1998 Steelers 20 at Ravens 13
One of the butt-ugliest games I've ever seen, but a win's a win as Pittsburgh spoils the Ravens' debut in their new facility at Camden Yards. Kordell pulls his usual Jekyll/Hyde routine and the Bus is completely stuffed all day, but the Steeler defense does just enough to atone for Pittsburgh's inadequacies on offense. Baltimore statistically dominates the game, but a terrible performance by their long snapper results in 3 missed FGs and botched punt inside the Steeler 10, all due to bad snaps.
1998 Steelers 17 vs Bears 12
While Jerome Bettis is nearly unstoppable (21 carries, 131 yards, 1 TD), Kordell Stewart continues to struggle and the Bears do just enough to stay in the game. Thankfully, Carnell Lake intercepts Erik Kramer with 44 seconds left and Pittsburgh hangs on to win against the hapless Bears. After the game, Cowher says, "I don't think Kordell played particularly well." Now THAT is an understatement.
1998 Steelers 0 at Dolphins 21
A simply brutal game for Kordell Stewart, who goes an embarrassing 4 of 15 for 3 yds in the first half, including bad pick to set up a short Dolphins TD. Trailing 14-0 at the break, things go from bad to worse as the rains begin. Midway through the 3rd quarter, Stewart -- who finishes the day just 11 of 35 for 82 yds, 0 TDs, 3 INTs and 4 sacks -- throws a horrific pass right to LB Zack Thomas, who races untouched into the end zone for a pick 6 and a 21-0 Miami advantage. While Bettis carries only 13 times for 48 yards, his counterpart Karim Abdul-Jabbar carries a career-high 33 times for 108 yds and a score. A shout out to Jaegar Heathman for generously providing this game!
1998 Steelers 13 vs Seahawks 10
Linebacker Levon Kirkland forces a fumble and makes a crucial sack as the tenacious Steelers defense neutralizes Warren Moon and forces the previously unbeaten Seahawks into 4 devastating turnovers. Jerome Bettis is monstrous, bulldozing for 138 yards on 28 carries as the Steelers avoid turnovers and grind out nearly twice as many rushing yards as passing yards.
1998 Steelers 20 at Bengals 25
I throw up in my mouth when I think of this game. The Steelers have this game won. They HAVE it. And somehow... they find a way to lose. To flippin' turncoat Kneel O'Dollar, no less. The Steelers go ahead 20-18 on Norm Johnson's 40-yd FG with 1:56 left and a holding penalty on the kickoff leaves Cinci at its 7-yd line with no timeouts. Four plays later, the Bengals face a 4th-and-12 from their own 15... and that's when CB Dewayne Washington's nightmare begins. With a hard pass rush bearing down on him, O'Donnell heaves a desperation pass down the left sideline. Carl Pickens slips underneath the coverage, leaps up and snatches the ball away from Washington for a 50-yd gain to the Steeler 35. FIFTY YARDS ON 4TH FLIPPIN' DOWN???!!! Puke!!! A pair of Corey Dillon runs move the ball to the Steeler 25, and the Bengals rush to the line as if to clock the ball. But in a stunning Marino/Kosar moment, O'Donnell fakes the spike and lofts the ball toward the end zone. Pickens (13 catches, 204 yds) completes Washington's nightmare by outleaping him for the catch and walking right over top of him for the TD to win the game. What a debacle. Thanks to Jaeger Heathman for providing this game!
1998 Steelers 16 vs Ravens 6
Kordell Stewart throws a 55-yard pass to WIDE open Charles Johnson for the game's only TD and the Pittsburgh Steelers record a season-high 7 sacks and 3 interceptions en route to a 16-6 victory. Eric Zeier struggles at QB and is finally replaced by Jim Harbaugh, who goes 0 for 6 with 2 INTs and 2 sacks before being replaced again by Zeier. LOL. Lake & Perry each have an interception in the final quarter to seal the game.
1998 Steelers 31 vs Oilers 41
Eddie George takes 7 consecutive handoffs to start the game and runs the ball on 10 of the Oilers' first 13 plays to set up a 10-0 Tennessee lead. By halftime, George has 101 yds and ultimately finishes with 153 yds and a TD on 34 carries. Add in 3 Steve McNair TD passes and it makes for a pretty miserable afternoon for Pittsburgh, who trails 41-15 until Tomczak comes in to throw a pair of garbage time TDs and two 2-point conversions late in the game. Bettis has a season-low 26 yds on 11 carries, Stewart throws 3 INTs and the Oilers finish with a 5-minute advantage in time of possession.
1998 Steelers 27 vs Packers 20 MNF
Kordell Stewart (15 of 22, 231 yds, 1 TD, plus 37 yds and 1 TD rushing) ends his slump by orchestrating four first-half scoring drives, leading the Steelers to a huge 24-0 lead in a near perfect half of football. Bettis is a workhorse, carrying 34 times for 100 yds. Poised to take a brutal 34-3 fourth quarter lead at the Packer 5-yard line, a ridiculous trick play that puts Stewart at WR and Tomzcak at QB backfires when when Reggie White NAILS Tomczak, who's fumble is returned 88 yards for a Packers TD. Suddenly, the Packers explode for 17 unanswered points to turn a laugher into a thriller. In spite of Green Bay's last-minute heroics, the Steelers completely dominate this game. Includes some nice pregame and postgame material.
1998 Steelers 14 at Oilers 23
Played at Vanderbilt Stadium. Kordell Stewart plays well, hitting 22 of 28 for 239 yds, 2 TDs and 0 INTs, but the Steelers leave too many points on the field and it ultimately kills them. Lee Flowers intercepts Steve McNair on the first play of the game and the Steelers drive to the Oiler 15, only to have Kordell Stewart stuffed for no gain on 4th and inches. On Pittsburgh's next drive, they drive to the Oiler 16, but replacement kicker Matt George, subbing for an injured Norm Johnson, has his first-ever FG attempt blocked. Midway through the 4th quarter, the Steelers lead 14-13 and seemingly have a chance to put the game away after stopping Eddie George on 4th and 1 near midfield. But the drive stalls at the Oiler 25 with about 4 minutes left, and due to Matt George's earlier blocked FG, the Steelers again decide to go for it on 4th and 1. Unfortunately, the results are the same; the Oilers crash through the center of the line and nail Stewart before he can even complete the handoff. The Oilers drive to the winning field goal with 6 seconds left, and then fall on the football in the end zone after a failed lateral drill by the Steelers on the kickoff as time expires. Thanks to Jaeger Heathman for providing this game!
1998 Steelers 30 vs Jaguars 15
CB Dewayne Washington returns a pair of interceptions for scores, including a 72-yarder with 34 seconds left, to help Steelers defeat the division-leading Jaguars in a crucial game. Washington intercepts a Brunell pass in 1st quarter and returns it 52 yards to open the scoring, and the Steelers never look back. Kordell is again excellent, completing 25 of 36 passes for 208 yards and a TD (and no ints for the 3rd straight week). Features a crucial leaping one-handed catch by Charles Johnson. Features some postgame footage.
1998 Steelers 16 at Lions 19 OT
The infamous "Coin Toss" game. Barry Sanders is held to only 33 yards on 20 carries as Pittsburgh's defense dominates for 3 quarters before rookie QB Charlie Batch ignites the Lions' offense. A game that is poorly officiated start to finish takes an even more bizarre twist on the coin toss before overtime, when Jerome Bettis clearly calls tails as the coin is in the air, only to have referee Phil Luckett award the ball to the Lions after the coin lands tails. Luckett later claims Bettis originally called heads and changed his mind. Television replays tell a different story. In a season full of disappointment for the Steelers, they at least manage to score a major victory for the fans... the return of instant replay.
1998 Steelers 9 vs Patriots 23
A real setback loss for the Steelers, who fall to 7-6. Darren Perry gives up an 86-yd bomb from Bledsoe to Glenn in the final 2 minutes of the first half to give the Patriots a 13-6 lead and the Steelers never quite seem to recover. The Steelers are held to just 86 yds in the 2nd half and even though they drive inside the Patriots' 20 twice in the final five minutes, Pittsburgh turns it over on downs once and Stewart is intercepted on their final possession. As if representative of their crumbling season, a retaining wall in the corner of Three Rivers Stadium collapses late in the 4th quarter. Luckily, no one is hurt. In an incredibly ugly display by fans, Kordell Stewart is showered with beer as he walks off the field. A special thanks to Seth Campbell for providing this video.
1998 Steelers 3 at Bucs 16
Kordell Stewart's miserable performance in the rain (9 of 21, 88 yds, 0 TD, 3 INT) gets him benched in the 3rd quarter after his 1st interception. An upset Stewart can be seen lobbying Cowher on the sidelines to get back into the game, which he does after Tomczak fumbles on his first possession (leading to an easy Tampa TD) and throws an interception on his next possession. Stewart comes back in... and promptly throws 2 more INTS. Thanks to Matthew Simon for providing us with this game.
1998 Steelers 3 at Jaguars 21 MNF
An embarrassing end to a dismal season as the Steelers lose their 5th straight game, fittingly, in the midst of thick fog cover. Adding insult to injury, the loss comes in front of a national audience (MNF) at the hands of a rookie QB subbing for Mark Brunell. Despite a strong "on paper" performance by Jerome Bettis (15 carries for 104 yds in first half alone, finishing with 25 carries for 139 yds), three Kordell Stewart turnovers (2 INTs and a fumble) and a slew of dropped passes (including a Mark Bruener drop of a sure TD and drops by Charles Johnson, Hines Ward and David Dunn on a single drive) sink the Steelers. Thanks to Jaeger Heathman for providing this game!