Reed still a defensive playmaker

The Vikings still have to worry about a few oldie but goodie playmakers on the Baltimore defense.

The Ravens' Ed Reed continues to prove that he's the best safety in the NFL.

In Sunday's 17-14 loss to the Bengals, Reed did everything he could to lead the Ravens to victory, intercepting a pass for a touchdown and forcing a fumble deep in Baltimore territory.

"It means nothing if you lose at the end of the day," he said. "When you lose, everything is out the window. Individual stuff doesn't matter at the end of the day for me anyway, at this point in my career. You're just trying to win, man."

The interception was classic Reed. Starting on the left hash mark, he began peeling back to the center when the ball was snapped. Reed then broke on the pass to Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco before quarterback Carson Palmer threw the ball to the sideline.

It was a case of Reed's instincts, range and extensive knowledge of Palmer's habits taking over, as the All-Pro free safety swooped in for an interception and 52-yard return for a touchdown. Ochocinco was covered on the play by cornerback Fabian Washington.

"Certain quarterbacks have certain tendencies," Reed said. "It was just a great jam by Fabian and me breaking on the ball. I watch film constantly, man.

"We've been playing against each other for the last couple years, and I know him just as much as he knows me. It's just competitors going against each other and somebody making a play."

For Reed, it was his 45th career interception, his second of the season and the eighth defensive touchdown of his career.

The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year tops the Ravens' all-time interceptions list and has the most interceptions and interception return yards (1,213) since entering the league seven years ago.

Reed also forced the ball out of Ochocinco's hands in the open field in the final minutes of the second quarter.

"We practiced it, we talked about it and you see things on tape," Reed said. "It's just instinctive stuff at the time. Actually, he shouldn't have caught the ball. So, it's just running to the football."

In the end, Reed had a tough time dealing with a second consecutive loss in which the officials played a key role.

"You want them to let us play ball," Reed said. "It's supposed to be a 50-50, equal playing field for both teams. At points like that, it just didn't seem like it. Certain plays, you're like, ‘OK, we can understand it.' Certain calls just didn't seem to go our way when they're supposed to. You prepare and you just can't fight against everything. You've got to play your game, and hopefully not put it in anybody else's hands."

But Reed acknowledged that the Ravens shouldn't allow the game get to the point where an official's call can determine the result.

"You can't put it in anybody's hands," he said. "The players come out there to play and win the game, and you've got to win the game on your terms. You can't have close calls. You can't put them in a position where it's a 50-50 call for the referees because you don't know which way it's going to go. It's not about them; it's about us playing sound football."

NOTES

The Ravens signed former Super Bowl hero David Tyree on Tuesday and cut fourth-string tight end Tony Curtis.

Tyree, who spent six seasons with the New York Giants, is best remembered for making a leaping 32-yard catch by pinning the football against his helmet on the Giants' game-winning drive in the 2008 Super Bowl.

The Ravens added Tyree, 29, to boost their special teams and fill the void left by Pro Bowl special teams player Brendon Ayanbadejo, who is on injured reserve.

"We've been looking at David Tyree for weeks now," coach John Harbaugh said during his weekly radio program. "He came out of training camp with a couple of issues, and he's been working hard to get those things healthy. We have had a ton of respect for him over the years as a special-teams player, as a wide receiver, as a football player.

"He's a football player, and he's going to help our team in whatever way he can, as soon as he can, to win football games. So I think he'll be a good fit on our team and in our locker room with the way he plays, and our guys will appreciate having him around."

Tyree was released by the Giants last month. The 6-foot, 206-pound receiver missed the entire 2008 season after being placed on injured reserve due to a knee injury suffered in training camp. A sixth-round pick in 2003, he has 54 receptions for 650 yards and four touchdowns in 73 career games.

A noted special teams player who made 85 tackles in six seasons with the Giants, Tyree could usher Demetrius Williams to inactive status.

  • QB Joe Flacco has thrown an interception in four of five games this season. He has gotten picked off in the red zone the past two weeks.

  • RB Ray Rice ranks second in the NFL in total yards from scrimmage (572). He has gotten most of the workload over Willis McGahee the past two games.

  • RB Willis McGahee has only 10 touches the past two games after scoring six touchdowns in the first three games. Coach John Harbaugh said he still wants McGahee involved in the offense.

  • TE Todd Heap continues to have more involvement in the offense this year than last. He has 21 catches in five games this season after having 35 receptions in 16 games in 2008. He has two touchdowns and three catches over 20 yards.

  • WR Derrick Mason is unhappy about only having one reception over the past seven quarters.

  • WR Mark Clayton has made 11 catches over his past three games, but he is averaging just 38.6 yards receiving per game during that span.

  • FS Ed Reed has forced three turnovers over the past three weeks. He also had six tackles against Cincinnati, his most in any game this season.

  • CB Lardarius Webb will continue to handle kickoff returns. He replaced Chris Carr last Sunday.

  • K Steve Hauschka, a former Viking, hasn't had a field-goal attempt the past two games. He has made all five extra points in losses to New England and Cincinnati.

  • LB Terrell Suggs has made six tackles in each of the past three weeks. He struggled to get consistent pressure on Carson Palmer last Sunday, finishing with no sacks.

  • CB Fabian Washington is the only starting defensive back on the Ravens without an interception this season. He has three passes defensed.

  • P Sam Koch has placed 10 of his 19 punts inside the 20-yard line. He led the NFL with punts inside the 10-yard line last season.


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