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A look back…

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The Steelers return this weekend to the city of one of their most improbable victories of this century.
That was in January of 2006 when they visited Indianapolis, less than two months after the Colts had drilled them at the RCA Dome and in a Monday Night Football game.
The Colts had flirted with perfection during the regular season and few gave the Steelers any chance of beating them in an AFC Divisional Playoff game.
Then the improbable happened.
The Steelers rattled Peyton Manning. They came out throwing the ball, putting the game in the hands of Ben Roethlisberger, whom they had unleashed during the playoffs.
They built a 21-3 lead. They overcame grand theft via official review when an interception was wrongfully taken away from Troy Polamalu
Then the unthinkable happened.
Jerome Bettis, poised to barrel into the end zone with the game-clinching score, took a hit and the ball popped out. It bounced into the hands of defensive back Nick Harper, and the action started going the other way.
That is when, amid the roars of the raucous home crowd, Hines Ward heard the theme song from “Chariots of Fire.”
Yes, “Chariots of Fire.”
“That little slow song just kept going in my head,” Ward said with a laugh.
Ward had one of the worst seats in the house as that play unfolded, slow motion to his disbelieving eyes.
He was one the sidelines -– along with other players that might have been able to catch Harper from behind — since the Steelers’ had their goal-line personnel in the game.
That is why what happened after Bettis’ fumble still stands as one of Roethlisberger’s most important plays in a career filled with them.
“There were no speed guys (on the field),” Ward said. “Luckily for us, Ben made a great tackle.”
And then Bryant McFadden made a great break-up of a pass in the end zone and then Mike Vanderjagt shanked a game-tying 46-yard field goal.
And the Steelers, 21-18 winners, were on their way to a fifth Super Bowl title.
“We were the better team that day and it was good to go on the road and beat a great team team like that,” Ward said.

– Scott Brown

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Comments

  1. David says:

    Everyone thinks Ben wins these games because of the team built around him, but its obvious to me that brb is as clutch as Ward is when the game is on the line. For the way our team is built u couldn’t draft a gutsier play maker…. Nuff said, now on to Indy

  2. Scott P says:

    How does Pete Morelli still have a job? That was the worst call in NFL history. There have been plenty of horrific calls made in the heat of the moment, but he had the luxury of slow motion instant replay and a number of different angles.

    Adding to the atrocity, the correct call was made on the field. How do you spend 5 minutes reviewing that and then come out with a reversal? I am still astonished by the total incompetence Morelli displayed. The Steelers were clearly the better team on the field that day. They nearly had the game taken away by a High School principal officiating a win or go home contest in a 9 Billion dollar Enterprise.
    RIDICULOUS!!!!

  3. eyeheartbrucearians says:

    Man, I have that 2006 season recorded and still watch the playoff games from time to time. One of the greatest Superbowl runs of all time, and the first 6th seed team to win it, if I am not mistaken! BCowher’s decision to go with away uni’s in the SB is classic!

    Having said that… BCow should have won at least three SB’s, and Bruce Arians would definitely not have pulled that off as OC. God Bless KWhisenhunt!

  4. eyeheartbrucearians says:

    Sorry; 2005-2006 Steelers season

  5. Scott P says:

    eyeheartbrucearians,

    I agree with you. Arians would have never devised the brilliant offensive game plans that Whiz came up with. First of all, they wouldn’t have surprised Indy by coming out passing.Under Arians they would have already been known as a pass first team.

    Cowher would have won more SB’s if N.E. hadn’t have cheated him out of the opportunities. Here is a question that has not been asked enough about SpyGate; If it did not help that much, why did Josh McDaniels risk his career by implementing the same sham in Denver?

  6. Bill says:

    Scott: as to SpyGate, if it was “isolated incidents, that didn’t give competitive advantage” as we’ve been led to believe, why did Goodell’s office promptly burn ALL the materials provided by the Cheatriots once they completed their investigation? There HAD to be massive amounts of video showing them “stealing signs”, otherwise they wouldn’t be worried about congress, or any other entities investigating the allegations of cheating any further.

    I firmly believe if O’Donnell hadn’t inexplicably thrown 2 pick 6′s in SB XXX, a game in which we completely outplayed the cowboys, but lost by 10 points gained from the tournovers, Cowher would have won at least 2 more superbowls, possibly tying Noll for 4. His gutsy play calling in big games suffered after that loss in SB XXX, imo.

  7. eyeheartbrucearians says:

    SP and all NFL fans:

    An offensive holding call is a ten-yard-loss-of-down-drive-killer. If it is true, “as they say,” that offensive holding could be called on every play, then holding calls should be pretty evenly distributed among all offenses. I don’t have time to do the research, but I bet that the statistics are there for anyone to access–that the NE Pats get called for fewer offensive holding calls than anyone else, and that allows a “good” quarterback (Brady) and their other “good” offensive players to put up big numbers and lots of wins.

    Can some geek (in the best sense of the term) please find out those stats and post them?

    The Pats do not have the talent pos by pos that the Steelers and some other teams have, and Belicheat is NOT a genius as he has been portrayed as being. So I am suspicious of their success.

    I am not a sore loser or a “squealer.”

    I just want to see those holding stats and have someone explain what I suspect is a big discrepency between Pats’ hold calls and calls on the rest of the NFL’s offenses.

    Calling all stats geeks: please post offensive holding stats per team on an NFL BLOG!

  8. eyeheartbrucearians says:

    I know, no loss of down–but still a drive killer!

  9. David says:

    I know this is off topic, but why isn’t there a discussion on the fake field goal in Baltimore. Doesn’t anyone think that was kinda arrogant on John’s part, and if not then why not. Todd Haley said something about his tactics in preseason and John said its preseason, just seeing where we are at……. fine, and yes every team has thier way of scoring points, but was it a necessary move and do you show disrespect to your peers, as in his coaching peers,, I’m just wondering, and I know he was probly thinking about how they lost last years divisional game and maybe thinking he needed to score more going into half time, but still I looked at the preseason game with the Chiefs, and the Ravens, and I totally understand Haleys response to Johns play calling……. any thoughts on this, anyone?

  10. Bob Loblaw says:

    David, how is trying to cement a win against a team that has come back against you numerous times an arrogant move?

    If you reversed the score of the game and Tomlin did it, everyone in town would be voting him coach of the year.

  11. David says:

    Bob, I personally see Tomlin kicking the extra point, not trying to gouge an opponent, but I see what u r saying, but everyone knows Tomlin is going for the Extra point, … But I am thankful for the response, did you see the fake extra point coming? no one on earth but the Ravens………….. it eats a John that he can’t beat the Steelers, we still have thier number…

 
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