Monday, September 26, 2005
The entire game, Patriots fans everywhere had to endure the nearly intolerable Roethlesberger ball washing by CBS's announcers. At the end of the game, their silence about this "legendary" "quarterback" was golden.
Roethlesberger went into this game with a ridiculous passer rating because he almost never passes. To the Steelers, a pass is a trick play like a flea flicker or a double reverse. This game, he was forced to attempt to be a quarterback and the country saw that he isn't one.
The Patriots started the game off well. They forced the Steelers to go 3 and out. Dillon ran for 1, then 6, then 7. Brady threw to Givens for 15. Faulk ran for 3, then Watson caught a 10 yard pass. Dillon took it to the end zone from the 4 to give the Pats an early lead.
The Steelers repsonded quickly when Ward caught a pass from Roethlesberger and went 85 yards for a touchdown to tie the game. The Patriots response was a 3 and out including a sack of Brady for a loss of 11.
The Steelers drove down to our 15 yard line and kicked a field goal. Throughout the drive, the Pats were able to come close to Roethlesberger only to let him slip away. On the drive, Rodney Harrison hurt his right leg on an ugly fall. He wouldn't return.
The Patriots offense put together what looked like a solid scoring drive. The Pats couldn't get much going on the ground but were able to convert some key 3rd downs to get the ball to the Steelers' 14. Brady hit Faulk on a screen and Faulk was one man away from taking it in for 6. That man was able to strip Faulk though and a fortuitous bounce landed right in the arms of the Steelers.
Pittsburgh screwed up big time on their ensuing offensive posession. Randle El caught a Roethlesberger pass and ran down to our 11. Before he was about to be wrapped up, he attempted a foolish lateral that Hines Ward couldn't handle. Eugene Wilson, a.k.a. The Presence, was able to fall on the ball.
The Patriots went 3 and out on their posession and lost Matt Light to injury. After Light, the blind side tackle, the most important offensive line position, was injured, the Steelers attacked our left side with gusto and got alot of pressure on Brady forcing Tom to throw the ball away on many occasions.
Parker got a 10 yard run through the middle for a Pittsburgh 1st down but the Steelers once again stumbled. On 3rd down, Wilson seemed to intercept a terrible pass by Roethlesberger but the play was challenged and overruled. Roethlesberger pooch punted and it was nearly downed inside our 1 yard line but it rolled into the end zone for a touchback.
The Patriots once again did nothing on offense. Dillon ran for a 1 yard loss, Brady threw an incomplete pass, then threw to Brown for no gain. Miller once again punted the ball.
The Steelers drove the ball to our 29 yard line and lined up for a field goal. The kick was good but the play was taken off the books as the Steelers false started. The 52 yard attempt after the penalty missed wide left.
The Pats got the ball with 2:34 left in the 1st half and attempted a scoring drive. Brady threw mostly to Faulk who had some big runs after catches. The Pats got the ball down to the Pittsburgh 3 but a false start penalty moved it back to the 8. Brady was pressured on 1st and goal and his pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage. Once again, the Steelers were the beneficiaries of a nice bounce and they intercepted the pass. They then took a knee to end the half, going into the locker room with a 10-7 lead.
The Patriots started off the 2nd half with a drive that was hurt by an 8 yard loss on a sack. Vinatierri attempted a 53 yard field goal but it just missed. Roethlesberger and the Steelers responed with another incomplete on 3rd down and were forced to punt. The Patriots got the ball back but then prompty returned it to the Steelers when Faulk fumbled again on a run up the middle. The defense held the Steelers to 3 tho, making the score 13-7.
On the next drive, the Patriots didn't score, but they moved the ball near midfield. Miller's punt and the coverage by Don Davis pinned Pittsburgh back at their 6 yard line. They ran the ball a few times before being stopped and forced to punt. Tim Dwight came up with a nice return that gave the Pats the ball on the Pittsburgh 30. The Patriots were unable to do anything though but they were able to get a field goal to make the score 13-10.
The Steelers answered with a 3 and out. The Patriots got the ball back on their 14 yard line. Brady hit Givens for 14, then Branch for 8, then Brown for 19. After a 5 yard reception by Brown and a 3 yard run by Dillon, Givens had a 30 yard catch to give the Pats a 1st and goal on the 7. Dillon ran outside to the right and took it to the house to give the Patriots a 17-13 lead.
The Steelers couldn't muster much on their next drive and finally the Patriots were able to get to Roethlesberger. With 7:27 left in the game, the Pats drove the ball down field eating up over 4 minutes of clock and putting up 3 more points with a field goal. The field goal would prove vital.
The Steelers, down by 7, embarked on a nice drive with little more than 3 minutes left in regulation. The key to the drive was a 4th and 11 play. Roethlesberger threw downfield to Quincy Morgan who was being covered 1 on 1 by Chad Scott. The pass was incomplete and it looked like Scott was doing a good job of covering Morgan. Scott and Morgan were both making contact with each other. Morgan made the first contact. Chad played the ball and made no efforts to screw up Morgan beyond his own efforts to catch the ball. I mean, does this look like pass interferance?
Wow, Scott's really all over him there. Anyway, the Steelers took advantage of the BS PI call and scored a touchdown.
What happened after the TD is what has happened alot during the past few years. Tom Brady drove the ball down field, hitting receivers on medium routes, the receivers are intelligent enough to get out of bounds, and then the Pats get into scoring range. Then Vinatierri walks out and wins the game with a clutch field goal. That happened on Sunday too. Patriots 23, Steelers 20.