#3 Torrey Smith’s 2 TD’s Vs New England
Why It Should Win
Just like for my write up in the first round, I’ll mention again that I’m actually biased here: Torrey Smith is the only player on the Ravens I actively root for on account of him being my favorite Terp football player in the NFL. Fortunately, this moment was poignant enough to really carry itself without me trying to pump it up.
Hours after discovering that his brother Tevin Jones had been fatally injured in a motorcycle crash, Smith decided to take the field against New England in his brother’s memory. Everyone was rooting for Smith to pick up a big catch or two that night, but he clearly had grander designs.
In what was his finest game as a pro, Smith was an omnipresent menace in the Patriots secondary all night, beating man coverage and weaving his way into holes in zone coverage. He found pay dirt twice, accounting for 12 of the Ravens 31 points, and was the MVP of a huge win over the defending AFC Champions. The end tally was 6 catches for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns, a haul for a talented receiver playing with the heaviest of hearts.
#10 Nate McLouth Walk Off Against Tampa Bay
Why It Should Win
I can’t get over how well the Nate McLouth pick up worked out for the O’s. McLouth had spent the last two years struggling mightily down in Atlanta. He returned to the site of his greatest success early in 2012, and hit a paltry .140 in 34 games before being released by the Pirates. By all accounts, McLouth was a washed up 30-year old outfielder that nobody had interest in.
But the O’s grabbed him off the scrap heap, and then just like a lot of moments with Baltimore, you just can’t explain it. His .268 average was his highest since reaching the All-Star game in 2008. In left field, he threw his body around like a rag doll and came up with some of the more memorable defensive plays of the season.
And just like the Orioles as a team, he was great when it got late, with a .294 batting average in the 9th inning. That stat came into play on this night against division rival Tampa. With Manny Machado standing on second, McLouth roped a Kyle Farnsworth fastball off the right field score board to add another walk-off win to O’s already long list.
Voting is open from 1:00 PM on Tuesday March 5 to 1:00 PM Wednesday March 6.