Webb Delivers Knockout Blow

His 68-yard punt return was the first of Lardarius Webb’s career.

Posted by Garrett Downing on Sunday, December 4th, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Categories: 2011 Season Gameday, Garrett Downing, Week 13 vs Browns

The Ravens were in control for much of Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns, but the Browns kept hanging around, even into the fourth quarter.

But then Lardarius Webb got his hands on the ball during a punt return.

The third-year cornerback returned the punt 68-yards for the touchdown, giving the Ravens a 24-3 lead with about seven minutes remaining, effectively delivering the knockout blow. The Ravens went on to win it 24-10.

“We’ve just been working on it all week with everybody getting their man and making something happen,” Webb said after the game. “Just how important a punt return is and how you can change the game; the guys did a great job of blocking their guys and staying with them.”

Webb took the low punt and wove in and out of the defense, got by the punter and cut across the middle of the field to win a foot race to the end zone.

It was the first punt return touchdown of Webb’s career. Webb had a punt return for a touchdown in last year’s divisional playoff game against Pittsburgh, but it was called back due to a holding penalty. He had a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown during his rookie season in 2009 against the Denver Broncos.

“I just knew that this punt return team wasn’t doing what we usually do,” Webb said. “We kind of needed this phase in the game because everything is not always going to go right, and when you have a punt returner who can go the distance, you just have to use this in the game.”

In addition to his performance on special teams, Webb also played well on the defensive side, as the Ravens held Cleveland quarterback Colt McCoy to 192 passing yards on 17-of-35 passing.

McCoy was picked off by cornerback Jimmy Smith, and was also sacked three times. In the last two games, the Ravens have collected 12 sacks, and much of the credit for those sacks is being given to the play of the defensive backs.

“Our secondary has been playing phenomenal and that’s why we’ve been able to get after the quarterback,” said outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, who sacked McCoy once on Sunday.

That defense, combined with Webb’s big play potential in the return game, continues to make him one of the budding young stars on the Ravens roster.

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