Gerry Dulac's Two-Minute Drill: Game Five vs. Browns
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In a game in which ILB Lawrence Timmons had two sacks and an interception, it was Harrison who delivered the knockout blow to the Browns with two thunderous -- albeit debatable -- hits on receivers Joshua Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi. But he also had a team-high 10 solo tackles and 1 1/2 sacks. The hit on Cribbs was significant because it knocked him out of the game with a head injury and forced the Browns to abandon their Wildcat package. "The key to the game was stopping Cribbs," LB James Farrior said. "And he stopped him."
One of the reasons the Steelers drafted rookie C Maurkice Pouncey with their No. 1 pick was his intelligence, and it was on display against the Browns. It was Pouncey's job to figure out all the defensive looks the Browns present in their sub packages and make the calls for the rest of the offensive line. It was something the Steelers didn't do last year when Ben Roethlisberger was sacked eight times in Cleveland. Sunday, Roethlisberger was not sacked once." He worked his tail off all week," said offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. "He takes a lot of pride in that."
A quick look at the top performances Sunday from the game:
1 BIG PLAYS: Backed at their own 4 in the third quarter, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians showed the importance of having Ben Roethlisberger back at quarterback. On first down, on a pass designed for Heath Miller, Roethlisberger found Mike Wallace down the right sideline for 50 yards. On the next play, on a pass designed for Wallace, Roethlisberger hit Miller for 36 yards. Three plays later, a sight-adjustment pass to Hines Ward produced an 8-yard TD pass and a 14-3 lead. "It doesn't matter who's making plays, as long as someone is making them," Wallace said.
2 BIG HITS: Harrison delivered the first of his two knockout blows in the second quarter when Cribbs, his former college teammate, ran for the third time from the wildcat formation. That ended any chance Cribbs might return his fourth career kickoff for touchdown against the Steelers.
3 BIG PICKS I: On third-and-4 at the Browns' 14 on their first possession, Roethlisberger's quick pass to RB Mewelde Moore was too high and intercepted by rookie nickel back Joe Haden, whose 62-yard return set up a Phil Dawson field goal.
4 BIG PICKS II: ILB Lawrence Timmons had two sacks among his 11 total tackles, but his interception return of a deflected pass to the Browns' 18 set up the final touchdown three plays later -- a 14-yard pass to TE Heath Miller.
5 BIG SCORE: On the series following his interception, Roethlisberger came right back with an 11-play, 81 yard drive in which he completed four of five passes for 66 yards -- the last a 29-yard touchdown pass to Wallace behind CB Eric Wright.
Coach Mike Tomlin's decision to dress rookie WR Emmanuel Sanders rather than rookie KR/WR Antonio Brown proved to be a good move, at least for the passing game. Sanders caught his first two NFL passes for 37 yards, including a 22-yarder on third-and-13 to set up a touchdown. The other came on third-and-8. It is not known if Tomlin made the move because Brown was late for a team meeting this week, but Sanders didn't care. "My whole goal is to keep the chains moving," Sanders said. "And I did that."
"Those two big plays he had, that showed what kind of physical game it was. And he set the tone."
-- Inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons on the two knockout hits by LB James Harrison
That was the longest run in yards by Browns RB Peyton Hillis, who finished with 41 on 12 carries, but it was also the longest run of the season against the Steelers' defense. No running back has rushed for more than 42 yards against the Steelers in 2010.
@ MIAMI DOLPHINS, 1 P.M. SUNDAY: The Steelers play the first of three consecutive games on the road when they visit Miami. The Steelers have won four in a row and five of the past six against the Dolphins, including the past two in Miami.
First Published October 18, 2010 12:00 am