Ed Reed sets interception return record as Ravens dominate Bengals

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After an offseason in which he suggested that he might be ready to quit playing football, Ed Reed has returned to the Ravens and shown he has plenty of good football left in him — while also showing that he’s the greatest interception returner the game has ever seen.

Reed intercepted an Andy Dalton pass and returned it 34 yards late in the third quarter of the Ravens’ 44-13 win over the Bengals, a play that both put the game away for Baltimore and also gave Reed a new NFL record of 1,497 career interception return yards. Reed has averaged 25.8 yards a return on his 58 career interceptions, and he also owns the NFL record for the highest interception return average for players with at least 30 career interceptions. Reed later left the game with a hamstring injury; it’s not clear whether the injury was serious or whether the Ravens just took Reed out because the game was in the bag.

Although Cincinnati made things interesting with a big touchdown before halftime, Baltimore was the better team from start to finish. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was throwing beautiful deep balls all night, and he completed 21 of 29 passes for 299 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions before leaving midway through the fourth quarter.

The Bengals got a good game from running back Benjarvus Green-Ellis and a good game from unheralded receiver Andrew Hawkins, but this game made clear that the Bengals are not on the Ravens’ level. Baltimore starts this season where it ended last season, on top of the AFC North.

47 responses to “Ed Reed sets interception return record as Ravens dominate Bengals

  1. Ed Reed is a beast and might go down as the best ball hawking safety to ever play the game.

    My favorite Reed INT has to be the one he got off Jeff Garcia in a Sunday Night game years ago in which he set the record for longest INT for a TD. If I recall correctly the browns were trying to tie the score before Reed picked it off. Towards the end of the run he began flapping his arms like a raven bird.

    Pure classic.

  2. The Ravens look good, it’s going to be a great game in two weeks for you guys Mike with New England and Baltimore.

    But man what is wrong with the Bengals secondary and linebackers? They bit on every play-fake and guys were running wide open all night long. Maybe the Ravens weapons are that good, we’ll see the Eagles’ secondary is one of the best in the NFL things will get much harder.

  3. Flacco was on fire (128.4 Passer Rating). Ray Rice what’d 68 yards rushing, 25 yards receiving, 2 tds. Offense was really hot, overall fantastic performance. Loved it.

  4. Because they have an owner who knows nothing about the football side of things, who only sees the bottom line, who spends only the bare minimum to comply with league rules, and who won’t delegate authority over football operations.

  5. Love my Ravens but did not see 44-13 coming. I expected a tough game from the Bengals, but then again, it’s week #1.

  6. It’s time for the networks to get off and stay off the field during games.

    Ray Rice almost got his clock cleaned by an ESPN camera after his 1 yard TD that made it 41-13. He got up from the pile to celebrate and crashed into the camera – whose op had run into the end zone for a close-up – knocking Rice back to the ground. If that had caused an injury or concussion, the Ravens would have been livid and rightly so.

    I don’t need to walk on the field with the QB, and I don’t need to be in the middle of the end-zone celebration after a a score. Keep the TV cameras behind the yellow lines as all the still cameras are required to do… before someone gets hurt by a network’s unnecessary need to be “up close and personal” during a game.

  7. voiceofreasonsays | Sep 10, 2012, 10:19 PM EDT
    The best professional football team in Maryland wears Burgundy and Gold.
    HA! Apparently you don’t know reason.

  8. Ed and Troy play diferent positions. Ed is the best deep safety in game. However he cant lineup in 5 diferent positions at any given point like Troy.

    DC is not Maryland

  9. Watching Ed Reed make a pick 6 is like a good poop after a greasy breakfast. You know it’s gonna happen at some point.

  10. Except Flacco things he’s been duped in a game of three card Monty. Still no contract. Continued disrespect. It will become a distraction and a source of resentment. If Schaumburg can get $70MM, Flacco deserves some consideration. Flabbergasted.

  11. @Csilojohnson They might play two different positions, but they’re both safeties. There is no doubt Ed Reed is the better safety.

  12. No disrespect to Ed, he is the G.O.A.T. at his position, but why didn’t either commentator mention that Dalton’s pass was terrible on that play? They both (Gruden as usual) raved about Ed for several minutes and never pointed out that the QB missed an open TE.

  13. To the Foreskin fan who wrote that tripe, tell me -when was the last time the foreskins were relevant? Thought so. Now go back to your cave in the basement of your mommy’s house.

    For all those who have been bashing joe flacco for the last 4 years, let me ask how you like him now. From the midpoint of last season to now joe has been a top 10 qb. Tonight he cracked the top five whether it is because it is year five and he finally gets it, or it is because od Jim caldwells help, or it is because he finally has a real set of weapons I don’t know. But he was as locked in as I have ever seen him. He completed 3/4 of his passes for 299 yes and 2 TDs. His qb rating must have been about 130. For the first time since the early yrs with vinnie testeverde, the offense looks like it will be overall better than the D.

    And Cindy was who we thought they were. The looked very small on MNF with Dalton looking like a guy who reads D well but has a popgun for an arm. AJ green is wasted on a rag arm like that. In the endd it’ll be the ravens and the steelers like usual and if flacco plays like this we will sweep the steelers again. Just one mans humble opinion

  14. This is going to sound crazy… but I’m looking forward to playing the Ravens this year (skins)… I respect Ed Reed tremendously for what he’s accomplished… true ball hawk and great in pass coverage… hell of a player..

  15. Back when the “retirement talk” was going on… I told people not to believe it.

    I said Reed would be coming back… and I said he would be coming back because he was so close to many individual records. I think he realizes unless the offense can finally pull it all together and perform CONSISTENTLY(not just a random week here or there), then “the ring” is just not going to happen.

    Well, he’s got the interception returns yards now… let’s see what else he can do this season.

    I’d love to see “assists” kept as a stat. I’m sure Reed has a few assists where he picked the ball off, but then lateraled to someone who ended up scoring a TD.

  16. Baltimore is a tough place to play – hats off to the Bengals for keeping it close for awhile. They are a young and up-and-coming team who had a few injuries. Marvin will have his men ready for their next meeting. I look forward to their next rendezvous.

  17. Ed will be a first ballot Hall of Famer, only to have his speech interrupted by a screaming Ray Lewis, who will be distraught to find out there is no pile of bodies upon which to throw himself and claim credit for a tackle.

  18. The best professional football team in Maryland wears Burgundy and Gold.

    So you’re saying that the Division III Salisbury State Seagulls are the best team in Maryland? Well, they didn’t play in their conference championship game last year like the Ravens did.

    I am pretty sure, however, that they could beat the drivel that Dan Snyder puts on the field down in Landover. Enjoy your fourth-place finish in the NFC East this year!

  19. Dalton’s pass was terrible, due to the blitz pressure brought by the ravens defense, which caused the errand pass tipped by the open TE. I believe Gruden mentioned all of that, which when you have a “tipped ball and Ed playing center field your asking for trouble” I think is how he put it, or something close to that.

  20. @randygnyc-
    Maybe read full articles not just headlines bud. Joe and his agent Joe Linta have ongoing negotiations throughout the season. How is it disrespectful that they’re still negotiating? Joe has already come out and said he’s not involved in negotiating and told Linta don’t bother until they’re close. He’s never whined about $. Never opted to holdout. So… There goes your whole logic out the window.

  21. Polamalu is much better. Nobody fears Reed. Ratbirds always start fast and fizzle. Steelers start slow every year. Cellar dwellers they shall be! Don’t get too excited Ratbird fans!

  22. no denying that he’s a beast. best FS in the game. period. but comparing him to troy p. is silly because they dont play the same position. yes, generically, they are both safeties, but a free safety and strong safety are asked to do completely different things within a defense. there’s a reason troy is often found near the line of scrimmage just like there’s a reason that reed is often deep. it’s the job they’ve been asked to do in their respective defenses so the comparisons are silly. if you want to compare him to a steeler safety, you need to compare him to ryan clark and i think the winner of that comparison is rather obvious….
    two straight brilliant home openers. good job!
    just remember, history celebrates SB winners, nobody else.

  23. Ed Reed is one of the best to ever play the position and deserves all the praise he gets. Good job in your opener as you looked awesome,but it’s not the SB. Temper your rants as everyone knows you never get to the SB outside of ravenators mind ! Seriously good opener and look forward to our annual two hate feats.

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