Ravens Wrap Pro Bowl

Even though their team lost, the three Ravens all stars that participated in the Pro Bowl made their presence felt on the field.

Baltimore was represented well by linebacker Ray Lewis, safety Ed Reed and running back Willis McGahee (tackle Jonathan Ogden opted out of the game to rest a toe injury). The trio of Ravens did their part for the AFC squad, but in the end it wasn't enough, as the NFC used two fourth-quarter touchdowns to win 42-30.

Reed, the only Raven voted to start the showcase, placed second on the team with five tackles on the day. The biggest impact of his fourth Pro Bowl appearance came during an odd special teams sequence, however.

At 2:42 in the first quarter, the AFC had just taken a 14-7 lead on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Peyton Manning to T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Tennessee's Rob Bironas came out to then execute a perfect onsides kick that the AFC recovered after it traveled the requisite 10 yards. Unfortunately, Reed was flagged for an offsides penalty, nullifying the play.

Reed made up for it on Bironas' ensuing kickoff, pouncing on a fumbled return that was forced by Houston's DeMeco Ryans, a takeaway that resulted in a 33-yard field goal.

Lewis, playing in the ninth Pro Bowl of his 12-year career, contributed in the middle of the AFC's 3-4 defense. Wearing his familiar No. 52, Lewis saw limited action by entering the game in the second quarter and logging two tackles.

Perhaps the future Hall of Famer made more of an impact off the field during the all-star week, especially with regards to San Francisco 49ers star rookie linebacker Patrick Willis, who coincidentally also wears No. 52.

"When we played them earlier in the year in San Francisco, we met after the game, shook hands and exchanged numbers. We've been friends ever since," Lewis said of the young tackling machine. "I think it's a great relationship because I believe I can help him a lot, not just on the field but off the field as a man as well.

"He's probably one of the greatest people you can ever meet and probably one of the greatest athletes in the league."

On the offensive side of the ball, McGahee stepped into his first-career Pro Bowl when San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson was sidelined with a knee injury.

The versatile McGahee, who rushed for 1,207 yards and seven touchdowns before cracked ribs kept him out of the Ravens' season finale, touched the ball four times. He totaled for 6 yards on two carries, one of which went for a first down, and had two receptions for 9 yards.

"It is an honor to be voted to the Pro Bowl, especially when your peers have a say in the matter," McGahee said before taking the field. "It is a goal that I have had for a long time, and I am going to enjoy every second of this."

After a stellar performance in his first season as a Raven and a Pro Bowl to show for it, it's a safe bet that McGahee will be joining Reed and Lewis in Hawaii more times in the future.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content