BALTIMORE — Nick Boyle stood up and looked nonchalant after his touchdown to put the Ravens up 30-20 early in the fourth quarter.
But about two seconds later, he was mobbed by Ronnie Stanley first, then by the rest of the offense as they pushed him through the back corner of the end zone.
The reason for the wild celebration was because Boyle’s five-yard touchdown wasn’t just any touchdown — it was the first of his NFL career.
It took him 56 games to get there, but Boyle finally reached the end zone in perhaps the most impressive regular season win over his career.
“I mean I wasn’t even worried about it,” Boyle said with a smile. “The best part is not that I scored, but that I don’t have to answer the question anymore, ‘When are you going to score?’ It was a whole effort on our side. If I scored and we lost, it wouldn’t be good.”
Boyle, the Ravens best blocking tight end and one of the best blockers in the league at his position, had answered questions for years about the biggest zero on his stat sheet.
Now, Boyle no longer has to deal with those questions.
“I don’t think anyone has ever been so excited as an offense or as a whole team to see one guy score,” Mark Andrews said. “I had a lot of fun going out there and watching him do that. He does so much for this team and does so much for us, to be able to see him get a touchdown and get some gratification from that, you can’t beat that.”
Routinely referred to as one of the hardest-working players on the team, Boyle’s touchdown helped cap one of the most impressive regular season wins in a long time for the Ravens.
On a night when he caught his first touchdown pass, he was also the Ravens leading receiver with five catches for 27 yards — and his now-famous touchdown.
“There were a lot of guys grabbing the game ball to make sure he got the game ball, the touchdown ball, so he could have it as a souvenir,” coach John Harbaugh said. “Nick is one of our very best players. He does a lot of everything really well and he deserves it.”
In addition to the touchdown, he spent the night clearing running lanes for Mark Ingram and Lamar Jackson. As a team, the Ravens ran for 210 yards against a defense that allowed just 85.2 entering the game.
Boyle won’t get as much praise for his blocking as he will his touchdown, but that’s the way life has been for the five-year pro out of Delaware. Only tonight, he got recognized for his score.
“We know it was his first touchdown, something he’s been talking about for a while, and obviously he was able to make it happen,” Orlando Brown Jr. said. “We were just really excited for him. He’s been in the league five years, hasn’t got a touchdown, but obviously he got his payday.”
The Ravens missed the ensuing extra point, something Boyle joked he’d hear from Justin Tucker about.
But the touchdown put the tight end who’s never in the spotlight, who doesn’t even like the spotlight, as the most celebrated touchdown of the night in a game where the Ravens had five of them.
“There’s still people congratulating me, it was cool,” Boyle said. “I’m not the one to really be the center of attention, everybody coming up to me. But it was cool to see they were happy for me.”
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