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SteelersWoman
12-09-2008, 03:45 PM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08343/933645-66.stm

By Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



This victory, snatched away from what seemed like almost certain defeat, was enough to make believers out of the most skeptical of doubters. This fourth-quarter phenomenon will turn heads and change minds of football fans and football professionals across the country. But that's not the half of it. What transpired on the bitter cold ground of Heinz Field yesterday was the special kind of victory that can take a very good team and elevate it to another level.

The Steelers, 10-3, are not just poised to enter the playoffs, they are primed to make it to the Super Bowl. There are many hurdles to overcome, starting Sunday in Baltimore, but the Steelers of 2008 have the look of the Steelers of 2005.

To play so poorly for so long against a championship-caliber team such as the Dallas Cowboys and yet come away with a 20-13 victory isn't just special, it's magical.
The Steelers scored 17 points in the final 7 minutes, 15 seconds to send the Cowboys to a staggering defeat and spread joy throughout their worldwide fan base.

It was a game of offensive ineptitude more than of defensive brilliance.
It was a game of botched chances and broken plays. What was expected to be another renewal in the grand rivalry between two members of the NFL aristocracy turned into a bit of a farce. If this was a preview of the Super Bowl, as some had suggested, well, call off the Super Bowl.

But Mike Tomlin looked past all of that. Tomlin is a football coach and a realist. He saw a win, and he saw much more.
Brimming with pride, Tomlin opened his remarks at his postgame news conference by saying, "What a beautiful game, and I mean that. I just told the team that. People are too preoccupied with style points. That was a beautiful football game because we displayed mettle and we hung together."

This was a victory forged mostly by what is the best defense in the NFL.
The defense shut down the Cowboys offense and made the big plays that have come to be expected of it. James Harrison forced yet another fumble. Troy Polamalu, the NFL leader, intercepted a pass, as did the previously cement-handed Ike Taylor. But those plays were small-time compared to the interception snatched by Deshea Townsend on the Dallas 26, on a ridiculously thrown ball by Tony Romo, with 1 minute, 51 seconds remaining, and returned for the game-winning touchdown.

None of that was out-of-the-ordinary stuff for this unit that leads the NFL against both the pass and the rush. What was unexpected was the offense, which had been nothing but awful, coming to life in the final minutes.

Simply put, for the first 50 minutes of the game the offense could do virtually nothing. It gained 101 yards in the first three quarters, and that after gaining 50 on the first two possession. On possessions three through 10, the Steelers ran 28 plays and gained 51 yards.

The Steelers, mostly on the strength of a 47-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes, moved to a first and goal on the Dallas 5 early in the fourth quarter. What followed was pretty much what the offense had done all game: Willie Parker ran for 2 yards twice to move the ball to the 1. A pass to Gary Russell gained nothing. On fourth down from the 1, Tomlin, trailing, 13-3, rejected a field-goal attempt and sent Gary Russell into the heart of the Dallas defense. He was thrown for a 2-yard loss.

But this failure seemed to arouse the Steelers. They used the good field position earned from this near-score to get a field goal minutes later.
Then, after a bad Dallas punt gave them the ball on their 33, the offense awoke.
Roethlisberger called it "desperation."
He said, "The guys knew we had to do it. We knew it was time to score and score quickly."

The offense that couldn't move the ball all of a sudden raced down the field -- 67 yards in eight plays -- to tie the game.
Townsend and the defense took care of the rest.

Too often, victories of this magnitude are followed by a letdown, which is something the Steelers cannot afford. If they had trouble with the Dallas defense, they will have even more at 9-4 Baltimore, which is ranked second in the league. A week later, they play at Tennessee, which is 12-1 and has the third-ranked defense.
It's a schedule of immense challenge. But based on what they did against the Cowboys, it's one the Steelers are capable of handling.

AZ_Steeler
12-09-2008, 03:53 PM
f they had trouble with the Dallas defense, they will have even more at 9-4 Baltimore, which is ranked second in the league. A week later, they play at Tennessee, which is 12-1 and has the third-ranked defense.
These nest two games will more than likely determine how far the Steelers go in the playoffs.

Stlrs4Life
12-09-2008, 04:12 PM
So true AZ.

BlitzburghNation
12-09-2008, 04:13 PM
Let's just hope they don't finish like 2005 :pray:

Dean Denton
12-09-2008, 04:53 PM
Let's just hope they don't finish like 2005 :pray:

Didn't they win the SB in 2005?

DBR96A
12-09-2008, 06:18 PM
Didn't they win the SB in 2005?

We did, but then everybody said we didn't deserve to, so let's make sure to win the Super Bowl by more than 11 points this time.

Dean Denton
12-09-2008, 06:28 PM
We did, but then everybody said we didn't deserve to, so let's make sure to win the Super Bowl by more than 11 points this time.
That was Bens fault. If he doesn't throw that INT and get it run back, we end up blowing those Sea Gals out of the water. it would have been like 31-3. When's the next SB in Detroit? I hear they like the Steelers out there and just might give us all the calls.....lol To tell you the truth I'm glad that SB turned out that way. It shows that the NFL has just as much disdain for the Seahawks as I do. I dont know if I pay for Sunday ticket to watch the Steelers or to not have to watch the Seahawks...lol

BlitzburghNation
12-09-2008, 07:07 PM
Didn't they win the SB in 2005?

Yes we did,,,,,,,my bad,meant to say hope we finish the same way :yesnod::tt02:

Ambridge
12-09-2008, 08:33 PM
Smizik is a crackpot!!

I wish the Steelers were able to run the ball like they were able to in 2005.

greennick
12-09-2008, 11:30 PM
Smizik is a crackpot!!

I wish the Steelers were able to run the ball like they were able to in 2005.

Or even any other year this decade...

BlitzburghRockCity
12-10-2008, 08:13 AM
A win is a win is a win, everybody that said we didn't deserve that game are the ones that don't have a ring themselves. You don't just make it to the super bowl by accident, the way we got there was something that will be recorded in the NFL history books forever. The first team to go in as the 6th seed and win on the road all the way to the final gun at SB XL.

As far as the team goes, we are a different team now then we were then. The defense is even better, special teams are probably about the same but our coverage units are better. Offensively we're able to score more points than we were then but our running game then was far superior to this one now.

BR7
12-10-2008, 08:43 AM
To play so poorly for so long against a championship-caliber team such as the Dallas Cowboys

Didn't they loose that 'title' a month or so ago? Had the offense showed signs of life in the first half, the game should have been over by then. Turnovers with no points.

The '05 team scored on turnovers and scored in the redzone, lol. I think the defense is playing better than the '05 team by far, but the offense is offensive at times. But like Ambridge said.. we need the running game of '05. Think the Bus will suit up for our playoff push? :lol:

steelers4life66
12-10-2008, 04:42 PM
We did, but then everybody said we didn't deserve to, so let's make sure to win the Super Bowl by more than 11 points this time.
They said the sea chickens didn't get a fair game for the refs. But did we get one in the play off game against the Colts. Good teams over come adversity.:2cents:

Dean Denton
12-10-2008, 04:52 PM
They said the sea chickens didn't get a fair game for the refs. But did we get one in the play off game against the Colts. Good teams over come adversity.:2cents:
Did we get a fair game in the 1997 AFC title game against the Brono's? No!!! Did we get a fair game against the Patriots in 2001? No!!! Did we get a fair game against the Titans in 2002? NO!!!!! We have been getting the shaft in just about every playoff game we play. Those games we all lost and it was because the Refs suck ***...Other than the Raiders, I cant think of any team that has gotten it stuck up their *** more than us....and those are just the playoff games. I wont even dig up all the regular season games.

steelers4life66
12-10-2008, 04:57 PM
Did we get a fair game in the 1997 AFC title game against the Brono's? No!!! Did we get a fair game against the Patriots in 2001? No!!! Did we get a fair game against the Titans in 2002? NO!!!!! We have been getting the shaft in just about every playoff game we play. Those games we all lost and it was because the Refs suck ***...Other than the Raiders, I cant think of any team that has gotten it stuck up their *** more than us....and those are just the playoff games. I wont even dig up all the regular season games.
We have had a lot of apologize by the refs post game.

livingthrudying
12-11-2008, 11:49 AM
why is dallas considered a championship caliber team? They have yet to win a playoff game, unless you go by Coach cupcakes suggestion last year that they already won a playoff game by getting abye.

I live in dallas, HAte the cowboys and they are far from a championship team, their defense is not that good. They have given up alot of points this season and last. They did not play great our offense justmade them look good.

I say they shut the hell up until they win a playoff game, cause last time a i checked it takes a minimum of 2 playoff games and asuper bowl game win to be a championship team. LAst time they won a playoff game it was a different decade!