Heap sneaks up on Redskins to make key reception

Ravens Gameday

December 08, 2008|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,ken.murray@baltsun.com

It was the play-acting in Todd Heap that brought out the playmaker last night, when the Ravens showed once more their resourcefulness to get the job done no matter the circumstances.

Heap temporarily disappeared from the Redskins' radar on a big fourth-and-one play in the third quarter, only to surface along the left sideline for a 24-yard gain that led to a 32-yard field goal by Matt Stover.

The play calls for Heap to fall at the line of scrimmage while play-action takes the defense to the right. Then he sneaks out to the flat for the pass.

"Part of the plan is that you have to be an actor on that kind of play," Heap said after the Ravens' 24-10 victory in sub-freezing temperatures and 20 mph winds. "It's a play we've practiced somewhat this year, but you only pull it out for certain occasions. Fourth-and-one, they were definitely not expecting that play."

On a night when the Ravens' offense produced six straight series that ended with punts - discounting the end of the half - they were able to come up with big plays when they needed them.

The Ravens scored a touchdown on their opening drive for the first time this season, and the key play was a third-and-10 draw to rookie Ray Rice, who cut back inside pulling guard Chris Chester for a 21-yard gain to Washington's 8-yard line.

On the next play, Le'Ron McClain, running behind an unbalanced line, smashed in for a touchdown.

Then the offense went dormant, at least until Heap's catch, which helped built a 17-0 lead.

"We ran that against Cleveland, about the same place on the field," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "I roll right, he falls down to make sure he's hidden."

Two Ravens turnovers - one a Flacco interception, the other a fumble by Willis McGahee - allowed the Redskins to get within 17-10.

Awakened, the Ravens' offense barged down the field in 12 plays. The first 11 were runs, 10 by McClain, one an end-around by Mark Clayton for 11 yards.

The final play was a 28-yard touchdown to wide receiver Derrick Mason, who beat cornerback Carlos Rogers with a double move. Flacco's pass was slightly underthrown, and Mason outjumped Rogers at the 2, then spun into the end zone, where he then did his Michael Jackson impersonation.

The 83-yard drive finished off the Redskins and helped the Ravens stay a game behind the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC North.

How big was the win?

"Bigger than last week's win," Mason said. "Every win gets bigger now."

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