After season of fines and penalties, Ravens' Courtney Upshaw gets first sack

Courtney Upshaw's last sack before Saturday was Dec. 22, 2013 against the New England Patriots and Tom Brady.

For the entire regular season, Courtney Upshaw watched as fellow Ravens outside linebackers Elvis Dumervil, Terrell Suggs and Pernell McPhee recorded sacks.

While those three linebackers combined for 36.5 sacks, Upshaw collected a series of penalties for a total of $26,537 fines from the NFL for illegal hits on quarterbacks.

Now, Upshaw's run without a sack has ended. He sacked Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during the fourth quarter of the Ravens' 30-17 AFC wild-card win last Saturday, shaking him up and briefly forcing him out of the game.

It marked Upshaw's first sack since he split one Dec. 22, 2013 during a 41-7 loss to quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, the Ravens' AFC divisional-round opponent this Saturday.

"Yeah, it's been a long time coming," said Upshaw, a run-stopping edge-setter who had 42 tackles during the regular season and has three career sacks in three NFL seasons. "Every time I touch a quarterback, I seemed to get fined for illegal hit or something like that. It felt good. It was a nice sack."

awilson@baltsun.com

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