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mesaSteeler
02-07-2009, 12:00 AM
Jaw-dropping, jaw-breaking feats
Steelers' greatest hits
Saturday, February 07, 2009
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09038/947529-66.stm

This goes back to the beginning, all the way back to the Steelers' 38-17 win against the Houston Texans in their first game of the season, their sixth consecutive opening-game win. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed 13 of 14 passes for two touchdowns and a 147.0 passer rating, running back Willie Parker had 138 yards and three touchdowns and linebacker James Harrison rang up three sacks.
"We're a good team, you know?" defensive end Brett Keisel declared that hot September day.

Yes, we do know.

We surely know now after the Steelers rallied to beat the Arizona Cardinals, 27-23, in Super Bowl XLIII.

Along the way, there were memories to last a lifetime:

Wide receiver Hines Ward scratching like a dog in front of the Cleveland Dawg Pound after scoring the only touchdown in the Steelers' 10-6 win. "Just marking my spot," Ward said, grinning.

Linebacker James Farrior flipping off Browns fans, who cheer an injury to teammate Ryan Clark.

Two touchdowns in 15 seconds -- the second coming after a Harrison sack and forced fumble -- wipe out a 13-3 halftime deficit and lead the Steelers to a 23-20 overtime win against the Baltimore Ravens.

Roethlisberger's impassioned speech at halftime to his teammates before leading the comeback against the Ravens. "I was tired of being booed," Big Ben said. "I was tired of being embarrassed."

Tight end/fullback Sean McHugh's block on Ravens linebacker Bart Scott sends Scott's helmet flying. Funny, the Ravens didn't put a bounty out on McHugh.

Roethlisberger, under incredible pressure, completes an 18-yard pass to Ward on a third-and-8 as the Steelers rally to beat Jacksonville, 26-21. "He's the best at extending plays that my eyes have ever seen," backup quarterback Byron Leftwich says of Roethlisberger.

The Steelers' 38-10 win at Cincinnati, their eighth consecutive win at Paul Brown Stadium. Get this: The Bengals haven't won eight in a row there.

Ward's block on Bengals rookie linebacker Keith Rivers, which left Rivers with a broken jaw. "I feel sorry that it was broken, but I don't feel sorry for what I did," Ward said after the Bengals threatened to get even. "I'm not going to allow this silly [stuff] to change the way I play."

Teammates cry in the locker room after defensive end Aaron Smith shows up to play in a 21-14 loss to the New York Giants after missing practice all week because his son, Elijah, then 4, was diagnosed with leukemia. "This was the best part of my week -- by far -- even though we lost," Smith said. "This was where I needed to be for a few hours. These guys are family to me."

Leftwich fills in admirably in the second half for an injured Roethlisberger in a 23-6 win at Washington. " I can play this game," he said after leading the Steelers to 13 second-half points by completing 10 of 17 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown.

Safety Troy Polamalu's diving, scooping interception in an 11-10 win against San Diego, his most remarkable play of the season. At least until January, that is.

Polamalu's end-of-game touchdown-that-wasn't against the Chargers, which cost bettors who took the Steelers and gave 5 points millions.

New England coach Bill Belichick, standing in the freezing rain, glaring, as the Steelers take advantage of five Patriots turnovers to score 23 consecutive second-half points in a 33-10 win in Foxborough.

Nose tackle Casey Hampton blowing up Patriots center Dan Koppen and sacking quarterback Matt Cassel two plays after he was called for defensive holding. "Yeah, I was mad," the man they call "Big Snack" said. "After the sack, I told the ref, 'Hold that!' "

Clark's monstrous hit on Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker.

Cornerback Deshea Townsend's interception and 25-yard return of a Tony Romo pass for a touchdown to beat Dallas, 20-13. Somewhere, Jessica Simpson is crying.

Roethlisberger leads a late 12-play, 92-yard drive as the Steelers take down the Ravens, 13-9, in Baltimore to clinch the AFC North Division. "There is nothing like beating Baltimore," said Ward, the target of alleged bounties in the Ravens' locker room.

Ward, with his trademark smirk, to Ravens All-Pros Ray Lewis and Ed Reed moments before teammate Santonio Holmes catches the winning 4-yard touchdown pass: "I told 'em both that we were about to score and beat 'em in their own backyard.' "

Coach Mike Tomlin after the Baltimore win: "Hopefully, that was the signature of Steelers football for '08."

Roethlisberger's thumbs-up signal as he's being carted off the field with head and neck injuries in the second quarter of the 31-0 win against Cleveland. Steelers Nation finally gets to exhale.

That makes 11 wins in a row against the hated Browns, but who is counting?

The Steelers' defense holds the Browns to a mind-blowing 106 total yards, including 20 passing.

The defense is even better in a 35-24 playoff win against San Diego, holding the Chargers to 15 rushing yards.

Do you believe the Chargers had just one play in the third quarter?

Holmes' 67-yard punt return for a touchdown gets the Steelers started after the Chargers took a 7-0 lead. Do you think he's becoming a big-play guy? Just wait.

Holmes takes a short pass from Roethlisberger and turns it into a 65-yard touchdown in a 23-14 playoff win against the Ravens.

Clark's ferocious hit on Baltimore running back Willis McGahee. "Hands down, Ryan Clark is the hardest-hitting safety in football," teammate Larry Foote said.

Polamalu's interception and 40-yard return for a touchdown against the Ravens, the Steelers' most remarkable defensive play of the season. At least for two weeks, that is.

Harrison intercepts a pass by Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner and returns it 100 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the first half to give the Steelers a 17-7 halftime Super Bowl lead. It is, quite simply, the greatest play in Super Bowl history.

Roethlisberger, facing a first-and-20 at his 12 with the Steelers down, 23-20, with 2:24 to play, leads one more amazing comeback to get the franchise its record sixth Super Bowl championship. "I hate to lose," Big Ben said. "I hate being second. It's hard for me to open a door for someone because I don't want them to beat me in the door."

Holmes' sublime 6-yard touchdown catch with 35 seconds left for the winning points.

Now thatis the signature of Steelers football for '08.

Ron Cook can be reached at rcook@post-gazette.com.
First published on February 7, 2009 at 12:00 am

Galax Steeler
02-07-2009, 06:36 AM
That is a bunch of highlights and I can remember everyone this is a season that will not be forgotten.

AllD
02-07-2009, 07:51 AM
Not to mention the fumble created by Woodley on the final defensive play of the SB to put an exclamation point on the entire season.

stillers4me
02-07-2009, 03:08 PM
*sigh*........what a dream season. The steelers know how to win ugly. Lets do it again!

It really was a freakin' great season, wasn't it? We got to witness some historic moments in Steelers history.......this team was special.

tony hipchest
02-07-2009, 03:14 PM
• The Steelers' 38-10 win at Cincinnati, their eighth consecutive win at Paul Brown Stadium. Get this: The Bengals haven't won eight in a row there.

:rofl: holy shit, they suck.

then again, the bengals will NEVER win 8 in a row, anytime, or anywhere because they play the steelers twice a year.

great article. hines scratching his feet at the brownies might be my favorite.

SC Steeler Steve
02-07-2009, 03:23 PM
Do you believe the Chargers had just one play in the third quarter?
And it was an interception... AMAZING

Damn what an exciting magical season. I know it is easy to say this now but I had belief the whole way. I new after the first Ravens game that this team was good, and I always believe we can win the Superbowl.

stillers4me
02-07-2009, 03:39 PM
And it was an interception... AMAZING

Damn what an exciting magical season. I know it is easy to say this now but I had belief the whole way. I new after the first Ravens game that this team was good, and I always believe we can win the Superbowl.

Yeah......I was getting "that feeling" in my gut about half way through the season. I kept thinking about how great it felt after we won Xl and what it would be like to feel like that again. Like what it feels like right now!

Thank you, Steelers. Thank you for making so many terrific memories for your fans. :drink:

Morgan
02-07-2009, 04:34 PM
Didn't the punt doinking off the blocker's helmet count as a play? LMAO

steelerNATION
02-14-2009, 12:59 AM
The part about Aaron Smith's son having leukemia is sad

Steelcitygal87
02-14-2009, 05:20 AM
Cornerback Deshea Townsend's interception and 25-yard return of a Tony Romo pass for a touchdown to beat Dallas, 20-13. Somewhere, Jessica Simpson is crying."

Somehow I doubt Jess even knows what an interception is. lol

GBMelBlount
02-14-2009, 05:29 AM
Nose tackle Casey Hampton blowing up Patriots center Dan Koppen and sacking quarterback Matt Cassel two plays after he was called for defensive holding. "Yeah, I was mad," the man they call "Big Snack" said. "After the sack, I told the ref, 'Hold that!' "

lol. I remember that play and thought holy cow, the "raging snack" should get pissed off more often!

Galax Steeler
02-14-2009, 05:36 AM
lol. I remember that play and thought holy cow, the "raging snack" should get pissed off more often!

That was funny the way he just blew threw the line and got cassell.:toofunny:

HometownGal
02-14-2009, 09:24 AM
The Steelers gave us so many great moments this season - reading back through those highlighted in this article gave me the shivers! :tt03:

The Steelers shellacking the Cheats* in their own cesspool was my favorite game (other than the Super Bowl, of course!).

New England coach Bill Belichick, standing in the freezing rain, glaring, as the Steelers take advantage of five Patriots turnovers to score 23 consecutive second-half points in a 33-10 win in Foxborough.


http://www.secsportsfan.com/images/bill_belichick.jpg

stillers4me
02-14-2009, 09:31 AM
The Steelers gave us so many great moments this season - reading back through those highlighted in this article gave me the shivers! :tt03:

The Steelers shellacking the Cheats* in their own cesspool was my favorite game (other than the Super Bowl, of course!).



http://www.secsportsfan.com/images/bill_belichick.jpg

The prick couldn't publicly slam our safety this time around. :coffee:

verks36
02-14-2009, 09:37 AM
w0w some good memoiries

lilyoder6
02-14-2009, 09:45 AM
that what happens when u have a great team and u give a great team the hardest sch

Steelcitygal87
02-14-2009, 09:54 AM
The prick couldn't publicly slam our safety this time around. :coffee:

In all fairness though, imo, our safety shouldn't have opened his BIG MOUTH and guaranteed a victory. Not exactly the wisest thing to say.

Guttpuppy
02-14-2009, 11:47 AM
lol. I remember that play and thought holy cow, the "raging snack" should get pissed off more often!

That's great.:sofunny:

Some good memories there, excellent read.:tt02:

SteelCityKing
02-14-2009, 01:48 PM
ahhhh...the memories!

jjpro11
02-14-2009, 04:34 PM
this season was great because every week was like a "feature game".. 4:15, 8:00.. we had a tough matchup and nationally televised game all the time.. and the games always went down to the wire.

HometownGal
02-14-2009, 04:38 PM
this season was great because every week was like a "feature game".. 4:15, 8:00.. we had a tough matchup and nationally televised game all the time.. and the games always went down to the wire.

Y'know, in retrospect, I thought the 2005 season was abundant with excitement, especially down the stretch and into the playoffs, but I think this season has 2005 beat in that regard. :tt03: Almost every game kept us on the edge of our seats, including the culmination of the 4th in the SB. I'll take a season like this past one any day of the week and thrice on Sundays!

Havik
02-14-2009, 05:19 PM
Best season ever! I hope we see more of them in the near future. The 4th quarter of SBXLIII damn near gave me a heart attack!

PisnNapalm
02-14-2009, 07:52 PM
Y'know, in retrospect, I thought the 2005 season was abundant with excitement, especially down the stretch and into the playoffs, but I think this season has 2005 beat in that regard. :tt03: Almost every game kept us on the edge of our seats, including the culmination of the 4th in the SB. I'll take a season like this past one any day of the week and thrice on Sundays!

I dunno.... 2005 is very hard to beat. Think about it. With 4 games left in the regular season the Steelers were already in playoff mode. Each game had to be a win or else we'd miss the playoffs. Jerome's performance against the Bears was inspiring. I love watching him run over Urlacher.

The divisional game against the Colts had a huge fumble, "The Tackle" and a wide right by Vanderjagt. (<==however you spell his name).

There were lots of big plays. Joey Porter was a beast down the stretch. Man oh man....

Each season had it's signature plays.

jjpro11
02-14-2009, 10:19 PM
I dunno.... 2005 is very hard to beat. Think about it. With 4 games left in the regular season the Steelers were already in playoff mode. Each game had to be a win or else we'd miss the playoffs. Jerome's performance against the Bears was inspiring. I love watching him run over Urlacher.

The divisional game against the Colts had a huge fumble, "The Tackle" and a wide right by Vanderjagt. (<==however you spell his name).

There were lots of big plays. Joey Porter was a beast down the stretch. Man oh man....

Each season had it's signature plays.

down the stretch that season was unbelievable.. but that lousy spot in the middle of the season and ben's injury kinda put a damper on it.. this year, we lost a game and bounced right back.. every week was fun and dramatic. i didnt think anything could beat the 2004 regular season and how fun that was up until the afccg.. but this season was the best imo.

Preacher
02-14-2009, 10:36 PM
In all fairness though, imo, our safety shouldn't have opened his BIG MOUTH and guaranteed a victory. Not exactly the wisest thing to say.

Actually, our safety didn't.

He was asked a question about winning and he answered that if the D plays like they can, then yes, they will win.

That was spun into the "guarantee."

Steelcitygal87
02-15-2009, 05:19 AM
Actually, our safety didn't.

He was asked a question about winning and he answered that if the D plays like they can, then yes, they will win.

That was spun into the "guarantee."

Well, you and I see it differently.


"We're going to win," Smith said. "Yeah, I can guarantee a win. As long as we come out and do what we got to do. Both sides of the ball are rolling, and if our special teams come through for us, we've got a good chance to win."

Yes, he did mention if both sides(not just D) plus special teams played as they are capable of playing then they have a good chance to win.

It's what he said at the beginning that wasn't necessary..imo. So yes, to me it was a guarantee.

Plus, even if a team does play solid in all phases of their game, the opposing team, if they play solid as well, might just be BETTER than your team to begin with and end up winning anyhow.

His teammates didn't seem exactly thrilled with how he worded his response either.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3142456

markymarc
02-16-2009, 10:52 AM
That was an awesome article and thanks for posting Mesa. Love the highlights of our fantastic season in 2008. I still say the Troy interception against the Chargers was the greatest I have ever witnessed.