Ravens keep QB Dixon's running in check
TribLIVE Sports Videos
BALTIMORE — Ben Roethlisberger and Dennis Dixon couldn't be more opposite as quarterbacks.
Their size alone suggests that: Roethlisberger is 6-foot-5, 241 pounds; Dixon is listed at 6-3, 209.
But when it comes to the Baltimore Ravens, you defend one the same way you defend the other.
Baltimore prepared all week long to make sure they kept Roethlisberger in the pocket because once he is on the move, that's when he becomes most dangerous.
You would figure when the Ravens found out Saturday that Roethlisberger wasn't going to play Sunday that it would change their game plan.
Baltimore knew the way Dixon could hurt them the most was with his feet — but in a different way.
Dixon scrambles to run, and Roethlisberger scrambles to throw.
The Ravens made sure Dixon's scramble-to-runs were held to a minimum, which helped them beat the Steelers, 20-17, in overtime Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
"He got out on us a couple of times," outside linebacker Jarrett Johnson said. "It shows how athletic he is. We didn't know how he was going to react throwing the ball under the lights and everything. The thing he was going to be able to resort to was his legs."
For the most part, the Ravens didn't allow that. Dixon carried the ball three times for 27 yards.
"Their quarterback is a player," Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. "We couldn't allow him to get loose."
The Ravens allowed him to get loose once, and it resulted in a 24-yard touchdown run. The other two carries were quarterback sneaks.
"We had an all-out blitz called and they executed it well," Harbaugh said about the touchdown. "He made a great play."
Baltimore hasn't had any experience this year dealing with a quarterback who could also run.
They've played against Brodie Croyle, Philip Rivers, Derek Anderson, Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, Brett Favre, Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn.
Palmer had the most luck with 18 yards on five carries, but he would never be mistaken for a running quarterback. Palmer averages 3.2 yards per game over his career.
Dixon was the best running QB the Ravens faced this year.
At Oregon, keeping Dixon inside the pocket was difficult. He set a school record with 1,208 rushing yards. Dixon had 199 rushing attempts the two years he started at Oregon and nine rushing touchdowns in his senior season.
Against the Ravens, he had a scramble for 31 yards, which was nullified because of a hold by center Justin Hartwig. He has two quarterback sneaks that went for first downs — one was a 2-yard sneak on a third-and-1 midway through the fourth quarter; the other went for a yard and a first down early in overtime.
"Roethlisberger scrambles to throw," Johnson said. "Dixon does a little bit of both. He is going to get out and take off."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Big names become available this week via free agency; will Steelers be tempted?
- No tag for Worilds; Steelers cut Moore
- Steelers not limiting themselves in free agency
- Steelers restructure Gilbert, Mitchell contracts; Pouncey close
- Depth a concern for Steelers’ Colbert
- Steelers GM Colbert prepared to look at all options before draft
- Steelers release WR Lance Moore