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Old 01-13-2009, 08:53 AM   #1
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Default Steelers Notebook: Powerless third quarter set record

Steelers Notebook: Powerless third quarter set record
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
By Ed Bouchette , Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Steelers were dominant in the third quarter all season, but nothing like what happened Sunday at Heinz Field.

Indeed, that was a record the Steelers -- or San Diego Chargers, depending on perspective -- set in the third quarter of an AFC divisional playoff game.

The Chargers had the ball on offense precisely one play, possessing the ball on offense for 17 seconds in the 15-minute quarter.

It's the fewest amount of offensive plays any team has had in any quarter in a playoff game since the NFL's Super Bowl era began in the 1966 season.

The previous low was three by Arizona Jan. 10, 1999, against Minnesota.

That one play became a Larry Foote interception after defensive end Brett Keisel tipped Philip Rivers' pass. San Diego had another chance when Mitch Berger punted for the Steelers with a little more than two minutes left in the quarter. But the ball bounced off the helmet of San Diego's Eric Weddle and recovered by the Steelers' William Gay.

Counting that punt, the Steelers had 25 plays that consumed 14:43 in the third quarter.

"It was wonderful," Keisel said. "It was great to sit there and watch our offense move the ball, run the ball.

"I never had just one play in a quarter, ever."

Said Hines Ward: "To have that time of possession as long as we did in the third quarter, I knew we were going to win the game. Not too many teams win if you only get one snap in the third quarter."

The Steelers outscored opponents in the third quarter, 87-29, in the regular season; Sunday, it was 7-0.

Convincing Keisel
Keisel had the kind of game Sunday that helped convince his coaches to promote him to a starting job in 2006, when he took over for the departed Kimo von Oelhoffen. That previous game occurred in Denver in the AFC championship, when he had two sacks in a part-time role.

Sunday against San Diego, Keisel had a sack, that tipped pass for an interception, two tackles for a loss and one for no gain.

"It's great to have a game like that in this type of atmosphere," he said, "when you win and move on or lose and go home. Some plays came to me and I was fortunate enough to make them."

Line of difference
If they had such a category, Willie Colon has no doubt that he would lead the league in penalties for illegal formation.

"I'm tired of getting called on it," the Steelers right tackle said. "It's like my eighth one of the year."

Actually, it was his third, which may be two more than anyone else. Colon has been called because he lines up too far off the line of scrimmage. An offense must have seven players on the line of scrimmage at the snap of the ball.

"I'm going to start lining up where the linebackers are so they can't call it," he said. "I usually line up where Darnell [Stapleton, at right guard] lines up. Sometimes when he's back, I line up on his back foot. It's a whole bunch of BS; I'm not going to say how I really feel about it."

Officials have told him that he was too far back and "I have to pay more attention to it."

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Old 01-13-2009, 09:00 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: Powerless third quarter set record

I think those calls on Colon are BS. I know the rule, but if it isn't blatantly obvious it shouldn't be called.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: Powerless third quarter set record

He left out the even more remarkable part - 0:17 seconds, 0 yards, 1 play & 2 turnovers.
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