Courtney Upshaw's Big Hit On Ben Roethlisberger Rates No. 1

Ben Roethlisberger might still be a little sore after the shot he took from Ravens outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw in Week 2.

"I lost my breath instantly and remember hitting the ground thinking, 'Boy, that hurt a lot,'" Roethlisberger said the week after Baltimore's 26-6 victory.

The Steelers quarterback said it was the second hardest hit in his life, only behind the shot he took from former Ravens linebacker Bart Scott in 2006.

For Upshaw, the hit on Roethlisberger takes the gold in his book.

"I would definitely rank that number one," Upshaw said. "It's the NFL. Nothing that I did in the past can out-rate that one because it's the NFL. And it's Ben."

On the play, Roethlisberger stepped up to avoid near sacks from outside linebackers Terrell Suggs and Pernell McPhee. The pressure collapsed the pocket around Roethlisberger, leaving a direct path to the quarterback for Upshaw.

Upshaw had a running start of about six yards to deliver the hit on Roethlisberger, who had no idea the 272-pound linebacker was bearing down on him.

"I will say that was probably my only free run at a quarterback like that," Upshaw said. "I had a chance to get a big hit, and I didn't pass up on it. We pride ourselves on being physical up front, and it started with that first play."

"I've never gotten him that good," Suggs added. "I can only think of one person that hit him that good besides Courtney was Bart. Ben is a big guy. Even with him being that big, he doesn't get subject to hits like that too many times."

The hit came on Pittsburgh's opening series, and Suggs said "it did set the tone" in Baltimore 26-6 victory.

But Roethlisberger wasn't the only one who paid for it. Upshaw was flagged for the hit and had to open up his wallet to hand over a hefty fine to the NFL. The league initially fined Upshaw $16,537, but that number was cut in half after an appeal.

"At the end of the day," Upshaw said, "it really cost me."

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