Allen's new beginning modest

20 carries, 37 yards, 1 TD for slow-starting veteran

September 10, 2001|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

There was little reaction from Ravens running back Terry Allen after his game-sealing 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter of yesterday's 17-6 win over the Chicago Bears at PSINet Stadium.

A veteran like Allen found little reason for a big celebration of his first touchdown as a Raven.

"It felt good," said Allen, who has 71 career rushing touchdowns. "It's nothing new for me. I've been there before, so I'm not going to jump for joy about it."

After a dreadful first half, who could blame him if he did?

Allen was held to 2 yards on five carries and found virtually no daylight created by the offensive line. Quarterback Elvis Grbac was the team's leading rusher at halftime with 12 yards.

Things worsened in the third quarter when Allen fumbled away the Ravens' opening possession after hits by Bears linemen Bryan Robinson and Ted Washington at the 50-yard line. That led to Paul Edinger's 46-yard field goal and a 6-3 Bears lead.

Allen's frustration showed on the next possession, when he was stopped for no gain and slammed the ball to the turf.

"I was disappointed with the way things went in the first half," Allen said. "It wasn't there. No matter how hard I tried, I started pressing myself and made it even worse. The thing was to just shut it down, make adjustments and get it going."

The next drive, Allen rebounded with runs of 5 and 8 yards in the Ravens' 11-play touchdown march that put the team up 10-6 late in the third quarter.

"We started running straight at them. We gave our offensive line a chance to get the big guys moving sideways and then having me cutting back underneath them," Allen said. "It started to work out. Once you get the offensive line in a rhythm, then the running back can get in a rhythm."

Allen finished with a modest 37 yards on 20 carries.

Allen, and the running game as a whole, seemed to pick up later in the game. Backup Jason Brookins made his one carry a good one, rushing for 8 yards on the Ravens' go-ahead touchdown drive.

"Better late than never," Ravens coach Brian Billick said of the second-half productivity. "They dropped an eighth guy down in the box a lot more than I thought they would initially and left themselves vulnerable to the pass. They had a good game plan, but, fortunately, we were able to crack it."

After a relatively light preseason, Allen took his first good hit since signing with the Ravens when Jamal Lewis went down with a season-ending knee injury.

The play before his touchdown run, Allen met Bears linebacker Warrick Holdman in mid-air at the 1-yard line, then plummeted straight to the ground.

"The guy just made a great play," Allen said. "I have to take my hat off to him. He popped me pretty good."

But he got up and kept going, much like he did all afternoon.

"It didn't end up being pretty at the end, but it was enough to win," Allen said.

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