Sunday’s edition of the Ravens-Steelers rivalry wasn’t exactly what people would call a “classic,” or “all that watchable.” As overtime approached, I personally wished for the sweet release of death to arrive before the end of the game did. Fortunately, it did not so I was able to witness Marlon Humphrey—the only player on the Ravens’ defense really worth a damn—become a hero.
After forcing a three-and-out that had coach Mike Tomlin celebrating on the sideline as if it was his team that was about to win, the Steelers were set up on their 31-yard line. On the second play of the drive, backup quarterback Devlin Hodges, replacing the injured Mason Rudolph, connected with JuJu Smith-Schuster going across the middle. Though the third-year receiver had initially beaten Humphrey, who had spent a good amount of the game shadowing the Pittsburgh player, the Baltimore defender was able to catch up and land an absolute whopper on the ball in JuJu’s left arm. Thanks to a couple lucky bounces, and a terrible recovery effort from Hodges, Humphrey was able to go back to the ball he dislodged and recover it.
For Humphrey, this was a particularly risky play that ended up working out a lot better this time around than the last time he tried it. Back in the first quarter, the Baltimore defensive back tried a similar move on Smith-Schuster, but the Pittsburgh receiver ultimately shrugged off the attempt and ended up scoring the Steelers’ first touchdown of the day.
On the ensuing Ravens drive, Lamar Jackson moved the offense six yards so that Justin Tucker could be set up to kick the game-winning field goal. Since nothing about this game was going smoothly, there was a brief moment where it looked like Tucker had pulled the kick wide left—Steelers fans in the stadium started cheering for a second, and our own Dom Cosentino reportedly yelled, “MISSED IT!” Both parties were subsequently disappointed as the ball curled back inside between the uprights.
It’s amazing to see the kind of good Humphrey can do with his hands when he’s not actively trying to choke out his opponent’s best receiver.