On Wednesday, I wondered if the Ravens were intentionally trying to maim Chris Johnson. (Not really, but the provocative headline suggested as much. Lesson learned.) Anyway, I concluded that "the Ravens are annually one of the most suffocating defenses in the league..." but, outside Steelers games, aren't a dirty team. Shockingly, opinions were split, loosely based on commenters' rooting interests.
Between the predictable "Titans = whiny whiddle babies" and "Ravens = cheaters, killers" back and forth, there were some thoughtful responses, too. And the New York Times' Fifth Down blog, which originally posed the question Tuesday, has now posted moving pictures of the incident. Video, as well as Baltimore defensive coordinator Rex Ryan's sure-to-be-incendiary comments after the jump.
So there ya go. It sure looks like Ed Reed is making a concerted effort to keep Johnson from gaining one more inch, even if it means Johnson happens to break into pieces as a consequence. By the way, I'm sorta kidding; it is football, after all, and more importantly, Reed isn't known for taking cheap shots. Maybe he didn't hear a whistle.
There's more: During a Thursday presser, Ryan, when asked about Willie Parker looking better, offered this with a smile on his face:
"I guess he got a lot of yards against San Diego, and I read all the experts say we would have given up 150 yards to the running back from Tennessee. ...But remember, he never finished the game for some reason. Whatever that reason is, they can cry all they want. Who cares? We're here. We're still playing, and they can watch us."To be fair, it doesn't take an expert to figure Johnson was on pace for at least 150 yards; he managed 72 in just 20 minutes of work, and that doesn't include a 28-yard reception. As to Ryan's other thoughts, he's right: it doesn't really matter what the Titans think since, you know, they lost. I'm not sure what good comes of publicly calling Tennessee a bunch of crybabies, but there's not much they can do about it.
On the bright side, the Ravens don't believe in bounties, so Parker has nothing to worry about. Assuming, of course, that "he never finished the game for some reason" doesn't manifest itself into getting drawn and ... well, halved.