Steelers Players Accuse Ravens Of Illegal Chop Blocks

Several Steelers players are speaking out about a few of the blocks used on nose tackle Casey Hampton on Sunday in Baltimore and are accusing them of chop blocking Hampton. If you read my post game observations the day after the 35-7 loss I noted how much the Ravens cut block, but did not look closely at whether or not they were indeed chop blocks as I had several other things to chart and observe in the game.

Ed Bouchette reported this afternoon that linebackers Lawrence Timmons and James Farrior both agree that Hampton was being chopped or at least attempted several times to be chopped. A chop block occurs when an offensive player is engaged with a defensive player and another offensive player attempts to block the defensive player below the waist while he is engaged with his original man. This type of block has ended several careers over the years, but no penalty was called on the Ravens Sunday for this.

The Ravens successfully cut block several times legally throughout the game, but one of the most blatant chop blocks came on the Ravens very first offensive play from scrimmage when Ray Rice ran around the left end for 36 yards. On that play Hampton was engaged with center Matt Birk and right guard Marshal Yanda chops him at his knees. You can watch the video replay below along with two screen captures from that run. The second blatant chop block happened at the 10:53 mark of the first quarter on a 1st and 10 run by Rice when he ran off left tackle for 5 yards. Yanda once again goes for the legs of Hampton as he is engaged with Birk once again.

Yanda, or any other Ravens player for that matter, has been fined for any illegal blocks as of Wednesday evening and it is doubtful they even will be. You can bet that Mike Tomlin has sent a copy of the plays to the league office though and this will be watched closely in the next meeting between these two teams in Pittsburgh.

UPDATE: Here is the rule below on this and supposedly these were not chop blocks as Yanda was not more than one position away from Birk.

On a running play, A1, an offensive lineman, chops a defensive player after the defensive player has been engaged by A2 (high or low), and the initial alignment of A2 is more than one position away from A1. The rule applies only when the block occurs at a time when the flow of the play is clearly away from A1.

And so, if the center hits a guy high and a tackle hits him low, it’s a penalty. When it’s a center and one of the two guards, the chop block is not illegal.

Video replay here

Marshal Yanda Chop Block Casey Hampton Ravens Steelers

Casey Hampton Chop Blocked By Marshal Yanda Ravens Steelers

  • Shadowz

    On the first play of the game yanda blocks hampton while hampton is engaged with birk. the problem is that initial contact (which is all that matters) was exactly on hamptons waist it was not below his waist. yanda then slid down hamptons body as hamptons lower half was swept out. but initial contact is at the waist not below it. I really hoped we were better than this. we got our butts handed to us in small carry out bags. lets not make things up to make us seem childish as well as inept on the football field (at least for one week)

  • so chop ngata

  • Kmuenze

    Fascinating … Probably would not have affected the outcome of the game but definitely should be looked at

  • azzurri2006

    Payback is coming!

  • Joshallendesigns

    you guys are wussies…the past 5 years steelers have had calls go thier way…stop crying…we outplayed you in every aspect of the game

  • Lindsayjratwork

    Stop crying, if they were chop blocking then do it back!
    Lick your wounds and get ready for the next game.

  • Grizzzzz

    was casey getting turned? -yes! could he have changed the play?- prob. not. Did he chop block? -yes! Oh well, we get them in the Burgh later. our beatdown reminds me of a game i was at in nov. 2006 at heinz field. 5 td passes for ben in the first half of that monday night slaughter of baltimore. The tables have turned a bit, and i think our team gets that. but after all, when was the last time we came out and played great on an opening game? yeah we had a winning streak going but look at who we played! The browns in ’07, the texans (w/out schaub) in ’08, the titans in ’09 (ended up having a terrible year), and in ’10 we played the falcons in pitt, (matt ryan looked like a sophomore slump was imminent). People; mostly being the media need to chill out! first game against a team that was ready to do werk in front of their home crowd, we came out flat and it showed. nuff said!

  • Grizzzzz

    P.S. if ur not a steelers fan and dont want to hear what steelers fans have to say about what ur ravens pulled against last years afc champions, u can leave our site! thx πŸ™‚

  • Bradleyaoo7

    The Ravens won their Super Bowl. They actually beat the Steelers with Roethlisberger.

  • Sphinx

    pretty sure chop blocking doesn’t equate to 7 turnovers…. #justsaying

  • Bradleyaoo7

    The Steelers wouldnt do that (chop Ngata). It could end his career and hes a great player. That would be classless. Thats not the Steelers. Steelers are not win a all cost. Like Harbaugh

  • Skullcrusher

    On the first play there is no way he initiated contact above the waist. He dove at his knees.

  • Man532

    You stop this by stepping hard on the hands of the chop blocker and breaking some bones

  • huh?

    so yanda could have tapped hampton on the shoulder (initial contact) then dove right at his knees?

  • Mellymorales07

    Just because y’all finally beat big ben don’t mean nothing it’s just the first game of the season ravens do good in the regular season its in the playoffs that they fall apart !!

  • Remember, the league has made TWO rule changes in the past 3 seasons in an effort to slow the Steelers;The Hines Ward Rule and The Steelers Can’t Hit Hard Rule, the latter being made mid-season last year. But, when the shoe is on the other foot, it doesn’t seem dangerous or worth mentioning. Ravens played great and that is why they won, but if this “rivalry” is to remain important to the league, the Ravens need to win at least once every couple years, right?

  • That is why Harbaugh is a pampered little douche bag who will never win it all. It’s clear that th ravens offinsive line was illegally blocking and getting away with holds all day. My concern going into this game was not a win, but leaving the “dirty bird’s “stadium without suffering season ending injuries. This game was not as important as the Ravens wished it was.

  • The Steelers would definitely draw a flag. Which reminds me, how about Troy taking a knee to the face after the whistle and we got a 15 yarder. The league is trying to slow the Steelers as they’ve been doing since 1976

  • THE PEN IS RED!!!!

    It was blatantly a chop block. There was no “sliding down.” He dove at his legs. Who is using this as an excuse for the loss anyways? The point is it should not be permitted again.

  • wj


  • Billh

    man, you know what they say about excuses. Birk was not engaged at the time Yanda cut blocked Hampton. Birk pushed at the shoulder then moved to #99 Smith. This is called a brush block to allow the guard to get into position to make his block. The Left side was completely sealed so Hampton wouldn’t have made a play anyways EVEN IF IT WAS A CUT BLOCK. Stop the Crying already, use those towels as sham wows. They absorb alot!!!

  • Mark S.

    Those blocks aren’t illegal on running plays

    See Article 16 of the NFL Rule Book

  • Billh

    Didn’t Joey porter cheap shot Heap on a spiking the ball play a couple yrs ago? Didn’t the players list Ward as the dirtiest player in the league? Thats the active players not fans. Man can’t wait for the payback because all we herd was how ready the Steeler players were for this game. I hope they get even more ready if thats the outcome. Take the loss like a man and lets play the crying game. Even if it was, it was 1 play what happened on all the others?? The players even cried about running up the score too. Whats this pop warner!!

  • Rich Johnston

    Section 2, Article 16:

    (6) On a running play, A1, an offensive lineman, chops a defensive player after the defensive player has been engaged by A2 (high or low), and the initial alignment of A2 is more than one position away from A1. This rule applies only when the block occurs at a time when the flow of the play is clearly away from A1.

    I went looking for this assuming Mark S. was incorrect. It appears that he’s actually the only one to read the rule book. Since Birk and Yanda line up next to each other, they’re not ‘more than 1 position’ away from each other, so this may actually not be illegal. Dirty, sure, but perhaps not illegal.

  • Billh

    I wonder if the Steelers would have won this game would anyone ever heard any of these complaints!!! NO, they lost and the fans with little knowledge about the game want to cry about 1 play of suspected chop blocking and then running up the score. Man whats next that the Ravens hit them to hard in the 3rd and 4th qrts too! Win with class and lose with class, people respect you more.

  • domaug

    who’s “we”? which member of the Baltimore Ravens are you? did you play that day?

  • domaug

    trolls gonna troll. they are gonna milk this game for all they can until next week, and they should. the Steelers didn’t come to play and the Ravens did. i’m just glad the Steelers are usually on the winning end of this rivalry more than 75% of the time πŸ˜€

  • George P

    Wait… So the blocks weren’t illegal right? Next time they play, I hope the Steelers have a better understanding of the rules. Getting beat 35-7 and then whining about illegal blocks that turn out to be legal is not a good look for Steeler Nation! Confident we will bounce back though.

  • 35-7

    Listen guys, it wasn’t illegal because Yanda plays next to Birk. Whining about it is pathetic.

  • zeke

    Hey troll,

    Here is a slight review of facts.

    – Ravens asked the NFL not to schedule them on primetime in the ‘Burgh.

    – After being demolished on a Monday Night Game (giving up five Roethislberger passing touchdowns in the first half), Ray Lewis attributes the Steeler’s victory to luck.

    – After being down 21-7 in an AFC Divisional game to the Ravens, the Steelers storm back and eliminate the Ravens yet again. Yet you still whined.

    Typical Raven fan. You root for the team that make excuses. You root for the team full of wussies. In your insult you ask Steeler fans to stop crying when in the previous sentence you were crying! A moron and hypocrite. I do not know why I am trying to reason with a troll or a Ravens fan. Their intelligence is barely beyond that of a slug. Get lost; every character you type kills a brain cell somewhere.

  • axel718

    Its the first week of the season, 8 straight opening day wins, Ben 8-0 against the Ravens. Its the law of averages that the Ravens win this game. While I hate to see my beloved Steelers lose, I rather them lose this game then the one in January where the Steelers bounce the Ravens from the playoffs once again…….

  • Mpsizek

    Sham wows, what r u a comodien, because u and your browns ( oops! I forgot u all got the boot in Cleveland and brought that stinky name to Baltimore) smell like a toilet. We kicked your butts in Cleveland and still do the same in Baltimore. Where ever you go you will always bring the name ” Arm Pit ” of the country with u AND YOUR FANS. Your like the plague! I remember the Titans steped on the TOWEL and look what happened to them since.

  • Rnvarney35

    What the Steelers failed to prepare for was the as usual dirty play of the Ravens….that being said we lost…point blank. Nothing left to do but pick up the pieces and be ready when they come to Pittsburgh in Nov……but you can bet the officials will be watching what goes on this time…..will it make a difference??? I guess we will see…

  • Phildada13

    Comments like these are typical of Raven fans…we’re just pointing out the obvious dirty play. It is not whinning, but merely stating a fact. In January, come the playoffs, we’ll see who’ll be whinning as “Blitz Burgh” send the “dirty birds” packing once again. We the “Steeler Nation” respect our enemies, but don’t have to like them. It was a good win for the ravens, but the fight’s not over we’re coming back for more.