- The Washington Times - Monday, November 5, 2001

PITTSBURGH The Bus didn't stop to pick up any passengers.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis played like a rush-hour express. Bettis finished just 9 yards shy of becoming the first running back in three years to rush for 100 yards against the Baltimore Ravens' stout defense.
Bettis, the AFC's fifth-leading rusher, finished with 91 yards on 23 carries (an average of 4.0). After a 13-yard run to open the fourth quarter, Bettis had 81 yards on 17 carries. But down the stretch, the Ravens shut down the bruising 5-foot-11, 255-pound Bettis. Bettis accumulated just 10 yards on six carries the remainder of the fourth quarter.
"[Bettis is] a heck of a player and a heck of a competitor," said Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis. "He's run the ball well against everybody else. He had 91. We came away with the 'W.' I'll take that all day."
This was the 45th straight game that the Ravens have not allowed a 100-yard rusher the longest active streak in the NFL. The Ravens, who entered the game holding opponents to an NFL-low 65.7 rushing yards per game, knew the Steelers would try to establish Bettis.
Early in the second quarter, Bettis broke a 25-yard run up the middle for his longest run of the day before Ravens linebacker Jamie Sharper pulled the lumbering running back down from behind. The AFC Central-leading Steelers came into this game leading the NFL in rushing with 186.8 yards per game. For the game, the Steelers rushed for 123 yards on 35 carries.
"I was surprised that Bettis got 91 yards," said Ravens defensive end Michael McCrary. "Everybody on the defense was like, 'Forget that [streak], we've got to win.' That's the most important thing, forget that other stuff. That speaks a lot for him. He ran well today."
Chicago's James Allen was the last running back to rush for 100 yards against the Ravens. Allen gained 163 yards against Baltimore on Dec. 20, 1998.

Big returns for Lewis
Jermaine Lewis, the Ravens' return man, played a large role in yesterday's 13-10 win. Lewis, who is second in the AFC in punt returns, accounted for 112 return yards on five returns three punts and two kickoffs.
Lewis broke a 53-yard kickoff to the Pittsburgh 42 that set up the Ravens' lone touchdown of the game a 13-yard pass from backup quarterback Randall Cunningham to tight end Shannon Sharpe.
"When you get two good defenses, you're going to need those special teams yards," Lewis said. "[The Steelers' special teams unit is] one of the top cover units, but I was just hungry and wanted to get it up in there."

No ground attack
The Ravens' inability to run the ball reared its ugly head again. Jason Brookins, who started for injured Terry Allen, gained just 40 yards on 16 carries (2.5 average).
As a team, the Ravens gained just 41 yards on 26 carries. Baltimore's ground game has been questioned since star running back Jamal Lewis, who rushed for a team-record 1,364 yards last season, blew out his left knee on the first day of training camp.
The Ravens never got it going on the ground yesterday against the Steelers' defense the only 3-4 scheme in the league. A 7-yard burst by Brookins was the Ravens' longest run of the game.
"[Coach] Brian [Billick] told us this was the kind of game it would be one of those games where they would make some plays in our backfield, and we would make some plays running, but overall, he said we would have to persevere through all of it," Cunningham said. "And then when we could get plays, we just had to take advantage of them."


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