Ed Reed is pretty good at football, and we knew that he would make the Ravens defense better when he returned from the PUP list. But even coach John Harbaugh was surprised to find out that after playing in just two games, the bearded ball-hawk leads the Ravens in interceptions.
"I didn't realize that, but I'm always impressed with Ed Reed," Harbaugh told reporters Monday. "Obviously, he's a great football player. He's worked really hard, I think, to get himself prepared for the time he was going to come back. ... I've always said it many times: I think he's going to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and that's the way he's playing."
Reed picked off Chad Henne in the fourth quarter of Sunday's victory over the Dolphins and he intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick twice in the Ravens' Week 7 win against the Bills, giving him three of the team's eight interceptions this season. Five other players have one interception each.
Reed was asked Sunday if he's good for an interception a game. He responded, "I'm trying. I certainly hope we can. I was in the right spot at the right time. I caught it, and I just took it down."
It also should be noted that with interceptions from cornerbacks Lardarius Webb and Josh Wilson against the Dolphins, the Ravens have five since Reed's return. They had three in their previous six games.
Two weeks into the season, the Ravens ranked last in the NFL in turnover differential at minus-six (in large part due to Joe Flacco's struggles). They are now plus-one after Sunday's three-interception performance, the first time they have been a plus in that stat category in 2010. Coincidence?
No wonder NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders on Sunday called Reed "the best safety in the game." Steelers fans will make a case for Troy Polamalu -- one of the NFL's great debates -- but I doubt they will deny the positive effect that a healthy Reed has had on the Ravens secondary.