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News » THE ROAD TO 12-4


THE ROAD TO 12-4


THE ROAD TO 12-4
WILD COMEBACKS, DEVASTATING VICTORIES AND SUFFOCATING LOSSES CAP A SEASON THAT SEES THE Steelers HUNTING FOR THEIR SIXTH SUPER BOWL TITLE


Texas toast

Sept. 7 vs. Houston Texans

W, 38-17

The host Steelers scored on their first three possessions and the defense had five sacks and two interceptions to win their season opener for the sixth consecutive season, the longest streak in the NFL. In his first regular-season game since he broke his leg in Week 15 last season, RB Willie Parker rushed for 138 yards and scored on runs of 7, 13 and 4 yards.

Early Reign

Sept. 14 at Cleveland Browns

W, 10-6

On a wind-whipped day at Cleveland Browns Stadium, the Steelers beat their division rival for the 10th consecutive time. CB Bryant McFadden intercepted QB Derek Anderson's pass in the second quarter to set up the only touchdown, an 11-yard pass from QB Ben Roethlisberger to WR Hines Ward.

Philly stake

Sept. 21 at Philadelphia Eagles

L, 15-6

In what was their most dreadful offensive performance of the season, the visiting Steelers managed just 180 yards, including only 33 rushing, and were held without a touchdown by an aggressive Eagles defense. QB Ben Roethlisberger was sacked a season-high eight times before he was injured and replaced by Byron Leftwich.

Turning points

Sept. 29 vs. Baltimore Ravens

W, 23-20

The Steelers rallied from a 13-3 deficit to hand the visiting Ravens their first loss of the season. K Jeff Reed kicked three field goals, including the winning 46-yarder in overtime, as the Steelers defense, led by OLB James Harrison's 2.5 sacks, held the Ravens to 97 yards offense after halftime.

Thrown together

Oct. 5 at Jacksonville Jaguars

W, 26-21

QB Ben Roethlisberger, who had an interception returned 72 yards for a touchdown on the first series, threw three touchdowns and led the Steelers to an impressive comeback victory against the host Jaguars. Roethlisberger led the team on an 11-play, 80-yard drive to produce the winning touchdown with 1:53 remaining.

Give me Moore

Oct. 19 at Cincinnati Bengals

W, 38-10

The defense registered a season-high seven sacks and the Steelers broke loose for 21 fourth-quarter points to win their eighth consecutive game in Paul Brown Stadium. Mewelde Moore, playing for injured Willie Parker, rushed for 120 yards on 20 carries and scored three touchdowns, one on a 2-yard pass from QB Ben Roethlisberger.

Snapped out of it

Oct. 26 vs. New York Giants

L, 21-14

A holding penalty against RT Willie Colon wiped out a touchdown pass from QB Ben Roethlisberger to WR Nate Washington, allowing the Giants to score 12 points in the final quarter and hand the Steelers their first home loss. OLB James Harrison, subbing for injured long snapper Greg Warren, snapped the ball for a safety.

Capital 'D

Nov. 3 at Washington Redskins

W, 23-6

QB Byron Leftwich replaced an injured QB Ben Roethlisberger in the second half and threw a 50-yard pass to WR Nate Washington on his first attempt to set up a touchdown, allowing the Steelers to post an easy victory at FedEx Field on "Monday Night Football." Leftwich finished 7 of 10 for 129 yards for a 145.8 passer rating.

Dropping the ball

Nov. 9 vs. Indianapolis Colts

L, 24-20

The Steelers lost their second game in a row at Heinz Field when they failed to protect leads of 17-7 and 20-17 against the Colts, who won in Pittsburgh for the first time since 1968. QB Peyton Manning threw a 17-yard touchdown to RB Dominic Rhodes with 3:04 remaining for the winning score.

A point made

Nov. 16 vs. San Diego Chargers

W, 11-10

In a bizarre game that featured the first 11-10 final score in NFL history, the Steelers came up with another late rally to beat the visiting Chargers on K Jeff Reed's 32-yard field goal with 11 seconds remaining. The game also featured S Troy Polamalu's fumble return for a touchdown on the game's final play that was incorrectly overturned by the officials.

Keeping warm

Nov. 20 vs. Cincinnati Bengals

W, 27-10

On a Thursday night at Heinz Field, the Steelers scored 20 consecutive points after the winless Bengals had taken a 7-0 lead to improve to 8-3. QB Ben Roethlisberger was not sacked for only the second time and passed for 243 yards and a touchdown.

Defense reigns

Nov. 27 at New England Patriots

W, 33-10

The visiting Steelers forced turnovers on five consecutive possessions in the second half to score 23 points and win in New England for the first time since 1997. OLB James Harrison had two sacks and two forced fumbles against Patriots QB Matt Cassel, who was held to a 39.4 passer rating.

Big 'D'

Dec. 7 vs. Dallas Cowboys

W, 20-13

In one of the most dramatic endings in franchise history, the Steelers scored 17 points in the final seven minutes and capped the comeback with a 25-yard interception for a touchdown by CB Deshea Townsend with 1:40 remaining. The host Steelers were held to 238 yards, but QB Ben Roethlisberger passed for 141 yards in the second half.

Dividing line

Dec. 14 at Baltimore Ravens

W, 13-9

The Steelers won their fifth game in a row in dramatic fashion again, scoring on a 4-yard touchdown pass from QB Ben Roethlisberger to WR Santonio Holmes with 43 seconds remaining to clinch the AFC North division title. Roethlisberger led a 12-play, 92-yard drive for the winning score against the league's No. 2 defense.

Second fiddle

Dec. 21 at Tennessee Titans

L, 31-14

Despite battling back from a 10-0 deficit to take a 14-10 lead, the Steelers gave up their most points of the season and had their five-game winning streak ended in Nashville, Tenn. The Titans finished with 323 yards offense, the first opposing team to have more than 300 yards against the Steelers this season.

Lump & Thump

Dec. 28 vs. Cleveland Browns

W, 31-0

The defense put the finishing touches on a dominating season by holding the inept Browns to 126 yards offense and posting its first shutout since Week 11 last season. RB Willie Parker had 116 yards rushing, including a 34-yard TD run, but QB Ben Roethlisberger had to be carted off the field in the second quarter with a concussion.

MANY HAPPY RETURNS

AFC divisional playoff

Jan. 11 vs. San Diego Chargers

W, 35-24

Chargers...........7............3.............0.............14.................24

Steelers............7.............7.............7.............14................35

After the Chargers took a 7-0 lead on the opening possession, the Steelers stormed back with the help of a 67-yard punt return for a touchdown by Santonio Holmes to advance to their fourth AFC championship game since 2001. Willie Parker rushed for 146 yards and two scores, and the defense held the Chargers to a franchise postseason-record 15 yards rushing.

HEINZ FINALLY SUPER

AFC championship

Jan. 18 vs. Baltimore Ravens

W, 23-14

Ravens.............0..............7.............0...........7................14

Steelers.............6..............7............3...........7.................23

Troy Polamalu's 40-yard interception return for a touchdown with 4:24 remaining allowed the Steelers to beat the Ravens for the third time this season and ended an 0-2 jinx in conference championship games at Heinz Field. Ben Roethlisberger passed for 255 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown to Santonio Holmes, and the Steelers defense registered three sacks and three interceptions against rookie QB Joe Flacco.

6!

Super Bowl XLIII

Feb. 1 vs. Arizona Cardinals

W, 27-23

Steelers.........3...............14.............3.............7.................27

Cardinals......0..................7.............0............16...............23

In a game full of drama and history, Ben Roethlisberger rallied the Steelers for the sixth time this season, going 88 yards in seven plays to throw the winning 6-yard TD to Santonio Holmes with 35 seconds left. Holmes had four of his nine catches on the drive and was named Super Bowl MVP as the Steelers became the first team to win six NFL titles. James Harrison had the longest play in Super Bowl history -- a 100-yard INT return for TD at the end of the first half.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: February 11, 2009

Quintin Mikell Name: Quintin Mikell
#27
Position: S
Age: 27
Experience: 6 years
College: Boise State
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