- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
- Tea Party Patriots call key GOP firing a declaration of war
Ravens, 49ers bring big-hitting ‘D’ to Super Bowl
Question of the Day
OWINGS MILLS, MD. (AP) - It was as if linebacker Ray Lewis, safety Bernard Pollard and the rest of the Baltimore Ravens‘ defense set out to provide a quarter-by-quarter demonstration of how they do business.
About 11 minutes into the AFC championship game against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, Lewis drew a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty for a helmet-to-helmet hit that pushed tight end Aaron Hernandez’s chin strap up near his nose.
Then, in the second quarter, linebacker Dannell Ellerbe gave New England another free 15 yards by hitting an offensive lineman in the face mask in response to an after-the-play shove.
Fast-forward to early in the third, and Pollard was flagged for his team’s third personal foul of the day, thanks to a leaping hit against the helmet of receiver Wes Welker. Two plays later, Welker dropped a third-down pass.
And finally, a couple of minutes into the fourth, Pollard struck again. No penalty was called this time, but his helmet-to-helmet hit on Stevan Ridley resulted in a fumble and left the running back on his back, looking limp and helpless. Ridley left the game with a head injury, while the Ravens recovered the football and were on their way to next Sunday’s Super Bowl against the equally aggressive San Francisco 49ers.
In an age of high-powered offenses in the NFL _ this season’s games featured 45.5 points, the highest average since 1965 _ and increasingly safety-conscious officials, a pair of hard-hitting, oft-penalized defenses are meeting for the championship. Those second-half shutouts of the Patriots and Atlanta Falcons in the conference title games were only the latest reminder from the 49ers and Ravens that defense still matters.
Sometimes it isn’t about some sort of newfangled, complicated Xs-and-Os defense, either. It’s about players pushing it to the limit _ and, sometimes, perhaps beyond _ in a league that has been taking steps to rein in certain kinds of hits.
“Being physical? That’s vital, man. That’s what we live by,” Baltimore cornerback Cary Williams said. “That’s something that Ray Lewis established here back in `96, and we’re going to continue to do that. It’s been, I guess, in our bloodline. It’s in our DNA. We don’t bring in guys that’s timid. We don’t bring in guys that’s not going to hit anybody.”
What about San Francisco’s defense?
“They’re just as physical as we are,” Williams replied, offering what in his mind is probably the highest compliment he could pay another team’s players.
San Francisco defensive lineman Justin Smith deflected a question about whether his defense is as good as Baltimore’s, replying: “I mean, we’re just trying to win a ring.”
Actually, that’s probably better asked about the Ravens: Are they as good as the 49ers?
The 49ers allowed only two touchdown passes of 20-plus yards, the lowest total in the league. Baltimore allowed six.
During the regular season, the Ravens were whistled for an NFL-high 19 personal fouls. Their team also was penalized more yards overall than anyone else.
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- All-out war breaks out in GOP over budget pact
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Jane Fonda Foundation fails to make single contribution in 5 years: report
- White House improvises again on patchy Obamacare rollout
- MALCOLM/REIMER: Over-criminalization undermines respect for legal system
- GOP Rep. Tim Murphy rolls out mental health legislation
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Chef Mary Moran discusses the food we eat, where it comes from and what it does for us.
An informed and often humorous take on the world of advertising, public relations and social media. 100% Pure. Not from concentrate.
Does it take over 25 years in public service to really know what goes on in Washington?
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow