- The Washington Times - Monday, December 17, 2001

BALTIMORE As Kris Brown trotted onto the field for pregame warm-ups last night, the Steelers kicker must have caught a glimpse of a large sign strategically placed behind the Pittsburgh bench at PSINet Stadium: "Merry Kris Miss!!!!"
Not that Brown expected anything less from the Baltimore Ravens fans, considering he nearly single-handedly lost this season's first meeting between the AFC Central rivals, missing four field goals in Baltimore's 13-10 victory on Nov.4.
By evening's end, it was Brown who left town in the holiday mood. Brown connected on two attempts to help pace the Steelers to a 26-21 victory and the division title.
Not all was perfect for the beleaguered kicker, though. When Pittsburgh opened the third quarter with a methodical 17-play drive, Brown was in position to pad his team's cushion with a 33-yard attempt.
Or perhaps not. In a scene straight out of that previous game at Heinz Field, Brown shanked his kick, grazing the ball off the right upright. All four of his misses in the last game went wide right.
Of course, the failed attempt proved harmless when the Steelers held on in the second half to win.

Happy feet
Elvis Grbac isn't regarded as much of a running quarterback, so his second-quarter touchdown last night was particularly shocking.
Facing a first-and-goal at the Steelers 2, Grbac ran a perfect bootleg to the right side and waltzed into the end zone for Baltimore's first touchdown of the game and Grbac's first rushing score of the season.
As was later discovered, Grbac wasn't looking to run.
"The play was designed to go to Shannon [Sharpe]," coach Brian Billick said. "Elvis read it well. They covered it, and Elvis did the right thing by tucking and going."

Many happy returns
The Ravens can't blame last night's lack of offense on poor field position, because Baltimore's special teams produced several lengthy returns.
The Ravens had three kickoff returns of at least 30 yards in the first half alone and nearly tied the game in the third quarter when Jermaine Lewis raced 62 yards on a punt return.
If not for a touchdown-saving tackle by Pittsburgh punter Josh Miller, Lewis was headed for an 88-yard score that would have cut the Steelers' lead to 13-12.

Chewing up the clock
Pittsburgh's mammoth 11-minute, 15-second drive to open the third quarter may not have resulted in any points, but it did keep the Ravens' offense on the sideline while eating away nearly the entire quarter.
The Steelers took the kickoff and promptly reeled off 17 plays before stalling at the Baltimore 14. By the time the Ravens got the ball back, the clock was already down to 3:45.
In fact, Pittsburgh's time of possession on that one drive alone was more than Baltimore's for the entire game to that point. At the time, the Ravens had held the ball for only 10 minutes, 48 seconds.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide