The 8 vs. 9 matchup feature Jacoby Jones doing an awesome dance after running a punt back for a touchdown against Pittsburgh and Mark Reynolds hitting two home runs in back to back days against the New York Yankees.
#8 – Jacoby Jones TD Return and Dance Against The Steelers
This play gets its staying power from two places. One, is the situation: Baltimore was trailing Pittsburgh 7-3 at the time of the return. Two, the dance. You have to be pretty damn confident in your ability to return punts to have a dance like THAT in the can ready to use. When we get Jacoby for an exclusive interview for the Podcast, he’ll have to decipher it for me. I got the juggling act, but after that he lost me until he locked it up at the end. It’s the like the Inception of end zone dances, the deeper I go the more questions I have.
The return is beautiful in its simplicity, no dancing around or questionable blocks. Jacoby just took two or three sidesteps, found a crease, and pressed the pedal to the floor. This was Baltimore’s only touchdown of the game, due to the Steelers defense more or less locking up Joe Flacco (20/32, 164 yds), Ray Rice (20 car, 40 yds) and company. Without it, there’s a very good chance the Ravens would have dropped the season series to Pittsburgh, and greatly altered their chances of eventually winning the Super Bowl.
#9 – Mark Reynolds: Yankee Hunter
After some deep soul searching while trying to decipher the mysteries of Jacoby Jones’ end zone dance, I think I’ve finally figured out the basis of my dislike for Mark Reynolds. Unless it’s an awesome end zone dance, I don’t like what I don’t understand. And for the life of me, I can’t understand Reynolds as a player. He’s a .220 hitter with a pretty good eye for the strike zone, yet still strikes out a ton. But when he gets hot, he usually does so for about a full week, and he can turn games into his own personal home run derby. It’s like Clark Kent only getting to be Superman for one random week a year.
All told, in a 7 game stretch from August 31 to September 6, Reynolds blasted 6 home runs in 4 games versus New York (3 in the Bronx, one in Baltimore). The Sheriff collected 5 Yankee bounties (Kuroda, Lowe, Hughes, Robertson, Chamberlain), in a display that must’ve driven Joe Girardi to cursing his prized notebook. You’d be hard pressed to find a player who had a more dominant week at any point during the 2012 season, and the timing of it – in the heat of a pennant race against the hated Yankees – was about as good as you could ask for.
Voting is open from 12:00 PM on Sunday February 24 to 12:00 PM Monday February 25.