Heap now club's all-time leader in receiving yards

Ravens notebook

Ravens Gameday

December 20, 2005|By BRENT JONES | BRENT JONES,SUN REPORTER

Ravens tight end Todd Heap became the franchise's leader in receiving yards, surpassing Qadry Ismail in the third quarter of last night's win over the Green Bay Packers with his trademark flair and style.

Heap beat Packers safety Mark Roman down the sideline for a 27-yard touchdown, putting the Ravens up 31-3 and punching what could be a ticket to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl at the end of the season.

It was the second touchdown catch of the night for Heap, who fought off an early jam from Roman to beat him by a step. The play also gave Heap the third 100-yard receiving game of his career.

The touchdown gave Heap 2,841 receiving yards for his career, besting Ismail's 2,819 from 1999 to 2001. It also gave Heap 69 receptions this season, a career best.

Heap has at least two catches in every game this season.

Reed back in form

Ravens safety Ed Reed failed to get an interception against Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre. Reed, though, was in position to get three, providing the first real evidence that the 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year is rounding back into form.

Reed baited and battered the Packers' offense much of the night, suckering Favre into deep throws he had little chance of completing. Reed had a shot to pick off Favre on the second play of the game, then saw a Favre pass bounce off his hands in each of the next two drives.

It was the third straight game Reed has played since missing six games midway through the season with a high ankle sprain.

Clayton learning

Every game, the Ravens seem to invent a new way to get the ball in Mark Clayton's hands, and last night, they took a play usually reserved for college football.

Clayton took a handoff from Kyle Boller, then ran an option with running back Chester Taylor. The play lost a yard, but it came in the aftermath of an 11-yard touchdown run by Clayton from shotgun formation the previous drive.

"Every game I start out there is a learning experience," Clayton said. "This year, I'm just going to try to finish up strong, develop some chemistry as an offense and take it into the offseason."

Former teammates

If Favre and Ravens nickel back Deion Sanders both retire at the end of the season, Sanders will walk away with one up on his former teammate.

Favre and Sanders began their careers with the Atlanta Falcons before leaving that franchise and making their respective marks elsewhere. Sanders intercepted Favre in the second quarter last night, returning the ball 24 yards to help set up a field goal before halftime.

It Sanders' second career interception against Favre.

"Brett had a career, and no one play can define a career," Sanders said. "They've got two hours worth of footage that they can run on his highlights."

Packers' Gado injured

Packers running back Samkon Gado left the game with a knee injury and did not return.

Gado was hurt during a 2-yard rush late in the first quarter. He was treated on the field, then limped to the sideline.

The rookie, pressed into action because of injuries that have decimated the Packers' backfield, gained 45 yards on six carries before leaving the game.

He has averaged 119 rushing yards a game the past three weeks, running for 171 last week.

End zone

Ravens tight end Darnell Dinkins suffered a leg injury in the second quarter and did not return. ... Aaron Elling, Patrick Johnson, Brian St. Pierre, Justin Green, Mike Smith, Daniel Wilcox, Clarence Moore and Dwan Edwards were the Ravens' inactives. ... The 70,604 in attendance last night was the largest crowd in Baltimore's professional sports history.

brent.jones@baltsun.com

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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