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|10-24-2010, 04:28 PM||#1|
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Fumbles Don't Stop Steelers
Fumbles don't stop Steelers
Sunday, October 24, 2010 04:23 PM
Written by Bob Smizik
Ben Roethlisberger giveth. Ben Roethlisberger taketh away.
As is often the case with franchise players, the game is in their hands. And that was a problem for Roethlisberger who fumbled three times this afternoon against the Miami Dolphins -- with one of them negating a touchdown.
But in the end, what he gave to the Steelers -- and what a gallant defense provided when the game was there for the Dolphins to take -- were enough for a 23-22 win.
If you can look past the mistakes -- the Steelers also fumbled on the opening kickoff -- it was another wonderful football game, full of drama, passion and the height of competitiveness.
The Steelers are 5-1 in the AFC North and hold a one-game lead over Baltimore, which struggled today against lowly Buffalo before winning in overtime. For the Steelers, this was the first game on what is a daunting four-game mid-season challenge that may well determine how well their season goes.
As a passer, Roethlisberger was just sensational. He completed 19 of 27 for 302 yards, 2 touchdowns, no interceptions, 11.2 yards per attempts and a rating of 132.
It was the other aspects where he was lacking. He fumbled on the Steelers first possession -- after Miami had gone ahead 3-0 following the fumble on the kickoff -- and the Dolphins turned that in another three points. His second fumble proved not to be costly.
But his third, as he was diving across the goal line with less than two minutes remaining and the Dolphins up by 2, almost proved disastrous. The play originally was ruled a touchdown, but after a lengthy replay, the touchdown was taken away because the fumble occurred before the ball crossed the goal line. The ball was given to the Steelers on the Miami 1 when the officials could not determine who recovered the fumble.
From there, Jeff Reed kicked the winning field goal.
The defense had to be dead tired, not only from the Miami heat but from playing shorthanded. Starting defensive end Brett Keisel did not dress, the Steelers also lost Aaron Smith and LaMarr Woodley during the game. Woodley had a hamstring injury and Smith had some sort of arm injury.
But the Dolphins couldnít even get a first down on that final possession, which began on their 29 with 2:26 remaining. The Dolphins managed 4 yards combined on first and second down and then not another as the victory was sealed.
The Dolphins were a dogged opponents. In the early going, they could not move the ball at all. On their first three possessions, they didnít get a first down and gained only 7 yards. But quarterback Chad Henne soon began picking up first downs and the game was on.
The Steelers led, 17-16, at the half and all either team could do in the second half was kick two field goals apiece.
Miami was ferocious against the run. Rashard Mendenhall gained 30 yards on seven carries in the first half and seven yards on eight carries in the second. The Steelers defense was just as strong.
The Steelers play the defending Super Bowl champion Saints next Sunday night in New Orleans. The Saints were beaten today by the Cleveland Browns, 30-17.
People assume that time is a strict progression of cause and effect, but actually from a non-linear non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey...stuff.
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