While wrapping up their Super Bowl coverage this week, the folks over at Pro Football Focus put together an interesting post with an all-star team of their highest-graded playoff performers over the past six seasons.
Three Ravens players made the squad, but it may surprise you which three players they were.
Former Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis had their highest single-postseason grade at his position, but it was not in 2012, when the Ravens won the Super Bowl during his final ride in the NFL. No, Lewis made it for his fine performance in 2008, when he had 29 tackles for two forced fumbles in three playoff games.
Former Ravens free safety Ed Reed, who is expected to one day join Lewis in the Hall of Fame, also made the team. Despite the Ravens playing in just two playoff games in 2011, Reed had the second-highest single-postseason grade for a safety -- trailing only Seattle’s Kam Chancellor this year -- after picking off one pass and breaking up six others.
One Ravens player on the offensive side of the ball made the team, and no, it was not quarterback Joe Flacco nor wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who were tremendous in 2012.
The honor actually went to former Ravens center Matt Birk, who during the Super Bowl run in 2012 had the highest single-postseason grade at his position since 2008.
Flacco threw 11 touchdown passes with no interceptions in the 2012 postseason, but his Pro Football Focus grade was nearly half of what New York’s Eli Manning earned in 2011.
Boldin was close to making the cut, but he was slightly behind New York’s Hakeem Nicks, who starred in 2011. Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald, for 2008, was the other receiver.
Check out PFF’s full “all-postseason team" here.