except for flagrant holding and not playing the ball.

  29. “thestrategyexpert says: Dec 17, 2013 11:31 AM

    coachjohnharbaugh:

    Champions of a SB only because of the Refs. And the Ravens got a lot of favorable calls and non-calls in that game. But us Lions are used to getting shafted by the zebras, they don’t like lions. It’s ok though, we didn’t deserve to win anyhow, but we should have won the game if we actually came into it wanting it bad enough.”

    This is coming from the team who in a game against the Ravens about 5 years ago had 2 penalties called against them (the Lions) and I think it was 26 called against the Ravens. It was in the 20’s I remember that. The last one being Kevin Johnson (who is about as quiet as they come) picking up the last flag that was thrown and throwing it back off the field and telling the officials, “Now you finally have something to call a penalty on.”

    Was there bad officiating last night? Yes. There has been all season long. But the officials didn’t make Stafford throw 3 INT last night.

  30. CJ is 6’5″ and Stafford was over-throwing him all night long.
    Stafford is the reason they lost.
    Even when he does get it to his receivers, the ball has too much movement on it because of his delivery.
    CJ on the Ravens would be INSANE!

  31. Elam is pretty good anyway, so I don’t know why people were overblowing this nonsense. The Lions are circling the drain and are now out of control of their own destiny, in other words, no bulletin board material should have been needed. People keep bringing up when the Cowboys said similar remarks. Big difference, their defense sucks, the Ravens do not, even with replacing as many starters as they had to this year. They’re hitting their stride again as the heartbeat of that team. It’s the Raven offensive line that is probably going to be their downfall because they can’t run and give up way too many sacks while it was the unexpected strength of that team during their Super Bowl run last January.

  32. ravensdominate:

    Forget the 49ers game! They shouldn’t have MADE IT TO THE SUPER BOWL! The Refs got them there, unfairly and unjustified! They had no business playing in the game!

    It does NOT count if you win MOST of the playoff games, you have to win them ALL! The Refs created a victory opportunity for them that should not have existed!

  33. The strategy expert, really?!?! Are you forgetting the mysterious power outage that allowed the 49ers back into the game??? The only reason we won the Super Bowl is because of the refs???? It didn’t count that we beat NE in foxboro? It doesn’t count that we beat Denver at mile high??? It didn’t matter that we ran it up on San Fran before the power outage??? All refs huh???
    ==============
    Valid points….and there was that HGH for Suggs’ achilles and Deer Antler Srpay for the “look at me while I dance” team player LB. So yes…the refs weren’t the only reason

  34. thewhitehorsegeneral:

    Not sure what you mean there. I was complaining about the Refs helping BAL win a SB. I already stated that the Refs helping BAL last night wasn’t enough as an excuse for the Lions. And I have blamed Stafford for all of our losses, he’s usually the #1 contributor to the loss more than any other player. It’s very unusual to see any Lion play so bad that can rise above the negatives that Stafford creates. But that’s going to be the same case with any team, it’s hard to find a player more to blame if the QB plays poorly. Stafford is consistently a poor player. And paid ridiculously beyond his contributions, and that hurts the rest of the team.

    I’m not confused in the slightest as to why the Lions lost! The Lions and their coaches and managers and the Owner are the people who can’t figure out why we lose!

  35. Elam had many great plays last night, he was faking two deep and then running to the line to stop the run and break up short passes. The interception was the least impressive thing he did.

    Also, if you’re in here arguing whether or not a team “deserved” to win you are stupid and wasting the precious time you have on this planet

  36. Let’s Not Forget… If baltimore didn’t get a break from that blind referee (on the wrist grab in the endzone)…. a 61 yard field goal doesn’t win it.

  37. What about the obvious blow to Flaccos knees that should have been a personal foul and put the ravens in scoring position but wasn’t called?

    Or the ticky tack BS personal foul called they called for Stafford which led to the Lions opening TD?

    Bad calls go both ways. Don’t go down in flames Lions fans, you lost because your QB threw 3 picks and your best player dropped too many passes.

  38. Steelers and Lions should play in the Gerber Whiney Baby Bowl. I’ve never seen two fan bases more obsessed with unthrown flags

  39. ravensdominate says:
    Dec 17, 2013 11:09 AM
    All Flacco does is win……

    You are giving the credit to the wrong guy for this one. How many points did he put on the board in Detroit? Truth is, Flacco was weak but Stafford was worse.

  40. Nevermind the blatantly missed PI call on Marlon Brown down by the goaline, not only was it PI, but it was a unsportsmanlike on the other DB as well (which the refs did call). That would have put the Ravens 1st and goal. So the call that never was against Webb on Durham in the endzone makes it a wash. Schwartz has got to go, he is a good coach, but not a HC.

    Keep on whining about superbowl 47, brings a smile to all Raven Nation.

  41. I want to know two things. First, where are all the Lions fans that predicted a 300 yard, 3 TD day from Calcium-hands Johnson.

    Second, why do people bash Flacco? Who cares if he throws for 8 yards a game? No one gets paid to lose, and those that don’t give him credit for winning are jealous that their QB is Romo or Stafford.

  42. iamthefootballjerk:

    I bash Flacco because I strongly believe that the money spent on him would create more value for the team than Flacco does. A non-Flacco QB plus the Flacco money is GREATER than Flacco.

    But that’s only if you have a creative plan for a new QB that can either be better than him, or more efficient than him relative to the cost used on him.

  43. “How many points did he put on the board in Detroit? Truth is, Flacco was weak but Stafford was worse.”

    Let’s see… he put more points on the board then the other team so in fact the truth is he DID win. Or did they just get down the field by magic for all those field goals?

  44. I say balls to all you Ravens bashers. It was a huge game in a hostile place and both teams had the same goal – keep playff hopes alive. Ravens won, Lions lost. Bad calls go both ways and usually against the Ravens. Part of the game. Lions have outstanding talent on both sides of the ball. QB throws for 4-5,000 yards a year, has Megatron, Suh, etc. and yet he is 24-35 as an NFL starter. Flacco doesn’t throw for giagantic yardage, lost a lot of supporting cast after SB win but he’s 61-30 as an NFL starter, including 9 wins against only four losses in the post season. Pretty freaking incredible. So bash away, we don’t care. We will beat Pats and Bengals, win the division, host a home playoff game and the odds are we will start converting some of those missed red zone opportunities and when we do, the rest of you better beware of these late season Baltimore Ravens ’cause we’re coming for YOU!

  45. Fans who bash Flacco are correct. Yes he was overpaid but in today’s world what should Baltimore have done pay him $14 mil plus via a franchise tag instead of $7 mil against the cap this year. He tied records in winning a Super Bowl. That and the historical fact that the Ravens had wonderful quarterbacking from the likes of Boller, Stony Case (a pebble), Eric Zeier, Jeff Blake, Scott Mitchell and Vinny T. (who was the best of the bunch). Sometimes being in the right place at the right time helps-just ask Robinson Cano-that overpaid second baseman.

  46. Let’s not forget Ray Rice “took a knee” at the end of the game when he could have easily ran it into the endzone for a TD when the Lions had three time outs left and were desperately trying to get the ball back.

  47. lagg1:

    Trade him. That was the smart and obvious play. They messed up and overpaid him and their team isn’t as good as a result. SOME team would have horrendously overpaid them too. Whoever was that 1 out of 31 other teams that overvalued him the most, find that team and deal Flacco to them and that’s the ticket to success!!

  48. Know who always gets Flacco off the hook? The refs. Blind jump ball after blind jump ball, they’re always there to throw the flag. Yes, thanks to today’s ridiculous PI rules, a mediocre QB like Flacco can get the big money.

  49. I backed Elam from the get go and still do, like I said before you can’t play scared in the NFL. Also like I said Megatron has 4 for 59 yard games too, the Monday night game was one of them.

  50. I never heard of Elam, however it is VERY obvious he got into # 81’s head. He dropped just about everything and helped his QB not one SINGLE bit.

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