According to the talking heads, this Halloween matchup was "supposed" to be the game in which young phenom Ben Roethlisberger finally gets exposed as a rookie, overwhelmed by the evil genius of New England's defensive mastermind, Bill Belichick, with his unpredictable and frightening defensive schemes. Instead, Big Ben picks apart New England's secondary, wins NFL Rookie of the Week honors for 5th straight time and puts an end to the Patriots' record-setting winning streak.
The Patriots (6-0) come into the game having won 21 straight (counting the playoffs) and a league-record 18 in a row in the regular season. But the Steelers punch the Patriots in the mouth early and often in this one. Roethlisberger throws 2 TD passes to Plaxico Burress (including a picture-perfect 47-yard bomb) and Deshea Townsend intercepts a rattled Tom Brady for a 39-yard "pick-six" during a furious 21-point Steelers first quarter. Instead of the rookie Roethlisberger being overwhelmed, it's Brady who ends up frustrated, confused and looking out his earhole. Meanwhile, Roethlisberger runs his own winning streak to 18: his last 13 games at Miami of Ohio and his first five in the NFL.
Joey Porter has a HUGE game, recording 3 sacks and forcing 2 fumbles while Duce Staley gains 125 yards on 25 carries and the Bus runs 15 times for 65 yards and a TD. All in all, a complete team effort. Unfortunately, New England is busy illegally filming/stealing Pittsburgh's defensive calls during this game a la the "Spy-gate" scandal (for which Bill Belicheat is ultimately fined $500,000 and the Patriots are fined $250,000 as well as losing their first-round draft pick in the 2008 NFL Draft). But this game shows what a fair fight between the Steelers and Patriots looks like. A turly beautiful win for the Steelers, and a Halloween Nightmare for the Patriots.
"Lambert didn't see me coming until the last instant. He tried to square up but couldn't, and I drilled him -- just floored him. The play went for a score, and he got up cussing and yelling with the wildest eyes I've ever seen!" More...
I was a failed Steeler draft choice as a tight end coming out of Nebraska in
1978 (7th round, selected 187th overall), but during my brief stint with the team, I experienced a couple of memorable Jack Lambert moments first hand that I thought your readers would enjoy.
Lambert was as intimidating in camp as he was in games... maybe even more so. Nobody
messed with Jack. NOBODY. His respect was solid within the team. He was his own man and was not
into political correctness in the slightest because I believe his heart was
pure and he was comfortable within himself. At our first team lunch with the
vets in camp, we had to stand up and introduce ourselves -- rookies and star veterans alike -- and tell what school we played for. When it came his turn, Jack stood up on
his chair and shouted like a Marine drill sergeant, "I'm Jack Lambert,
I'm from Grambling and if you don't like it, you can kiss my
skinny white a$$!" He sat back down without even a trace of a smile and the
place just went nuts, howling and laughing. Grambling is, of course, a predominantly "black"
state university in Louisiana...
Given enough time, nearly any discussion of the Steelers will eventually turn to the greatest "what if" in the annals of Pittsburgh sports: What if the Steelers had drafted Dan Marino? Oddly enough, this subject came up during a conversation about the 1990 Steelers' 35-0 victory over the Browns. One thing led to another, and... well, Marino, of course. :)
"In my hypothetical, the Steelers draft Dan Marino in the 1983 NFL Draft and the Steelers go to the Super Bowl at least four, maybe five times between 1983 through 1999." ~ Matthew Simon
Seems legit. Personally, I think Marino would've been good for one, maybe two more Lombardi's in Pittsburgh. What are your thoughts?
Random pic of Jack Lambert kicking @$$... just because.
* Prayers for Ryan Shazier *
Our first prayer is that Ryan Shazier makes a full recovery that allows him to lead a normal, full and happy life; that he'll be able to walk and run and play with his children. Thankfully, he continues to improve and appears to be on that path, although playing football again may or may not be in his future. Spinal stabilization surgery means he won't return to football this season, but it doesn't necessarily rule out football in his future. We continue to pray for Ryan, his family and his continued improvement.
Mike Mitchell Lights Up NFL, Goodell
Mike Mitchell is right on the money with his comments regarding questionable officiating, the inconsistent doling out of fines and suspensions and the disturbing movement aimed at the "wussification" of pro football by Roger Goodell, the sports media and the NFL.
Watch 70's Steelers Games on MP4 Go ahead, get stuck in the '70s! We've been converting our extensive library of classic Steelers games (as they were originally broadcast by the networks) from VHS to digital. Now you can relive these fantastic gridiron battles right here! Games that are ready to watch will have a green light next to them on the list. If you don't see a green light, the game isn't there yet (but wil be coming soon). More...Fan Message Board Let your voice be heard on our fan message board! Connect with other fans, share your thoughts on the Steelers or weigh in on about just about any other topic you find of interest. More...
Short Clip of the Week
Distant Replay: The Three Rivers Jinx
Webster's Dictionary defines the verb "to hex" as "to affect if by an evil spell." In the NFL, hex is defined as "that which happened to the Cleveland Browns whenever they played in Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium." From the facility's opening in 1970 through 1985, the Browns made 16 trips to Pittsburgh... and came home losers 16 times. This great "Distant Replay" clip from 1995 details the "Three Rivers Jinx" and features interviews with past coaches and players. A very entertaining watch which was broadcast before the "original" Browns' final trip the Three Rivers on Monday Night Football in 1995, which ironically, would be their 7th straight defeat in a "new" losing streak in Pittsburgh. Enjoy!
Eight of the sixteen original "jinx" games are available to watch on this site. Click below to watch a game:
Technically speaking, just about everything here is new right now due to the site remodel (even though this site has been here for 20 years). As we add new classic games and other features, we'll note it here so you can easily find what's new on the site.
While I was glad to see the Steelers do the right thing this week by standing respectfully during the National Anthem, the Ravens chose to disgrace themselves by taking a knee for a phony "prayer" prior to the Anthem, for which they were lustily booed by their home crowd. Meanwhile, players on other NFL teams continue to disrespect the flag.
Roger Goodell could easily put an end to this nonsense. But presumably for the sake of political correctness...
Lake's Take: Post-draft Depth Situation By "The Lakelander" > QB ... Big Ben is legendary, a future first ballot HOFer, and still very dangerous in accuracy and his deep ball ... We likely improved our backup QB situation and we did so with a Slash Stewart prototype ... I'm really cool with this ...
> OL ... We are deep on O-Line with a very veteran starting group, and with Finney, Hubbard, Hawkins and Mike Matthews (son of HOFer Bruce Matthews) ... No worries here heading into camp ...
> TE ... Well it all depends on Ladarius the way I see it. He was clearly a TD threat for Big Ben when he actually played last year ... Steelers have James, Green, Grimble and some young undrafted types ... It's safe to say we aren't a TE heavy team and it's also safe to say we will rely on our WR's in 2017 ...
Comments by dbsfgyd1
"He was the first Steeler I met. It was the spring of 1964. The local YMCA had a 'Night With the Steelers' son and dads program. I became a fan during the 1963 season as the Steelers finally put together a championship caliber team, but fell short in a semi playoff game against the NY Giants. I was thinking I'd be meeting guys the likes of John Henry Johnson, Gary Bauman, Big Daddy Lipscomb. The thing was, the only Steeler that showed up was this skinny guy with a movie projector in one arm, and a film can in the other. It was the NFL highlight film of the 1963 season. Funny looking back on it, as thoroughly disappointed I was not so see any 'real' football players that night, little did I know, and how unimpressed I was to meet the second most important man in the history of the Steelers; a keen business man, the one who molded the most successful team in the history of professional sports, the key driver of turning this team and others into billion dollar enterprises, selected to represent all of all of us Americans as an ambassador, Mr. Dan Rooney. RIP. A life truly well lived."
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