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Old 01-19-2009, 08:13 AM   #1
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Default Steelers notes: Sweed revenge

Steelers notes: Sweed revenge
By Bill Allmann, Times Sports Correspondent
Published: Monday, January 19, 2009 12:39 AM EST


PITTSBURGH — Steelers rookie wide receiver Limas Sweed was pressed into action late in the first half because of a knee injury to Hines Ward and instantly became his own highlight film.

Fortunately for Sweed, his short highlight film might have been viewed as a tragedy if it wasn’t later overshadowed by the celebration of the 23-14 AFC Championship win over Baltimore.

In the final minute of the first half, he went from nearly anonymous to one of the most talked about players of the season. He went from goat to hero and back again in one minute.

With exactly one minute left in the half, Sweed was wide open down the left sideline and Ben Roethlisberger hit him right on the hands with a sure touchdown pass, but he dropped it. To add insult to injury, he lay on the field long enough to cost the Steelers a timeout before he eventually got to his feet.

“I knew it could be a touchdown from the time it was called from studying film and seeing how they lined up,” said Sweed. “I was just running and I guess I misjudged but I’d rather drop 100 passes and win than catch it and lose. This feels great.”

Just three plays later, though, Sweed got the crowd back on his side with a bone-crushing block on Corey Ivy as Heath Miller gained 21 yards.

“I knew I had to just keep playing and try to stay consistent,” Sweed said. “Ryan Clark came up to me after the block and told me I got the jitters out after the big hit.

“It’s a dream come true winning the AFC championship game.”

Sweed may have settled in after his big shot, but his injury that caused the timeout still proved costly as the half came to an end. The Steelers couldn’t try a short field goal at the end of the half because time ran out and the Steelers had no timeouts left.

The second half was relatively uneventful for the rookie from Texas as Sweed finished with two catches for the game for 20 yards but, as Sweed summed it up, “The biggest thing was just to win.”

PUNTING WOES

Fans are left to only wonder how good the AFC Champions could be if punter Daniel Sepulveda hadn’t been hurt in training camp.

Both Baltimore touchdowns were set up by miscues in the punting game. The first came on a 45-yard punt return by the Ravens’ Jim Leonhard. The second came after a 21-yard punt by Mitch Berger, who replaced Sepulveda, was cut, and re-signed.

STAT STUFF

l Hines Ward’s first reception of the game went for 45 yards after Baltimore’s Ed Reed gambled and went for the interception. The catch put Ward over 1,000 career post-season receiving yards.

l Jeff Reed’s field goal on the same opening drive moved him into fourth place in Steelers’ postseason scoring. The field goal increased Reed’s total to 68 points, surpassing Gary Anderson.

His extra point to open the second quarter tied him with John Stallworth for third place with 72. His third field goal of the game in the third quarter moved him into third place alone. It also tied his career high for field goals in a postseason game. He also had three on Jan. 11, 2003, against Tennessee.

l Troy Polamalu’s interception return was the first interception return by a Pittsburgh Steeler in the postseason.

BAD QUARTER FOR FLACCO

Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco had been given credit for his team’s advance to the AFC Championship game, but his first quarter didn’t reflect that effort.

His quarterback rating was zero (the NFL doesn’t go any lower) after completing one of seven passes for 2 yards and throwing an interception. He was also stopped on a fourth-and-1 sneak at the Pittsburgh 34-yard line.

ATTENDANCE RECORD

The game set an attendance record for the Steelers with a crowd of 65,350. The previous record had been set in the AFC Championship game against New England in January of 2005.

http://www.timesonline.com/articles/...e828840434.txt
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers notes: Sweed revenge

Rookie CB on rookie WR. WE won despite Sweed. His fake injury also cost us a TO which was needed to stop the clock near the end of the half.

His did redeem himself somewhat by stripping the ball on a definite end zone interception and some good hits. However, he is a work in progress and needs to work on his mechanics. Hopefully he breaks out soon before he costs us a crucial game.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers notes: Sweed revenge

I cussed him for the drop but when he nailed Ivy I jumped up outta my seat and said all is forgiven.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:04 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers notes: Sweed revenge

I snapped when sweed dropped that pass...but after that hit I was fine. It was one hell of a game tho and I'm proud to be ready to watch my third steelers superbowl in my lifetime. GO STEELERS.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:34 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers notes: Sweed revenge

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Rookie CB on rookie WR. WE won despite Sweed. His fake injury also cost us a TO which was needed to stop the clock near the end of the half.

His did redeem himself somewhat by stripping the ball on a definite end zone interception and some good hits. However, he is a work in progress and needs to work on his mechanics. Hopefully he breaks out soon before he costs us a crucial game.
I'm gonna be even harder on him. That injury was ONLY to his pride, and it did cost us 3 points, but that doesn't make up for the 7 that he cost us by LOOKING AT WHERE THE ENDZONE WAS BEFIRE HE CAUGHT THE PASS!

Nobody has mentioned that, but it's exactly what happened. Dude was jufging how many yards until he could celebrate. That's one degree less egregious in my book than Plax's idiotic spike.

He's in my doghouse over that one.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:42 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers notes: Sweed revenge

John Stallworth kicked?
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:02 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers notes: Sweed revenge

Sweed has been pathetic this season. His faking an injury only made him look worse.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:08 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers notes: Sweed revenge

Sweed has dropped by my count, three passes just like the one in yesterdays game. He was wide open in a similar route during preseason when Batch or Dixon hit him right in the hands and he dropped it.

I know there was a problem during camp with his visual accuity where he needed corrective lenses to correct depth perception problems.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:13 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers notes: Sweed revenge

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Sweed has dropped by my count, three passes just like the one in yesterdays game. He was wide open in a similar route during preseason when Batch or Dixon hit him right in the hands and he dropped it.

I know there was a problem during camp with his visual accuity where he needed corrective lenses to correct depth perception problems.
Not even Jerry Rice or Fred Biletnikoff are going to catch passes if they are looking into the endzone and not at the ball.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:37 AM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers notes: Sweed revenge

I honestly thin he was looking at the jumbo tron! i have faith in him to turn out to be a good reciever!
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