View Full Version : Saved by Polamalu, once again

11-29-2010, 10:36 AM
It takes special plays to dispose of these Bills.

There was an active and even robust football buzz in Buffalo this weekend for the first time in forever, with the recent blizzard of Bills touchdowns earning quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick the nickname Ryan Fitzmagic, and getting spectacular wideout Stevie Johnson called Stevie Wonder.

Fitzpatrick, caught up in the heady atmosphere of the rare two-game winning streak, even called on his Harvard education to tell the Buffalo News, "In order to beat [the Steelers], we're going to have to score some points."

So at least that $135,000 in tuition wasn't wasted.

Curiously though, Fitzmagic failed to specify how many points would be necessary. Turned out it was more than 16 in regulation, which he'd apparently rectified in overtime by whipping the winning touchdown pass 40 yards to Stevie Wonder at the goal line.

But Stevie, floating free behind Ike Taylor, dropped it.

Poor Stevie Blunder. Don't know what Fitzmagic was thinking as he left the field, but it wasn't "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life."

Even at that, the Bills gave Mike Tomlin's team way more than it wanted on a cold northern Sunday, and the visitors held on due mostly to one inviolate fact: In most matchups, the Steelers simply have too many players who are capable of monstrous plays at the most urgent coordinates, and most of them play without the ball.

"Needless to say we made significant plays at critical moments in the game," Tomlin said. "Troy [Polamalu] made significant plays, timely plays, the kind of plays we've come to expect. There's a guy who didn't practice much this week and yet he's always ready to deliver for his teammates."

The Steelers are 8-3 this morning essentially due to four special deliveries, one each from Polamalu, James Farrior, Ryan Clark and punter Daniel Sepulveda, whose 55-yard punt with a short snap from directly beneath the goalpost gave the Steelers a new grip on an overtime that was sliding over a cliff.

Abandoned by an offense that generated a touchdown on the game's first possession and then took the next three hours off, caught in a tug-of-war by an unlikely saboteur named Chris Kemoeatu (four penalties, three enforced), the Steelers' defense delivered one monster moment after the next until Shaun Suisham's fourth field goal closed out a 19-16 victory.

This is a defense that has allowed exactly one touchdown in the past 137 minutes, 9 seconds of action, including Sunday's 12:46 of overtime, an overtime that looked like the Bills would not even require as Fitzpatrick drove them to the Steelers' 12 with three minutes left in the fourth quarter.

But when he tried to hit Johnson on a quick slant at the goal line, Willie Gay got a hand in the way and Polamalu swooped under the deflected football for his fourth interception of the season.

"I was one-on-one with Johnson and I was just trying to do anything to stop the slant," said Gay. "I don't even know what happened on the play. I looked up and Troy was running the other way."

The Steelers are now 20-3 all time when Troy intercepts, and Polamalu added a fumble recovery to account for both Steelers takeaways Sunday.

But this wouldn't end until the other safety made an even bigger play. Ryan Clark snaked his arm in front of Buffalo wideout Donald Jones just as Jones was about to convert a third-and-3 from the Steelers' 41 on the first possession of overtime. That pass gets completed, the Steelers are likely 7-4 today.

"It makes it so much easier to play defense when you have players like that," said nose tackle Chris Hoke. "You don't have to be out there trying to do more than you're responsible for. The players we have who can make big plays are innumerable."

That was awfully fortunate, because even after Sepulveda's remarkable punt, and Stevie's blunder, the Bills still had a third-and-6 from the Steelers' 36, with the conversion meaning likely victory.

So cue James Farrior.

Fitzpatrick scrambled to his right, thought better of it when he thought he saw a seam up the middle, and got a faceful of Farrior just as he hit the accelerator.

"I saw the quarterback scramble and I thought Lawrence Timmons was going to get him," Farrior said. "He escaped that, but turned toward me; there wasn't a lot to that."

Except that the Bills never had the ball again and the offense awoke at dusk and rode Rashard Mendenhall on a seven-minute winning drive.

In the end, Troy Polamalu's shower went overtime as well. He was still in the spray at 5:28 p.m., 45 minutes after the game ended, at which point the Steelers closed the locker room. But I know what he would have said.

He'd have said that he was blessed, and, like Farrior, that there really wasn't much to it.

Of that, we are all blessed to know better.

11-29-2010, 11:02 AM
The Steelers are 8-3 essentially because the Bilks couldn't get out of their own way, tripped over their own team mates and dropped game winning TD throws. The win was far more what the Bills didn't do than what the Steelers did.

11-29-2010, 11:10 AM
You have to give Troy credit, he played very well on Sunday against the Bills. He had 1 INT, broke up several passes, nearly intercepted another, and had some big hits to cause incompletions. He was showing more of the Troy that we all know and love. He was key in the victory. It's no secret that Stevie Johnson dropping that ball completely deflated the Bills and the Steelers were able to march right down the field and take advantage of that momentum.

11-29-2010, 02:37 PM
I think Troy is finally back :knockonwood: He was a noticeable difference maker in the game yesterday. That unreal interception should have sealed it. Didn't that remind any one else of his interception against San Diego in the snow a few years back?

11-29-2010, 02:58 PM
I swear that Polamalu should be higher on the WR depth chart than ARE. He makes some huge interceptions. Definitely nice to have him back.

11-29-2010, 03:19 PM
I swear that Polamalu should be higher on the WR depth chart than ARE. He makes some huge interceptions. Definitely nice to have him back.

:lol: I said the same thing after that int. "I think Polamalu would be a better reciever than ARE."

11-29-2010, 06:20 PM
I was watching it at a bar, next to me were 2 guys who really weren't into football at all. They were much more interested in their $1.00 drafts and free popcorn than watching the game. At one point the one guy said, every time I look up I see number 43, he's all over the field.:)

11-29-2010, 07:01 PM
ARE is P o o p!!

11-29-2010, 07:06 PM
Check out Casey Hampton's failed chest bump right after Troy's interception:


11-29-2010, 07:14 PM
Check out Casey Hampton's failed chest bump right after Troy's interception:


That was probably a good thing since Big Snack could possibly bump him into next week.

11-29-2010, 07:18 PM
Check out Casey Hampton's failed chest bump right after Troy's interception:


:rofl::rofl::rofl: Did he fall?

11-29-2010, 07:47 PM
Was that a fall or a slip? :lol: Crazy Hampton. :lol:

Farrior Fan
12-01-2010, 10:43 PM
wouldn't that just be our luck this year? Casey falls on Troys leg and destroys his MCL. Casey the oatmeal creme pies and doritos are on the sideline away from Troy, go over there.

12-02-2010, 03:57 PM
We're going to need Troy in this game coming up, a vintage Troy performance will go a long way towards a win this Sunday night.