Baltimore Ravens: Top 6 Players Responsible for Super Bowl Victory
President Obama And Superbowl Champion Baltimore Ravens
The past week was a busy one for the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens. A visit to the White House to meet President Barack Obama and of course the Ring Ceremony, the rings were beautiful by the way. With all the celebrating going on, I thought it would be a good time to make a list of the players most responsible for the acquisition of said beautiful rings.
This was originally going to be a top-five list, but I was really torn on two players for the number-five spot, so I figured why not just make it top six? My father suggested the same thing when I asked his opinion on the two players — thanks pop.
In coming up with the list, I used a criteria of mainly playoff production. Not that I totally ignored the regular season, but everything came together from Wild Card Weekend and beyond. Since this is only a top-six list, I have to regrettably leave off a few deserving names.
The honorable mention list includes Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce, Dennis Pitta, Marshall Yanda, Bernard Pollard, Cary Williams, Danelle Ellerbe and Paul Kruger. I feel bad leaving all these deserving names off the list, but that's just life sometimes.
The White House visit and Ring Ceremony may have come and gone, but I'm going to try my damnedest to keep the Superbowl celebration party going like I'm the freaking Energizer Bunny or Jack Black, because that dude has a lot of energy. Enjoy the list and of course share with all your friends.
6. Corey Graham
Corey Graham is definitely an unheralded type of guy. When top corner Ladarius Webb was lost for the season due to a torn ACL, Graham filled in the starting spot opposite Cary Williams. Graham was brought in mainly to be a contributor on special teams, but he stepped up to the plate big time. Without Graham's contributions (two INT, one Returned for TD, one Set up the game winning field goal) the Ravens season probably ends in Denver. That’s pretty good for a special teams ace if I say so my self.
5. Bryant McKinnie
Bryant McKinnie had an interesting season to say the least. Interesting in the sense that most of the regular season he was keeping the bench warm with his prominent backside. Jah Reid, who was playing LG at the time, had an injury that would keep him out of the playoffs. That would cause a chain reaction that led to a big offensive-line shuffle. Michael Oher is moved back to RT which is a more natural fit for him, Kelechi Ossemle was moved to LG which proved to be a great fit, and a fresh Mckinnie went to LT and he was nothing short of incredible. Without time to operate, Joe Flacco might not have pulled off some of the magic that he did.
4. Anquan Boldin
I don't know what else I could possibly say about Anquan Boldin's playoff performance that hasn't been said already. The guy was just plain unstoppable, only in the Denver game did he look kind of average. It seems like before the playoffs started that Boldin came in with the mindset of 'I've been so close so many times, I ain't getting any younger, this could be my last shot and nobody is going to take it away from me' and that's how he played. Losing was not an option, no defender would snatch destiny out of his hands.
3. Jacoby Jones
Jacoby Jones as a receiver is a one trick pony, let's not kid ourselves. That one trick worked pretty well against Denver and San Francisco though. As a kick/punt returner, Jones made a huge difference this season. His kick return touchdowns were literally the differences in wins over Pittsburgh and Dallas in the regular season, and in that little Superbowl game. You can't put a price on big plays that can literally change the fortunes of games. His dancing was really fun to watch in the actual games and not that stupid show that I won't mention.
2. Joe Flacco
Our little Joe grew up right in front of our eyes. Gone was the deer-in-the-headlights look and here was the look of confidence. 11 Touchdowns, zero INT'S, only Joe Montana has had that same TD/INT ratio in a postseason. Not that Flacco is the next coming of Joe Montana, but he sure looked like him for four games anyway. He outplayed two young up-and-coming players in Andrew Luck and Colin Kaepernick, but also two first ballot hall of famers in Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. That’s pretty good for a guy who "couldn't reach the next level".
1. Ray Lewis
The talent was there all along, they just needed one thing to bring it all together and Ray Lewis was the dose of emotional steroids that the Ravens needed. There is nothing more powerful in sports than emotional steroids. See Chuckstrong as an example. Or how about the New Orleans Saints in the first game back at the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina? When Lewis made the announcement right before the Colts game that this would be his last ride, it rippled through the entire team. Even Terrell Suggs admits that the Ravens probably don't go on that run if Lewis didn't make that announcement when he did. The inspiration of Ray Lewis was the greatest intangible that this Raven team could ever have. What a fitting way to end a hall of fame career. Ray Lewis you are number one.