Happy Turkey Day, Ravens fans!
Ravens Nation has plenty to be thankful for this year, and to celebrate the holidays we decided to share some of the things that we're thankful for through 11 weeks of the NFL season:
Terrell Suggs' Speedy RecoveryWhen the reigning Defensive Player of the Year first found out that he tore his Achilles tendon, doctors thought he might be out the entire season. But Suggs defied odds and was able to return after missing only six games. His presence has filled a significant void in the Ravens defense and although he's admittedly not back to 100 percent yet, Suggs is still a difference maker for this team. Also, there are admittedly some selfish reasons to celebrate Suggs' return, as he has livened up the media routine with entertaining and unpredictable press conferences.
Jacoby Jones SigningWas there a better offseason move than signing the speedy punt returner and wide receiver? Jones has brought life to the special teams return game, taking two kickoffs back for touchdowns from 105 and 108 yards out. His 63-yard punt return for a touchdown made the difference in Sunday's win in Pittsburgh. Jones has also provided more production as a No. 3 wide receiver than Lee Evans did last season. He's been a dangerous weapon for the Ravens whenever he's been on the field and his dance moves have delighted fans, teammates and media members alike.
Ed Reed's Suspension Getting OverturnedThe league office nearly put a damper on this Thanksgiving weekend with a one-game suspension of the Ravens' ball-hawking safety for three hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players over three seasons. But in the name of justice, the punishment was reduced to a $50,000 fine and no suspension. Reed was thankful for the decision, as it saved him $374,529. Ravens fans will be thrilled too when they see him patrolling a field that will have plenty of Chargers big-time receiving targets. Not having Reed could have been a big problem for the Ravens.
Good Fortune on Field GoalsThe Ravens' season could have a much different tone if a pair of field goals had been just slightly different. Justin Tucker's game-winning field goal against the New England Patriots barely squeaked through the right upright. The kick was ruled good on the field, but it wasn't reviewable because the football was higher than the uprights when it went across the crossbar. Had the officials ruled it no good on the field, the Ravens would have suffered through another crushing missed field goal to end a game against the Patriots. The other memorable field goal came in Week 6 against the Dallas Cowboys, as kicker Dan Bailey pushed a potential 51-yard, game-winning field goal wide left in the final seconds. Had those two field goals gone differently, then the Ravens would have been 3-3 after the first six weeks of the season before heading into Houston.
The Ravens Controlling Their Own DestinyWith an 8-2 start to the season, the best start under Head Coach John Harbaugh, the Ravens have put themselves in a very favorable position. They have a two-game edge in the AFC North and control their own destiny for another division crown and home playoff game. At this point, the Ravens don't have to do any scoreboard watching and can simply focus on taking care of business each week. If the Ravens are able to stay hot down the stretch, then they'll be able to secure a first-round bye and home playoff game, which could go a long way in the Ravens making a run at the Super Bowl this year.