Lardarius Webb’s career season continues.
In his first full year as the Ravens starting cornerback, Webb became the team leader in interceptions, picking off San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith for his fourth interception of the season.
With the takeaway, Webb broke away from free safety Ed Reed, who has three interceptions. But Webb said he wouldn’t be surprised if his position atop the list is short-lived.
“It feels great, but I’ve got Ed Reed on my team, and he’s coming somewhere,” Webb said with a grin. “He’s due for, like, three or four more in four games. But it feels great just putting the work in every week. As long as the D-line keeps playing the way they’re playing, I might get another one.”
Webb, who entered the 2011 campaign with two interceptions in his career, has flourished as a starter and has quietly put to rest the argument that rookie Jimmy Smith, a first-round pick in April, should be starting.
His interception in Thursday night’s 16-6 win came at a critical juncture as he picked off a pass intended for wide receiver Braylon Edwards in the end zone in the final minute of the second quarter.
“We were taking a shot,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said afterwards. “We were more hoping for the back shoulder. Alex saw Braylon inside the corner, and he threw it and it was an unfortunate play. I don’t know exactly who was right, but Webb made a good play. That happens. You try to take a shot, and we didn’t get it.”
Webb seemed to draw a little motivation from San Francisco’s strategy of lining up the 6-foot-3, 214-pound Edwards against him.
“They tried to big-boy me, put a tall guy,” said Webb, who is listed at 5-10 and 182 pounds. “I played it well. But he [Smith] had to get the ball out right then. So that made it easy on me.”