Anthony Levine Sr. has made the leap from Tennessee State to spend six years with the Ravens, started games, and sacked quarterbacks. But until he stepped in front of Houston Texans quarterback Tom Savage’s pass intended for tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz with 2:16 left in Monday night’s game at M&T Bank Stadium, Levine had never recorded an interception.
“That was my first career pick,” he said after the game. “Coming up off from special teams and going in there and getting in the game, it is amazing. I can’t even describe the emotions that I have. I bombed on our celebration. I froze just because I was so emotional.”
Levine, 30, joked that younger teammates were stunned to learn that was his first official interception because he had made many similar plays in preseason games and practices. But what made the interception more meaningful for Levine was that it shut the door on any potential Texans rally from a 23-16 deficit that the Ravens would preserve for the victory.
“I can’t describe it,” he said of delivering the final footnote to the game. “We do a lot of studying. We know what we are doing, and [defensive coordinator] Dean Pees called a great play call for me to be aggressive. I turned around, and the ball was right there. The ball was there, and I caught it. I saw daylight, but all my teammates were telling me to go down. I’m a team player. Let’s take this knee, and let’s go home.”
Levine’s teammates were nearly as excited about he was about his play.
“There’s no better feeling than seeing a pick when you know they have no timeouts,” cornerback Jimmy Smith said. “It was a great feeling to see him get that.”