7 - 38 Final
  for this game

Roethlisberger, Steelers throttle Ravens

Nov 6, 2007 - 6:43 AM
PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- On a night when the Pittsburgh Steelers honored their All-Time Team in the franchise's 75th year, Ben Roethlisberger and James Harrison made bids to be included on the All-Century team.

Roethlisberger threw five touchdown passes - all in the first half - and Harrison was a one-man wrecking crew on defense as the Steelers shredded the Baltimore Ravens, 38-7, at rainy Heinz Field on Monday night.

Sanantonio Holmes and Nate Washington each caught a pair of scoring passes as the Steelers (6-2) maintained a one-game lead in the division over the surprising Cleveland Browns.

"Obviously good things happened. It was a good win for us every phase of the game," Roethlisberger said. "I'm proud of my offensive linemen. The line did a great job, even when things broke down they stuck with it.

"Receivers got open and made plays. I told the receivers, the ball's not going to be perfect, might not be a good spiral. I'm going to try to get it to you guys to make plays for me. They did a great job of it tonight."

The Ravens (4-4), who were coming off a bye, dropped their second straight game.

In avenging a pair of lopsided losses to the Ravens last season, Pittsburgh bolted to a 35-0 first-half lead behind the steely efficiency of Roethlisberger and the havoc caused by Harrison at linebacker.

"Just an unfortunate night," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "Try not to dwell on it and get ready for the next one. You have days like that. You saw the game. You can't do things like that."

Harrison had 2.5 sacks, an interception and two forced fumbles in the first half alone - with the three turnovers leading to 21 points.

"It was James Harrison's night. He played a whale of a football game," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said.

The fourth-year linebacker added another sack and one more forced fumble in the second half.

"I had a game in high school like this," Harrison said. "It seemed like everything was working. I was having a really good game and everything was coming to me."

Despite the miserable wet and rainy conditions, Roethlisberger finished 13-of-16 for 209 yards and the five TDs against a secondary that was missing starting cornerbacks Samari Rolle and Chris McAlister.

"We wanted to come out this year and show that we're going to be on the top of this league," Holmes said. "Ben ... came out here tonight and knew where we were going to be at. It was a matter of him taking advantage of what he knew we could do against them."

The Steelers received a scare when Roethlisberger limped off the field with a right hip injury after being shoved to the ground by Terrell Suggs with 6:04 left in the third quarter. He briefly returned for a series in the fourth quarter before calling it a night.

That helped the Steelers maintain its dominance at home, running its record to 12-0 on Monday Night Football since 1992.

In addition, Pittsburgh improved to 4-0 at home this season, outscoring the opposition by a 122-26 margin.

"We like going under the radar. It's not what New England or others do," Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward said. "We're trying to make the playoffs. We know anybody can win or lose in the playoffs. It's great that everybody talks about New England and the Colts. We're only worried about the Pittsburgh Steelers."

Harrison set the tone on the Ravens' first possession, forcing a fumble by quarterback Steve McNair that he also recovered.

Roethlisberger needed just three plays to convert, avoiding a sack by Trevor Pryce and floating a 17-yard TD pass to tight end Heath Miller for a 7-0 lead with 7:17 left in the opening period.

Harrison came up big again minutes later, jarring the ball loose from Ed Reed on a punt return to give the Steelers possession at Baltimore's 28.

Again, Roethlisberger took just three plays to convert the miscue into seven points, hitting Holmes with a 15-yard pass to make it 14-0 lead.

On the ensuing possession, Ravens running back Willis McGahee was stripped of the ball by safety Troy Polamalu to set up the Steelers at Baltimore's 36-yard line.

Three plays later, the rout was on as Roethlisberger scrambled away from pressure and hit a wide-open Washington for a 30-yard scoring strike and a 21-0 lead just 40 seconds into the second quarter.

"Ben made plays when things broke down. He made great decisions with the accurate passes," Tomlin said. "He did great things. I see what he has done for us this year and that is a franchise quarterback. Extremely professional."

Harrison forced another fumble by McNair, pinning the Ravens back near the goal line and allowing the Steelers to get great field position at midfield following a punt.

Roethlisberger found Holmes streaking down the right side for a 35-yard touchdown and a 28-0 cushion with 5:40 left in the half.

Harrison was thrust into the spotlight again, as he picked off McNair to set up a seven-yard scoring pass from Roethlisberger to Washington, setting a franchise record for TD passes in a half.

The Ravens finally slowed the onslaught when McGahee swept around right end for a 33-yard touchdown with 1:33 left in the half, cutting it to 35-7 at the break.

Last season, the Ravens outscored the Steelers, 58-7, in their two meetings, sacking Roethlisberger 14 times in the process.

"What it boils down to is getting back on the field quickly and try to undo all the wrongs that happened in this game and move on," Baltimore wide receiver Derrick Mason said. "We get a victory and everybody forgets what happened today. Even if we didn't have two weeks to prepare for them, when you turn the ball over it's hard to get a victory. We dug ourselves a hole."

McNair completed 13-of-22 passes for 63 yards and an interception before being replaced by Kyle Boller in the fourth quarter. It was the fewest yards in the history of the league by a QB with at least 13 completions.

McGahee rushed for 50 yards on 12 carries but was knocked out of the game with 6:59 to play with a concussion. He appeared to take a knee to the helmet while pass blocking.