Gerry Dulac's Two-Minute Drill
Steelers linebacker laMarr Woodley, right, and defensive lineman Casey Hampton tackle Ravens running back Le'Ron McClain during yesterday's 23-20 win at Heinz Field.
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It wasn't just that Woodley had a team-high 10 tackles and two sacks, giving him 9 1/2 sacks in the past seven games and a team-high 11 1/2 for the season. But he forced two of the three Ravens turnovers, hitting Joe Flacco's arm that allowed James Farrior to intercept a wobbly pass in the first quarter and forcing a fumble on a Flacco sack that Ziggy Hood recovered with 2:27 remaining. "He's a beast," said DE Brett Keisel. "There's a sign that says 'LaMarr Woodley Brings It,' and he does."
1. MASON'S DROP IN THE END ZONE: Two plays after McGahee's touchdown run was negated because WR Kelley Washington was holding CB Deshea Townsend, Mason ran a simple stop-and-go route on Townsend. Mason was wide open in the end zone when he dropped what looked to be an easy 21-yard touchdown that would have given the Ravens a 27-20 lead. "It was a dropped ball ... it hit my facemask," Mason said. "It's one that I got to have."
2. WOODLEY'S BACK-TO-BACK SACKS: They came after the Ravens moved to the Steelers' 35 with 2:39 remaining and closed out the game. The latter, on fourth-and-10, forced a fumble that Ziggy Hood recovered.
3. BEN'S FIRST PICK IN THREE GAMES: Roethlisberger said he shouldn't have thrown the pass that was returned 47 yards for a TD by CB Domonique Foxworth. But the score was negated by a penalty and the Ravens had to settle for a tying FG.
4. 'TONE FOR TWO: Santonio Holmes' 24-yard TD in which he ran around S Dawan Landry at the 15 gave the Steelers their second 10-point lead. His other 24-yard catch-and-run set up Jeff Reed's winning field goal with 5:25 remaining.
5. KEEPING IT ALIVE: With two minutes remaining, the Steelers went 94 yards in seven plays to take a 20-10 lead with 35 seconds remaining in the first half. The drive was kept alive with a 45-yard pass to Mike Wallace on third-and-12 from the Steelers' 4.
That's the number of consecutive games (playoffs included) in which the Steelers did not allow a 100-yard rusher. Ray Rice ended the streak with 141 yards on 30 carries. The last player to do so was Fred Taylor.
With two minutes remaining and the Ravens out of timeouts, Roethlisberger tried a deep pass for Mike Wallace on third-and-11 from his 41 that was intercepted by S Tom Zbikowski and returned 38 yards to the Steelers' 42. However, Ravens CB Frank Walker was called for illegal contact on Wallace, negating the play. "When I went to throw it to him, I saw the ref throw the flag," Roethlisberger said. "I knew they were going to call a hold or something. I thought I might as well throw it deep."
"This is our bed, but I like how they're laying in it. We're not dead yet. We make no excuses or have no explanations. We put ourselves in this position, but I like the way we're dealing with it."
-- Steelers coach Mike Tomlin
With the score tied, 20-20, the Ravens had perhaps their most ignominious series of the season when they twice cost themselves a touchdown and failed to score a point. In a span of five plays from the Steelers' 32, Willis McGahee's 32-yard TD run was wiped out by a holding penalty, WR Derrick Mason dropped an easy pass in the end zone and a senseless 15-yard personal foul penalty after an incomplete pass knocked them out field-goal range.
@ MIAMI DOLPHINS, 1 P.M. SUNDAY: The Dolphins eliminated themselves from playoff contention with a 27-20 loss to the Houston Texans. The Steelers need a victory to keep alive their playoff hopes.
First Published December 28, 2009 12:00 am