Monday, January 9, 2012
Harrison's clean hit still causes damage
By Jamison Hensley
DENVER -- Steelers linebacker James Harrison showed that he can lower his strike zone. That's little consolation to Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker.
Suspended earlier this season for his repeated blows to the head, Harrison hit Decker low in Sunday's wild-card playoff game, striking the knee of the wide receiver. Decker didn't return to the game and is expected to miss the divisional playoff game at New England with an MCL sprain.
What has been overshadowed by the hit was the fact that Harrison dropped 21 yards back into coverage to take down Decker. He's usually known as a pass-rusher, not a cover linebacker.
Harrison, though, still was unable to avoid a penalty flag. Two series after that Decker hit, Harrison was flagged for roughing the passer. It looked like a very questionable call because Harrison pushed Tim Tebow to the ground after he had released the ball.
That 15-yard penalty was the biggest play on a Broncos' drive that ended in a field goal and put Denver ahead 17-6