- The Washington Times - Monday, November 5, 2001

PITTSBURGH Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Kris Brown couldn't get it right yesterday, only wide right.
Brown missed three field goals all to the right and had one blocked yesterday, allowing the Baltimore Ravens to escape with a hard-fought 13-10 victory before 62,906 at Heinz Field.
With 14 seconds left, Brown missed a routine 35-yard attempt that would have sent the game into overtime. Brown converted 11 of 13 field goal attempts before yesterday but in this game missed from 41, 48 and 35 yards. Ravens cornerback Chris McAlister also blocked Brown's 33-yard attempt in the third quarter.
"There is no explanation," Brown said. "I did not come out and play well today and lost the game for us. I just did not do my job. There is no excuse for anything. I just did not perform, period. It is plain and simple. That is all I am going to say. I just did not go out and make the kicks. I expect myself to go out there and make every single kick that I try. The most upsetting thing is that I let everyone in this locker room down."
All of Brown's misses happened at the open end of Heinz Field, which faces the Monongahela River, with a stiff wind blowing at his back and from left to right.
McAlister blocked Brown's attempted 33-yarder at the closed end of the Steelers' sparkling new stadium. McAlister's block kept the Ravens, trailing 10-7 in the third quarter, within a field goal of tying the game.
McAlister lined up wide left and charged in untouched off the corner to get a hand on Brown's kick. McAlister's block was the first kick the Ravens have blocked this season.
"They didn't touch me," McAlister said. "That was the problem right there. They couldn't come out and get me and block Rod [Woodson] at the same time. Somewhere in there, there is going to be a gap. He collapsed down on Rod and left the corner free."
This was a huge win for the Ravens (5-3). The victory keeps them a half-game behind the Steelers (5-2) for the division lead and equals last season's record at the midpoint of the season.
"I love playing here in Pittsburgh, besides the fact that I've never lost here," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "It's football. You come here, the fans are great, and it's always a good Pittsburgh Steeler football team."
The Steelers took a 3-0 first-quarter lead on a 38-yard Brown field goal his only made field goal of the game.
The Ravens answered on the first play of the second quarter when quarterback Randall Cunningham found tight end Shannon Sharpe open over the middle for a 13-yard touchdown that gave Baltimore a 7-3 lead.
"On the touchdown, I was looking at Randall hoping they would go cover two, and they went cover two, and I was able to jump inside the linebacker," Sharpe said of the 50th touchdown of his career, which tied him with Ben Coates for third all-time in receiving touchdowns by a tight end. "[Steelers linebacker Earl Holmes] tried to pass me, but the other back was looking in the backfield and I was able to get behind him."
This was Cunningham's second consecutive start for injured Elvis Grbac. Cunningham, who is 2-0 as the starter, posted modest passing numbers yesterday, completing 14 of 22 passes for 158 yards with the one touchdown and one interception.
The Ravens seemingly had control until 32 seconds before halftime. Leading 7-3, the Ravens allowed the Steelers to start with great field position at the Ravens' 32 after a poor punt by Kyle Richardson from out of his end zone.
Four plays later, the Steelers scored their only touchdown when quarterback Kordell Stewart hit wide receiver Plaxico Burress on a 21-yard touchdown pass with 15 seconds left.
Stewart picked on Ravens cornerback Duane Starks all half, and his persistence paid off. On first-and-10 at the Ravens 21, Stewart lofted a pass to the right pylon for the 6-foot-5 Burress. Burress was 2 yards in front of Starks in the end zone when he snagged Stewart's third touchdown pass of the season and gave the Steelers a 10-7 halftime lead.
After the game, Starks declined to comment. In man-to-man coverage, Burress' touchdown was the fourth Starks has allowed in the past four games.
The Ravens tied the game 10-10 on 25-yard Matt Stover field goal with 14:57 left. A face mask penalty at the Steelers 40 turned out to be a key play of the Ravens' nine-play, 58-yard drive. Steelers rookie linebacker Kendrell Bell was flagged for grabbing Cunningham's face mask, putting the ball on the Steelers 25.
With 4:22 left and the game tied, Cunningham drove the Ravens 40 yards in seven plays to set up Stover's game-winning 39-yard field goal. Starting at their 38, Cunningham hit Sharpe for a 26-yard gain that proved to be the drive's biggest play and took the Ravens to the Steelers 36. On fourth-and-7 at the Steelers 22 with 1:45 left, Stover converted the kick to give the Ravens a 13-10 victory and their second road win of the season.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide