The Ravens fullback flattened Steelers mammoth, 325-pound nose tackle Casey Hampton – who eats a pregame hot dog provided by a heckling fan before every game at M&T Bank Stadium – during the second quarter of Sunday’s 23-20 loss.
It was just part of what was a big day for Baltimore’s Pro Bowl fullback. He had a handful of crushing blocks and caught four passes for 40 yards. He had never caught that many passes or posted that many yards as a Raven.
Leach’s shot on Hampton was definitely the highlight. It was reminiscent of outside linebacker Jarret Johnson’s hit on retired Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward last year.On a
But just when Hampton had running back Ray Rice in his crosshairs, Leach totally blindsided the Steeler, blowing the five-time Pro Bowler onto his back.
“It was just being a competitor,” Leach said. “It was a play we worked on all week and I don’t think he saw me coming. So, hey, I had a nice shot on him.”
Leach dismissed the notion that the block was a momentum builder for the offense. Rice gained six yards on the run, putting Baltimore on the 4-yard line. But the Ravens failed to get it into the end zone from there, and settled for a 23-yard field goal and a 6-3 lead.
“I think it was just a good block,” Leach said. “He thought he was going to make a play in the backfield and I came out of nowhere to hit him.”
Leach hadn’t had four catches in a single game since 2007, when he had five for 26 yards while a member of the Houston Texans. He now has surpassed last year’s totals with 16 grabs for 119 yards this season, and is on pace for a career-high 159 receiving yards.