Is it just us or did yesterday's game renew your faith in the 2013 Baltimore Ravens? After a rocky start in Denver and an ugly win against the Browns, we look like we may be getting our swagger back with new players stepping up (Marlon Brown, Dallas Clark), returning players coming through in the clutch (Tandon Doss, Bernard Pierce), and our entire defense living up to its full and awesome potential (Arthur Jones, Terrell Suggs, et al.) But one guy particularly made us proud:
Week three stud:
Smith has led the Ravens in tackles the last two games, clocking 10 tackles (seven solo) against the Texans on Sunday.
In the second quarter, Texans quarterback Matt Schaub stared town tight end Owen Daniels on a first-and-10 slant pass from Houston's 35-yard line, when Smith jumped a pattern he recognized from film study. Smith leapt at the chance and ran the ball in for a 37-yard, game-changing touchdown—putting Baltimore up 10-6 and, after the offense had been struggling up until that point, getting the crowd totally into the game.
Smith, who was the all-time leading tackler for the Jacksonville Jaguars where he played for nine seasons, was brought on to replace Ray Lewis. And, just as Lewis and Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti had walked to the Baltimore sideline for a halftime ceremony celebrating Lewis's induction to the Ring of Honor, Smith made the game-changing interception, as Lewis cheered him on. The torch has deservingly been passed to the 31-year-old linebacker. "I mean, on Ray Lewis day, and we were able to get the win like we did today—that was huge,'' Smith told reporters. "I guess it's sort of like a dream. You catch it. And it's just kind of hazy."
PHOTO: Courtesy of the Baltimore Ravens' on Facebook.