Ngata came through in the crunch

Baltimore Ravens gigantic defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (left) recovered two fumbles and defected a...

Baltimore Ravens gigantic defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (left) recovered two fumbles and defected a pass that went for an interception on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Reuters)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:50 AM ET

BALTIMORE - The play of the day from the Ravens point of view was the absolute stuff of Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall by gigantic defensive tackle Haloti Ngata on the first play of the second half.

The Steelers trailed at the half 21-7, the exact scenario they found themselves in during their divisional playoff game last January against Baltimore. In that game they came back to win 31-24. So, the fans inside M&T Bank Stadium were restless.

But on the first play, Ngata creamed Mendenhall at the exact moment he received the ball from Ben Roethlisberger causing a fumble, one that Ngata recovered at the Steelers 18. Joe Flacco then connected with Ed Dickson for a touchdown to put the game away.

Recounting the big play, Ngata said no one touched him.

“The guard and tackle let me go,” he said. “So when that happens you just hit hard. I knew they were running that sprint draw quite a bit because that’s the play that got them some yards in the first half. So when I saw that handoff coming I knew if I could get there, I could cause a fumble.

“I saw Ben getting ready to hand the ball off and I got back there pretty quick. I was able to hit Mendenhall pretty good, good enough to not let him get hold of the ball.”

It was a big day for Ngata. He also deflected a pass that went for an interception and recovered a second fumble.


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