Todd Heap is too modest to single out an opponent after an impressive performance.
But after a 10-catch, 108-yard showing that aided the Ravens' 30-7 rout of the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Wildcard round Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, the tight end conceded that he felt confident when he was lined up against rookie strong safety Eric Berry.
"Obviously, I think it's a good matchup anytime I can go up against a safety, but I know he's a good player," Heap said of the 6-foot, 211-pound Berry, who give up five inches and 36 pounds to Heap. "But [him] being a rookie, I just felt like there were a few looks that we could take advantage of."
Heap seemed to enjoy particular success on crossing routes, flashing underneath across the middle for quarterback Joe Flacco as the wide receivers drove the coverage deep.
"There was one play that we have that we probably ran four or five or six times in the game and converted on all of them," Heap said. "Joe was seeing the same thing I was. When the ball was snapped, he read the defense, and I was reading the same exact thing that Joe was reading. Had a little option of either setting down in the zone or beating a guy in man coverage, and most of the time, we were getting man coverage. The lanes were opening up, and Joe was seeing it just like I was, and we were making plays."Heap said he realized that he could make an impact on the outcome.
"From the snap, there were times when I would say, 'All right, this is it. If I beat my guy, it's going to be a big play,'" he said. "And then there was a few other times where the play had to develop a little bit, but overall, I think the big plays were made by Joe. He played spectacular."
Both the 10 catches and 108 yards are postseason records in the franchise's 15-year history. Four of Heap's grabs converted third downs, and three of the offense's longest plays from scrimmage occurred because of Heap.
After the game, coach John Harbaugh was asked if Heap gets the national acclaim that he deserves. Harbaugh deflected the question before offering an assertive opinion.
"If there's anybody out there that doesn't think Todd Heap is one of the premier tight ends in the National Football League, then they probably haven't paid attention over the course of his career," Harbaugh said.