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View Full Version : Big Ben continues to come up clutch (Great article - mesa)


mesaSteeler
12-14-2008, 09:45 PM
http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/8943252/Big-Ben-continues-to-come-up-clutch

Big Ben continues to come up clutch
by Alex Marvez
Alex Marvez is a Senior NFL Writer for FOXSports.com. He's covered the NFL for 14 seasons as a beat writer and is the president of the Pro Football Writers of America.

BALTIMORE - For any team besides the Pittsburgh Steelers, the situation couldn't have been much bleaker.

They trailed Baltimore by three points with 3:36 remaining. What would likely be Pittsburgh's final offensive possession was beginning at the Steelers 8-yard line. The unit was surrounded by deafening noise from a hostile, record-setting crowd of 71,502 fans at M&T Bank Stadium. And for a realistic shot at tying the score with a field goal, the Steelers had to gain at least 60 yards against a vicious Ravens defense that had already forced two turnovers and not allowed a touchdown.

In other words, Pittsburgh had the Ravens right where it wanted them.

The 2008 Steelers have made a habit out of dramatic fourth-quarter comebacks, but this one tops them all. Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger worked his magic once again Sunday, leading the game-winning drive that gave the Steelers a 13-9 victory and clinched the AFC North title.

"He had the eye of the tiger," Steelers left tackle Max Starks said. "He was locked in that zone. He knew what he needed to do."

What he did was brilliant. Roethlisberger completed seven of 11 passes as the Steelers picked up 89 of 92 yards in the air. He capped the series with a four-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Santonio Holmes on a third down with 43 seconds remaining. Pittsburgh's defense then did the rest. Steelers cornerback William Gay intercepted a Joe Flacco pass in the waning seconds to secure the 17th and arguably greatest fourth-quarter comeback of Roethlisberger's four-plus NFL seasons.

"What it's been about for us, especially on offense, is just persevering and pushing through," said Roethlisberger, proudly sporting a gray AFC North champions cap during his post-game news conference. "Whether it's playing a great defense, [in bad] weather or whatever, we've found a way to get it done."

This victory wasn't without controversy. Holmes was initially ruled down at the Ravens 1-yard line, but referee Walt Coleman awarded the touchdown after an instant replay review. Coleman ruled that Holmes had caught the football inside the goal-line plane before being pushed out of the end zone by Ravens safety Ed Reed.

"He didn't get in," said Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis, echoing the thoughts of Baltimore coach John Harbaugh. "But they called it the way they called it."

This much is indisputable: The play was vintage Roethlisberger. When his first two receiving options (wide receiver Hines Ward and running back Mewelde Moore) were covered, Roethlisberger scrambled left to buy more time for someone to spring open. Running for the touchdown wasn't an option with Ravens defenders quickly closing.

"I scrambled back to the right because you know I hold onto the ball too long," said Roethlisberger, making a tongue-in-cheek reference to a criticism of his playing style. "The [offensive] line cleaned everybody up and I saw Santonio ... I was about half a second from throwing it away."

The Steelers (11-3) have spent most of this season living on the edge. Six of their victories have come by seven points or less, including last Sunday's 20-13 home win against Dallas that featured a 17-point fourth-quarter comeback. Even with Flacco floundering in an 11-of-28, two interception performance, Baltimore's defense and special teams were so sharp that the Ravens (9-5) didn't trail until Roethlisberger's touchdown throw. Roethlisberger was only 12 of 23 passing for 116 yards entering the fourth quarter.

"You don't have to make every play in the first three quarters," Holmes said. "You've got to make the plays when they really count."

Besides leading to wins, Pittsburgh's resiliency has helped create a tight bond among Steelers players.

"This is a special team," Roethlisberger said. "I told the guys during our pregame prayer, 'I feel this team is as close as I've ever been a part of since our Super Bowl year [in 2005].'

"There's something about us. No matter when things go bad or who's struggling, we always stay together."

The Steelers are now guaranteed of staying together for at least one post-season game. The odds of reaching Super Bowl XLIII will be even greater if Pittsburgh can secure the AFC's top playoff seed by winning their final two regular-season games against host Tennessee (12-2) and visiting Cleveland (4-9).

"This only builds our confidence for the battles that lie ahead," Starks said. "We know when we get into a tight situation we can trust our brothers. There's no need to ever get down or frustrated. You just get more and more determined as time starts to tick away."

Said Steelers coach Mike Tomlin: "I don't know that we had the confidence to do this. I think there was an overwhelming sense that, 'We have to do this.' That's how we play. Our quarterback wants to be the man to deliver them."

Roethlisberger is doing exactly that and now he has a division title to show for it.

:tt::tt:

Dino 6 Rings
12-14-2008, 09:59 PM
Faith in one another. That's what makes a real winning team.

Guys on offense, make a mistake, they can say, "its cool, our D has our back"

Defense makes a big stop, Offense gets the ball in a clutch situation, Defense says, "watch this, we are going to win as the O takes the ball down the field and gets us the go ahead score"

Faith, Trust and Brotherhood.

We've Got It.

mesaSteeler
12-14-2008, 10:09 PM
Faith in one another. That's what makes a real winning team.

Guys on offense, make a mistake, they can say, "its cool, our D has our back"

Defense makes a big stop, Offense gets the ball in a clutch situation, Defense says, "watch this, we are going to win as the O takes the ball down the field and gets us the go ahead score"

Faith, Trust and Brotherhood.

We've Got It.
Well said. We've been playing playoff ball for the last several weeks since the teams we've been playing have been in a must win situation.

43Hitman
12-14-2008, 10:13 PM
Faith in one another. That's what makes a real winning team.

Guys on offense, make a mistake, they can say, "its cool, our D has our back"

Defense makes a big stop, Offense gets the ball in a clutch situation, Defense says, "watch this, we are going to win as the O takes the ball down the field and gets us the go ahead score"

Faith, Trust and Brotherhood.

We've Got It .

I couldn't have said it better myself. Very well said.:thumbsup:

lilyoder6
12-14-2008, 10:27 PM
and these stretch of games are just making us better 4 the playoff run when we are in these types of situations...

Preacher
12-14-2008, 10:32 PM
There is just something different about this team.

I really wasn't worried about winning this game until about the 4th quarter. Then when we sgot the ball back for our last drive, well, I said... this is exactly what we want.


We have the ability to win every game we are in. We could take this thing all the way.

Dallas, whom we beat last week, just thumped the Giants. Phllly doesn't look good. The colts got lucky against us.

We should be a front-runner for the SB.

mesaSteeler
12-14-2008, 10:36 PM
There is just something different about this team.

I really wasn't worried about winning this game until about the 4th quarter. Then when we sgot the ball back for our last drive, well, I said... this is exactly what we want.


We have the ability to win every game we are in. We could take this thing all the way.

Dallas, whom we beat last week, just thumped the Giants. Phllly doesn't look good. The colts got lucky against us.

We should be a front-runner for the SB.

Well I suspect that with the Giants and Titans losing that we will be the number one ranked team in the league when the Tuesday ranking lists come out. We were third on most of them so now we should be number 1.

Steelman16
12-14-2008, 10:58 PM
"I scrambled back to the right because you know I hold onto the ball too long,"

Has he been reading the message boards? :laughing:

Ben's the man! :tt02:

markymarc
12-15-2008, 06:16 AM
Great read on Ben and thanks for sharing Mesa. First of all, screw Ray Ray for being the punk he is. Secondly, this team continues to find ways to win. I've said it before and will say it one more time, the past month with our schedule has really pulled this team together. It's only going to make us better for the playoff run. Next goal is to go get the #1 seed. Time to take care of the Titans.

jjpro11
12-15-2008, 07:10 AM
i really dont know how we are doing this.. its almost like for 3 and a half quarters the offense is just sitting back and watching the defense in awe like the rest of us. then half way through the 4th quarter someone says "oh sh!t. i forgot we had a game to play today" and they just go out there and score at will like its no big deal. i have really never seen anything like this.

FSUBoo
12-15-2008, 01:13 PM
It almost seems like the offense gets a "deer in headlights" mentality watching the D for the first 3 quarters, then finally gets spooked into action lol.

HometownGal
12-15-2008, 01:18 PM
:cheer::cheer: BEN!!

Oops - there I go, being a cheerleader again. My bad. :doh: :wink02:

:cheer::cheer:

LetsRock
12-15-2008, 01:48 PM
I like how the Steelers left 43 seconds on the clock so that the DEFENSE could get the win and not the OFFENSE on the last play of the game. I know it wasn't planned, but it was fitting.

43Hitman
12-15-2008, 02:58 PM
Actually when Ben threw the pass to Holmes there was 33 seconds on the clock. The home clock guy or whatever he is called gave the turds and extra 10 seconds for some reason.:busted:

lilyoder6
12-15-2008, 03:10 PM
i did kinda feel like wtf? when the steelers spiked it down in the goal-line... i mean they still had 1 TO left and 53 sec that a play could of been called.... but oh well we won

LVSteelersfan
12-15-2008, 03:14 PM
i really dont know how we are doing this.. its almost like for 3 and a half quarters the offense is just sitting back and watching the defense in awe like the rest of us. then half way through the 4th quarter someone says "oh sh!t. i forgot we had a game to play today" and they just go out there and score at will like its no big deal. i have really never seen anything like this.

Smoke and mirrors baby. Smoke and mirrors. I was so mad at Ben yesterday I could spit and was yelling for Byron at the Steelers bar. I love Ben but I kind of lost it there for a minute. I had to apologize to a couple people there that told me Byron never would have done what Ben did at the end. I always believe in Ben and the Steelers but he was making me so mad missing wide open receivers in the flat and throwing that ball away when we were in field goal range. But this team has character and I like them better than any team in recent memory.

43Hitman
12-15-2008, 04:38 PM
Smoke and mirrors baby. Smoke and mirrors. I was so mad at Ben yesterday I could spit and was yelling for Byron at the Steelers bar. I love Ben but I kind of lost it there for a minute. I had to apologize to a couple people there that told me Byron never would have done what Ben did at the end. I always believe in Ben and the Steelers but he was making me so mad missing wide open receivers in the flat and throwing that ball away when we were in field goal range. But this team has character and I like them better than any team in recent memory.

Isn't that an oxymoron?:doh:

Neil-Still-Rules-14
12-15-2008, 05:21 PM
This is how I see it. The D keeps it close, and Ben wins it. People seem to forget that if you have a crap Qb with an awesome D, you'll suck. You can lose 6-3 after all.