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AZ_Steeler
12-19-2008, 02:06 AM
<link (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-cardiacsteelers&prov=ap&type=lgns)>


PITTSBURGH (AP)—During the first three quarters, Ben Roethlisberger often is an ordinary Joe.

Put the Steelers’ well-paid quarterback into a tight contest in the fourth quarter, the kind of games that teams must win to go far in the postseason, he transforms himself into a current-day version of Joe Montana.

Despite the Steelers’ 11-3 record, their offense hasn’t come close to matching in efficiency or performance a defense that might wind up as one of the best statistically in league history. No matter, that often slow-go offense manages to become a tough-to-stop machine in the closing minutes of tight games.

An offense that is figuring out how to score when games are won or lost has been largely responsible for the Steelers overcoming a tough schedule and winning their last five games. In three of the five, the Steelers scored the deciding points in the final two minutes.

In rallying to beat Baltimore 13-9 last Sunday to win the AFC North, Roethlisberger didn’t lead a touchdown drive until putting together a 92-yard drive during the closing four minutes that ended with his 4-yard TD pass to Santonio Holmes.

“Our quarterback lives by those moments,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “Some people relish those moments. Other people don’t. He’s one that does.”

Similarly, the Steelers didn’t score a touchdown until the offense and defense each got into the end zone during the final 2:04 of their 20-13 decision over Dallas two weeks ago.

The Steelers may need another such finish to win Sunday at Tennessee (12-2) in a game that may decide home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

Remarkably, a Steelers offense that is close to being in the bottom fourth in the league in yardage and the bottom third in scoring has outscored their opponents 55-3 in the final three minutes of games since a season-opening 38-17 win over Houston.

Another example of being good when they need to be: The Steelers have a 37-0 scoring advantage in the fourth quarter of their last three games after scoring 29 points in the first three quarters.

Being so dominant during the key stretch of many games has allowed the Steelers to pull out a series of tight games by scores such as 23-20, 13-9, 11-10, 10-6, 26-21 and 20-13.

“He’s a ridiculous competitor,” Tomlin said of Roethlisberger. “Some people live for those moments and that’s part of what makes them who they are. I truly believe he’s one of those people.”

Roethlisberger, who signed a contract earlier this year that pays him a guaranteed $32 million, is shouldering much of the late-game pressure due to Willie Parker’s nearly season-long injury struggles. The three-time 1,000-yard rusher has only 135 yards rushing in the fourth quarter, or about one-third as many yards as he had last season.

Roethlisberger ranks a pedestrian 21st in passer rating, but acknowledges the I’ve-got-to-show-them aspect of his character surfaces when games are decided.

“(It’s) wanting to win, I guess,” Roethlisberger said. “Desire. I wish it didn’t come down to that, but sometimes it does. We’ll take it. It adds to the fun and suspense. Sometimes we do it just so the fans keep watching.”

It’s not advisable to turn off Steelers games early, given their 6-2 record in games decided by eight points or fewer.

“There’s no panic,” Roethlisberger said. “The first play (in Baltimore) we went out and completed it to Hines (Ward) and I think everybody just looked at each other and said, `We have to get it done.’ It wasn’t anything more than that. I didn’t give any rah-rah speeches. I think the guys look at me now and know me enough to say, `Let’s just go out and do it.’ “

Tomlin likes playing, and winning, so many tight games because those often are the kind played in January and February.

“I think it strengthens your team, strengthens your resolve,” he said. “You have the experience of delivering and closing out football games, particularly tight ones, and playing from behind. I think we’re better for the experience.”

Left tackle Max Starks credits a defense that has allowed the fewest points, passing and total yards in the league for giving the offense a chance to win at the end.

“We’d like to have those nice, fantastic, flashy numbers,” he said. “Pretty makes it nice and easy and comes in a gift-wrapped package. But for us, a win is a win and we’ve prided ourselves in our grunt work. The defense puts us in situations where we can come in the end of games, make those drives and be the hero.”
The fourth quarter comebacks are great and all and shows what a competitor Big Ben is... it would be nice to see him dominate the entire game!

steelers4life66
12-19-2008, 02:46 AM
<link (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-cardiacsteelers&prov=ap&type=lgns)>


The fourth quarter comebacks are great and all and shows what a competitor Big Ben is... it would be nice to see him dominate the entire game!
Tell me about it. I've end it up with a lot of grey hair this season.:lol:

SteelersWoman
12-19-2008, 02:59 AM
<link (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-cardiacsteelers&prov=ap&type=lgns)>


The fourth quarter comebacks are great and all and shows what a competitor Big Ben is... it would be nice to see him dominate the entire game!

:plus1:

DIESELMAN
12-19-2008, 03:37 AM
Tomlin likes playing, and winning, so many tight games because those often are the kind played in January and February.

“I think it strengthens your team, strengthens your resolve,” he said. “You have the experience of delivering and closing out football games, particularly tight ones, and playing from behind. I think we’re better for the experience.”

“We’d like to have those nice, fantastic, flashy numbers,” he said. “Pretty makes it nice and easy and comes in a gift-wrapped package. But for us, a win is a win and we’ve prided ourselves in our grunt work.The defense puts us in situations where we can come in the end of games, make those drives and be the hero.”There are no other teams battle tested like we are, come playoffs, everybody is in for a knock down drag out fight when they play us. Are they up to the challenge? I can't think of one team that is.....:cope::cope::cope::cope::cope:

BlitzburghRockCity
12-19-2008, 03:44 PM
Ben talked about scoring more points in that interview on Rome, earlier in the game rather than continuing to put the defense in a bad spot every week and having to get bailed out. If our offense can actually put up a couple TD's in the first half and even in the 3rd quarter then our D can really just pin their ears back and come after the offense on every play which will make for more splash plays on both sides of the ball for us.

BlitzburghNation
12-20-2008, 01:30 AM
I hear Tomlin every tuesday at 12:45 on sirius and the more I hear him,,,,,,The more :banana: that he's our HC :popcorn:

Big Ben has got it ,,,,,,, Only a select few have it and Ben's will to win is what makes Ben one of the best Game-Time QB's in the league and we all have to except his holding onto the ball to long,,,,,taking to many sacks,,,,,,interceptions !
Long as he keeps getting them WINS,,,,,That is all that matters when the clock says 00:00 This year,,,,He really reminds me alot of John Elway and that's a good thing :beer2:

LarryNJ
12-20-2008, 01:50 AM
They mentioned some crazy number on Mike & Mike this morning...The Steelers have out scored their opponents something like 41-0 in the final 6 minutes of games this year. I forget the exact numbers but it was impressive.

DBR96A
12-20-2008, 02:26 AM
The main difference between the 2008 Steelers and the 2007 Steelers is that the defense knows how to close out games.

BlitzburghRockCity
12-21-2008, 01:50 AM
The main difference between the 2008 Steelers and the 2007 Steelers is that the defense knows how to close out games.

Now if only we could get the offense to do the same by the 3rd quarter we'd all be able to watch them without a stress level of 100 :lol: