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Breaking Down Ravens' Ed Reed's Vision

Matt Bowen of the National Football Post did a great story on "Breaking Down Ed Reed's Playmaking Ability." He uses the video above from the Cincinnati Bengals game last season, where Reed rolled to his left, read QB Carson Palmer's eyes and picked off a pass to Chad Ochocinco in full stride for what appears to be an easy 'pick-six.'

However, it might not have been quite as easy s it looked. Bowen's breakdown shows the pre-snap formation which had the Ravens defense overloading one side in a blitz, knowing full well that Palmer would have to get rid of the ball quickly. With Ochocinco being his favorite target, Reed saw the play developing exactly as the defense planned it and his footwork and technique was text-book perfect.

An NFL play only takes a few seconds, but the time, effort, strategy and teammwork required to make it go as planned proves that football is as much a team game as any in professional sports. Regardless of Reed's playmaking abilities, without the combination of the the rest of the players on defense doing their jobs, Reed would not be the disruptive and game-changing force that he has been in his ten seasons in the NFL.