View Full Version : Harrison tested early by Ravens

11-07-2011, 10:54 PM
Harrison tested early by Ravens

By Ralph N. Paulk
Monday, November 7, 2011

Steelers linebacker James Harrison didn't hold back in his first game since being sidelined for four weeks with an eye injury. Harrison couldn't work himself back into the flow slowly, partly because the Ravens challenged him throughout the first half by running left nearly 80 percent of the time.

Harrison's timing was slightly off, particularly on blitzes. He jumped offside on a third down, but redeemed himself by tackling Ray Rice on a third-and-2 run. Harrison forced a 43-yard field goal that put the Ravens up 6-3 with 9:28 left in the first half.

Harrison picked up the pace late in the second half. He had a sack and two quarterback hits on Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco.

>> Hines Ward paid a heavy price for a 6-yard gain early in the second quarter. He was decked by linebacker Ray Lewis on what looked like a helmet-to-helmet blow. Ward walked slowly toward the bench, but was visibly shaken. The 35-year-old receiver, sandwiched by Lewis and safety Bernard Pollard, has taken a few heavy hits this season. Even worse for the Steelers, Ward's catch was ruled an incomplete pass after a Baltimore challenge. Ward, who missed last week's game with an ankle injury, suffered a stinger. Ward was on the sideline, but did not return to the game in the third quarter.

>> As they did in the first meeting, the Ravens utilized their running backs and tight ends to march 75 yards in 14 plays to take an early 3-0 lead. Flacco connected with running back Ricky Williams for 11 yards on third-and-2 to keep the opening drive alive. With the Ravens facing third-and-6, Flacco weathered a blitz to heave a wobbly floater that tight end Dennis Pitta snatched for a 23-yard gain to the Steelers' 30. But the Steelers held the Ravens out of the end zone, partly because of blanket coverage from strong safety Ryan Clark on Pitta, who had three catches for first downs. Together, the tight ends and backs accounted for seven catches in the first 30 minutes.

>> The Steelers defense was resilient in the first half. Even though the Ravens were 5 of 7 on third down, ran 24 plays from scrimmage and dominated the clock (11:23 to 3:37), the Steelers trailed only 3-0 after the first quarter.

>> Wide receiver Mike Wallace wasn't targeted until midway through the second quarter. While Antonio Brown had catches of 32 and 20 yards in the first half, Baltimore cornerbacks Cary Williams and Lardarius Webb cast a net over Wallace who couldn't shake loose in man coverage. He made his first catch, a 15-yarder to the Baltimore 14, with 11:05 remaining in the third.

>> Cornerbacks Bryant McFadden and Curtis Brown were productive on special teams. McFadden, still trying to win back his starting job from William Gay, forced a fumble on a kickoff return by David Reed. Gay, however, solidified his spot in the starting lineup with another solid effort. He was involved in seven pass plays and had three tackles in the first 30 minutes.

>> Two unlikely heroes were tight end David Johnson and wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery. Johnson had a 36-yard grab and Cotchery picked up 17 to put the Steelers in scoring position prior to the two-minute warning.

Ralph N. Paulk can be reached at rpaulk@tribweb.com or 412-320-7923 .

Read more: Harrison tested early by Ravens - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/print_765978.html#ixzz1d5QXDF7Z

11-07-2011, 11:04 PM
I heard Harrisons getting another fine. Anyone know what for?....i didnt hear why!