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Old 02-07-2009, 01:57 PM   #1
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Default 2008 Steelers greatest hits

Great article - The season in a nutshell - I think we should open against the Texans ever season the two years we opened against them we went to the super bowl and won.

http://postgazette.com/pg/09038/947529-66.stm

Jaw-dropping, jaw-breaking feats
Steelers' greatest hits
Saturday, February 07, 2009
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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 that is the signature of Steelers football for '08.
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Old 02-07-2009, 04:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2008 Steelers greatest hits

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