View Full Version : Steelers take giant steps in win

12-08-2008, 01:56 PM
Steelers take giant steps in win
By Mike Prisuta
Monday, December 8, 2008

With 1 minute, 58 seconds remaining in regulation in a game that was suddenly as captivating as it had been mistake-prone, the Steelers got to Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo on Sunday.

The Cowboys had just gained a couple of yards on first-and-10 from the Dallas 15-yard line. The Steelers had just called time out.

Romo responded by voicing either his displeasure or disbelief.

"Only two guys heard it -- me and James Farrior," Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley said. "As he was walking to the sideline, he said, 'Did y'all really call time out?'

"He was talking to the defense."

Woodley's response: "If y'all didn't call it, we had to."

On the next play, Steelers cornerback Deshea Townsend intercepted a pass and scored.

"I guess we called timeout for a good reason," Woodley told Romo. "Did y'all really call time out? Yeah, we did -- to score the ball."

Townsend's interception and 25-yard return to the end zone shattered a 13-13 tie that had been established two plays earlier -- on a 6-yard TD pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to tight end Heath Miller.

Romo overshot Dallas tight end Jason Witten on the play that produced Townsend's game-winning Pick Six.

And Romo's final attempt sailed past Witten, who wasn't even looking for the ball.

The Steelers took over and celebrated from "victory formation" -- a stunning, 20-13 victory at frigid Heinz Field.

The win stands as a shining example as to how far the Steelers have come this season.

On Oct. 26, the Steelers played host to the defending-champion New York Giants and slugged their way to a 14-9 lead before experiencing the horror that was a 12-point, fourth-quarter rally by New York, absorbing a 21-14 loss.

Yesterday, the Steelers' deficit was holding steady at 10 after consecutive snaps from the Dallas 1-yard line failed to dent a 13-3 Cowboys lead with 12-plus minutes left in the fourth quarter.

This time, it was the Steelers who rallied.

And this time, it was the Cowboys -- a championship-caliber team in terms of their reputation and individual resumes, even though they lack a recent championship -- who came unglued.

It was far from a perfect performance by the Steelers, who succumbed in the first three-plus quarters to missed field goals, illegal formations, dropped passes, fumbles on quarterback sneaks, sacks, missed tackles and, yes, goal-to-go failures.

But their ability to persevere through it all and make plays that gradually changed the game -- from the punt they forced after the fourth-and-goal got away to Santonio Holmes' 35-yard punt return to Nate Washington etching himself into Steelers-Cowboys lore -- provided a compelling argument that this team is getting better while running a gauntlet of a stretch run.

Consider the Roethlisberger-to-Miller TD off a play designed for wide receiver Hines Ward.

"They brought an all-out blitz," Miller said. "My route wouldn't have changed either way, but that's where the ball normally goes in that situation. Pre-snap I kinda expected it, got my head around quick and Ben was on the same page."

That stuff wasn't happening when the Giants blitzed.

This time, "we reacted to it," Roethlisberger said.

If they ever get goal-to-go figured out, they might just hang around a while this postseason.

Perhaps even into February.


12-08-2008, 01:59 PM
That's all well and good, but if the Steelers stumble and lose next week in B'more, all the accolades from the press will end and the season will be "over." The media can take a flying leap. :coffee:

12-08-2008, 02:40 PM
What I liked is that after it was tied, they didn't run a prevent defense!!

12-08-2008, 02:46 PM
What I liked is that after it was tied, they didn't run a prevent defense!!

I was actually shocked...isn't it NFL protocol to run the prevent when slightly ahead or tied within 2 minutes of either half?

I'm sure the other coaches will be sending Lebeau a memo.

Fire Haley
12-08-2008, 03:38 PM
"Mike Tomlin is the first coach in Steelers history to win at least 10 games in each of his first two seasons."

He was fired up on the sidelines, it was fun to watch.

12-09-2008, 01:22 AM
Can the offense please take this "giant leap"? :chuckle:

12-09-2008, 07:58 AM
My voice is still trying to recover from all the screaming during the 4th quarter of that game. Good to see Woodley go right back at Romo with a little talking.

12-09-2008, 12:24 PM
My in-laws finally got a chance to see me on game day when things aren't flowing smoothly....needless to say it was interesting.

Dino 6 Rings
12-09-2008, 12:46 PM
We called a time out.

Because we were playing to WIN THE GAME, not playing for Over Time.

12-09-2008, 12:51 PM
"Mike Tomlin is the first coach in Steelers history to win at least 10 games in each of his first two seasons."

He was fired up on the sidelines, it was fun to watch.

I will have to say that watching Tomlin on the sidelines after the INT for the TD was hilarious! Did you catch that "Woo! Woo-oo-o--! Woo-hoo!" he was letting out?

He's a coach that's into the game, that's for sure.

12-09-2008, 12:57 PM
I love having a coach that gets as fired up as him, it gives the whole team energy