Ravens' Reed named Defensive Player of the Month

OWINGS MILLS -- It was an epic month for Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed, one filled with dramatic interceptions and lengthy touchdown jaunts. <br><br> And the NFL obviously took notice, naming Reed its Defensive Player of the Month on Wednesday. <br><br> The recognition could signal what may happen at the end of the season when the Pro Bowl safety is expected to be a strong contender for NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Linebacker Ray Lewis, Reed's mentor and close friend, is the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Reed intercepted three of his team-high six passes last month in consecutive games, including a 106-yard return for a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns to set an NFL record and seal a win.

"We play this game to achieve goals," Reed said. "I'm grateful for it. I'm definitely blessed to be in this position, just to be having fun and playing the game the way I love. I just play the game and be where I'm supposed to be."

Reed intercepted a pass in the end zone in a 20-17 overtime win over the New York Jets and returned it 78 yards for a touchdown that was nullified by safety Will Demps' holding penalty. He also picked off a pass in a 30-10 win over the Dallas Cowboys. Both interceptions led to scores.

"If the ball comes my way, I'm going to try my best to make a play," Reed said.
Reed is a major reason why the Ravens are tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for allowing the fewest points (164) in the NFL.

The Ravens are 5-0 when Reed intercepts a pass, 13-2 over the last two seasons when that happens.

In 43 career games, Reed has intercepted 18 passes, blocked four punts, returning three for touchdowns with six scores overall. He ranks second in the NFL in interceptions and leads the league with 290 return yards.

In Sunday's encounter with the high-scoring Cincinnati Bengals, Reed will probably have multiple chances to make plays on the football.

Quarterback Carson Palmer led the Bengals to a 58-48 shootout win over the Cleveland Browns last week. He threw four touchdowns passes along with three interceptions. That padded his league-high total of 16 against 13 touchdown passes.
The Bengals rank 30th in the NFL in percentage of passes intercepted.

Reed intercepted Palmer twice in the Ravens' 23-9 win in September at Paul Brown Stadium.

"Hopefully, we're running it more than we're throwing it," Reed said, "and they're throwing it more than they're running it."

Aaron Wilson is the chief writer for RavensInsider.Com He is also the Ravens' reporter for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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