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Panthers 14 Ravens 21 Game in review

A recap of Sunday's thrilling, almost poetic, match up between Steve Smith and his former team.

Steve Smith catches a pass on 4th down during his amazing outing against the Panthers.
Steve Smith catches a pass on 4th down during his amazing outing against the Panthers.
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

A recap of Sunday's thrilling, almost poetic, match up between Steve Smith and his former team.

It was a hell of a game. A hell of a game. And anybody who expected anything else was either lying to themselves or didn't fully grasp the meaning of Agent 89 playing against his home team. It was closer than even a one score game should have been, and yet the result should never have been in doubt.

Both teams traded a series of three and outs as the Panthers offense tried to find its groove and an emotional battle between Steve Smith and our D led to a blinding menagerie of mistakes being made by both teams during that disco zoo party of a first half.

The Panthers scored on the opening possession of the first half and unwittingly opened a set of flood gates that would brook no orderly, or even dignified, evacuation of our animal kingdom of hopes onto any kind of ark. Every time we sniffed success, Steve Smith was there to put us in our place. One score for us meant one score for them. A stop on third and long led to a fourth down conversion. Even when we thought we might have a shot at overtime, classic Smitty took the last kick off back to the house for a 109 yard return touchdown as time expired. And I couldn't even bring myself to be mad.

Of course, it wouldn't have been a real reunion without some memorable, and quotable, drama. NFL Films did the obvious and had a mic on Steve throughout the game. I'll leave you with the transcript of the not quite microwave safe poetry shared between Steve Smith (SS), Ron Rivera (RR), and the Head Referee (HR) after a controversial PI call on Josh Norman that kept a third quarter scoring drive alive for the Ravens.

SS: That man, you see! He grabbed at me!

RR: He was merely playing for the pass, ‘tis not his fault you ran out of gas.

SS: Verily, I must protest! He kept me from playing at my best.

RR: ‘twas your arms alone acting as an alligator! Smitty, quit trying to be a hater.

SS: Ref, you must see he interfered. He was pulling on my beard!

RR: After the play Josh may simply have expressed some admiration. Surely this is befitting a man of your style and your station?

HR: What the hell is going on here? I'm just going to stick to my training and call DPI whenever the receiver asks for it.