The Steelers, and perhaps even his own teammates, seemingly thought there was no way he would bring it out.
But Reed doesn’t seem to have that in his DNA.
In classic Reed fashion, the playmaking safety popped up to his feet and took off.
“I figured I had a chance,” he said afterwards with a grin.
It looked like a terrible decision when Reed was tripped up at the 1-yard line, then grabbed at the 2 by Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer, who was trying to strip the ball.
But Reed tore away from Dwyer, re-secured the ball and started weaving up the field. And for a second, it looked like he might be gone for what would have been a game-breaking, fourth-quarter touchdown.
“I knew it was close,” said Reed, who now has four interceptions this season and 61 in his career.
“I’m trying to make a play, because you know these games are tight. If we could have gotten more yards or something like that, maybe [we could have notched] a field goal or something. But it is what it is. You all know what type of player I am.”
Reed holds the all-time NFL record for most return yardage after an interception (1,507). He has seven career touchdowns after interceptions, including one this year against the Cincinnati Bengals.
But even Reed says he should have done a couple things differently on the 34-yard return.
Reed wished he had lateraled it, as he’s done so many times in the past – with both positive and negative results, but always raising Ravens fans’ blood pressure. He also wishes he took a different path.
Had Reed done those things, perhaps he wouldn’t have been caught from behind by Dwyer.
“There was one time I probably should have pitched it to Cary [Williams],” said Reed, who had Williams streaking along the sideline to his right. “I heard him calling. I put it in one hand, but I kind of got the best of myself.”
Then Reed examined his route, as if he was a kick or punt returner.
“When I looked up, honestly, everybody stopped,” Reed said. “So I probably should have stayed straight at first, then cut back to the right. It happens.”