Power Play of the Week: T.J. Ward's Blitzes From the Slot

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 23: Defensive back T.J. Ward #43 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates after an interception against the Seattle Seahawks at Cleveland Browns Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

This is the second in a five-week series of posts that we'll be doing that looks back at a "powerful" play from this past week. What defines a "powerful" play? The definition I am giving it is synonymous with the meaning of "play of the week," so that way these posts will always have a positive spin.

It's not often that you see a member of the Cleveland Browns' secondary blitz from the blind side and actually get to the quarterback before they throw a pass. Most of the time, the quarterback sees the blitz and adjusts accordingly. Fortunately, we were facing Charlie Whitehurst.

At the snap of the ball, my eyes were glued on safety T.J. Ward as I saw him come free from the slot on a third-down play near the start of the second quarter. Ward's presence made an impact on Whitehurst just in time as the ball came free and linebacker D'Qwell Jackson was able to scoop it up for the recovery. The Seahawks challenged the play, hoping that officials would rule that it was actually a forward pass. The officials ruled that Whitehurst had an empty hand when his arm came forward though, so it was Cleveland's football.

Several plays later, with the assist of a neutral zone infraction by the Seahawks when we were lined up to punt, Phil Dawson connected on a 52-yard field goal to give Cleveland their first lead of the game. The fact that Ward's sack+fumble led directly to points makes it the clear cut winner to be this week's Power Play of the Week.

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