Breaking Down The Polamalu Sack

The play of the game was Troy Polamalu’s sack-strip. What happened?!

Posted by Mike Duffy on Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Categories: 2010 Season, Mike Duffy, Week 13 vs Steelers

It’s undeniable that the play of the Ravens’ 13-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers occurred when safety Troy Polamalu sacked and stripped quarterback Joe Flacco late in the fourth quarter.

Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh attempted to find out what happened, as there was an obvious miscommunication when linebacker James Harrison shifted inside over left tackle Michael Oher, giving Polamalu a clean shot.

Were the Ravens thrown off by Harrison’s slight movement?

“I asked that same question of the players involved and the coach involved, and [the answer was] no,” Harbaugh said in his Monday press conference. “They saw him slide inside. They saw Troy walk down in there. They knew it. They kind of got our wires crossed on how we were adjusting to that.

“We crossed wires on two different protection calls that we have.”

Polamalu was on Flacco’s blind side in the blink of an eye, as running back Ray Rice went to the right side of the backfield to engage a blitzing Lawrence Timmons.

All it took was a hard chop to Flacco’s throwing arm to dislodge the football, which Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley recovered and returned to Baltimore’s 9-yard line.

Three snaps later, the Steelers scored a go-ahead touchdown that would be the game’s deciding points.

“That play changed the outcome of the game,” said Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs. “We’ve just got to know our opponent better. I feel like we have to play better as a team – offensively, defensively – and play the game. We need to learn from our mistakes. I remember another sack, fumble for a touchdown in 2008. It’s like, ‘Have we learned nothing?’

“Dick LeBeau, he’s an aggressive defensive coordinator. Nine times out of 10 that [No.] 43 [Polamalu] is at the line, he’s coming. We can’t give them that opportunity to make plays, and we did.”

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