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2010 Regular Season
2010 Steelers 15 vs Falcons 9 OT
Behind picture-perfect blocking by Heath Miller, Hines Ward and David Johnson, Rashard Mendenhall bursts for a 50-yd TD in overtime as the Steelers overcome a late missed FG and a shaky start by backup QB Dennis Dixon. Mendenhall carries 22 times for 120 yds while Pittsburgh's defense holds the Falcons to just 58 yards rushing and 3 FGs. Atlanta ties the game on a 23-yd FG with 3 minutes left after deciding against going for it on 4th and 1 from the Steeler 5. Pittsburgh seems poised to win after a RIDICULOUS Troy Polamalu INT sets the Steelers up with great field position, but Jeff Reed -- who hit earlier from 52, 36 and 34 -- misses wide right on a 40-yd try with 39 seconds left. Atlanta receives the ball in OT and goes 3 and out, and Mendenhall takes it to the house on Pittsburgh's next play.
2010 Steelers 28 vs Browns 10
Big Ben returns from his 4-game suspension to throw 3 TD passes as James Harrison wreaks havoc on Cleveland's WR corps. Silverback knocks Josh Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi out of the game with absolutely vicious helmet-to-helmet hits, the likes of which ultimately lead to NFL rule changes. Colt McCoy gets his first NFL start at QB and despite performing reasonably well, still suffers 2 INTs and 6 sacks (2 by Harrison). Cleveland manages just 41 yds rushing as they lose their 13th game in 14 tries to Pittsburgh.
2010 Steelers 23 at Dolphins 22
A crazy finish! The Dolphins recover fumbles deep in Pittsburgh territory twice in the first 2 minutes of the game, but settle for FGs both times. Their failure to capitalize early ultimately costs Miami the game. With Pittsburgh trailing 22-20 and facing 3rd-and-goal at the 2, Roethlisberger (19 for 27 for 302, 2 TDs) loses the ball as he dives across the goal line on a QB draw. The play is ruled a touchdown as both teams scramble for the ball. But after a review, the officials rule Big Ben fumbled before scoring. Fortunately for the Steelers, officials can't determine which team recovered, so Pittsburgh is awarded possession and Jeff Reed kicks a chip shot FG field goal to take the lead with 2:26 remaining. The Dolphins still have time for a last-minute comeback, but turn the ball over on downs. The Steelers struggle on the ground, gaining just 58 yds on 27 carries, but Hines Ward comes up big with 7 catches for 131 yds and a TD.
2010 Steelers 27 at Bengals 21 MNF
The Steelers take a huge lead, squander it, then save the day with a huge hit. For 3 quarters, the Bengals make mistake after mistake, setting up Pittsburgh scores with a fumbled kickoff, a blocked punt and a missed FG. On the first play of the 4th quarter, Pittsburgh seems to put the game away on a gadget play when Antwaan Randle El bombs it to Mike Wallace for a 39-yd TD to open up a 27-7 lead. The Bengals respond with a Palmer-to-T.O. TD pass less than 2 minutes later, and the Steelers suddenly get sloppy. A Roethlisberger INT sets up another Bengal TD, aided by 35 yds in penalties, to make it 27-21. The Steelers again have a chance to put it away on a Jeff Reed 46-yd FG with 3:59 remaining, but the kick sails wide left. After the miss, Palmer coolly leads the Bengals to the 12-yard line. On 4th-and-5, Palmer finds an open man over the middle for an apparent first down at the Steeler 5, but range, but James Harrison and Ryan Clark converge to blow up Jordan Shipley, knocking the ball out and preserving the Pittsburgh victory.
2010 Steelers 19 at Bills 16 OT
A CRAZY game. Pittsburgh leads 13-0 after a dominating first half, outgaining Buffalo 225-51 and grinding out a 4:1 time of possession advantage behind Mendenhall (36 att, 151 yds, 1 TD). But late in the 3rd, a helmet-to-helmet roughing call against James Harrison gives Buffalo new life. Fitzpatrick dumps a 3rd-and-10 screen to Fred Jackson, who breaks a tackle and splits the seam for a stunning 65-yd TD. Buffalo soon adds a pair of FGs, the second set up by a costly Mendenhall fumble, to tie the game at 13. Leading 16-13 with 2:51 left, the Troy Polamalu appears to strike a decisive blow with a diving INT at the goal line. But the Steelers (penalized 10 times for 107 yds including 5 holding penalties) can't seal the deal, and the Bills add a FG to force OT. Enter WR Stevie Johnson, who has 7 catches in the game, but also 4 drops. In OT, Johnson drops his 5th. After trading punts, the Bills have a 1st & 10 from the Steeler 40. Fitz drops back, has plenty of time and dimes a PERFECT bomb to a WIDE open Johnson behind Taylor and Clark at the goal line. The ball hits Johnson in stride, perfectly over the shoulder, right in the hands... and slips right through them. The Bills soon punt and given a second chance, Ben responds with a 13-play, 58-yd drive capped by Suisham's 41-yd game winner.
2010 Steelers 13 at Ravens 10 SNF
The hardest-hitting rivalry in football lives up to its name in a thriller. Roethlisberger, already wearing an oversized boot to protect a broken foot, suffers a gruesome-looking broken nose on Pittsburgh's opening drive when Haloti Ngata's hand gets through Ben's face mask, staining his jersey with blood and forcing trainers to try to bend his badly misshapen nose back into place. Late in the 4th quarter, the Ravens lead 10-6 and have a chance to run out the clock. But on 2nd-and-5 from the Ravens 43 with 3:22 left, Flacco drops to pass and Troy Polamalu comes unblocked off the left side and blindsides Flacco, raking the ball from his grasp. LaMarr Woodley collects the fumble and returns it 19 yds to the Ravens 9. On 1st down, Ben somehow wrestles himself away from Suggs to throw one of the most amazing incompletions you will ever see to avoid a certain sack. After another incompletion, Roethlisberger again drops to pass from an empty set with Isaac Redman in the slot. Redman snags a quick slant, breaks away from a would-be tackle and spins into the end zone with 2:51 left. The Ravens have a chance to force OT in the final minute but decide to go for it on 4th and 2 from the 31 rather than trying a long FG into the wind. Flacco's 4th-down pass is low and incomplete with 37 seconds left. The win puts the Steelers a game ahead of Baltimore in the AFC North and gives them the inside track on a 1st-round bye.
2010 Steelers 23 vs Bengals 7
On a rainy, windy afternoon in which the Steeler offense can only muster FGs, Troy Polamalu and LaMarr Woodley each return INTs for TDs. Polamalu snags 2 INTs on the day, the first coming with 4-1/2 minutes left in the half when Troy breaks on a pass intended for T.O., gathers it in and streaks toward the end zone, reaching for the pylon as he dives across the goal line for a 45-yd pick-6 to tie the game. Despite a strong, improvisational performance by Roethlisberger, who wears a visor to protect his broken nose while playing on a gimpy right foot, and despite dominating time of possession (including a 9-1/2-minute drive in the 2nd half that ends without points), the Steelers fail to get into the end zone on offense. But it doesn't matter as early in the 4th, Woodley drops into zone coverage, steps in front of a pass intended for Chad Ocho Cinco and takes it 14 yds to the house to give Pittsburgh an insurmountable 20-7 lead.
2010 Steelers 17 vs Jets 22
A game Pittsburgh probably should've won. The Steelers lead in nearly every statistical category, but giving up a 97-yd TD on the opening kickoff and suffering a late safety prove fatal. A safety when Mewelde Moore is caught in the end zone by Jason Taylor is especially costly, extending New York's lead to 22-17 and forcing the Steelers to go for a TD. Roethlisberger drives the Steelers from their 8 to the New York 10 in the final 2:08, repeatedly keeping the drive going along the way. On 3rd and 24, Ben finds Emmanuel Sanders for 29 yds. On 3rd and 10, he finds Mike Wallace for 18. But on Pittsburgh's final 2 plays, Ben fails to connect with Sanders and Spaeth (in for an injured Heath Miller) and the Jets take over on downs. The Steelers manage to keep LaDainian Tomlinson largely in check (11 carries, 49 yds) despite the absence of Troy Polamlu with an achilles injury. But QB Mark Sanchez plays surprisingly error-free and does just enough to win.
2010 Steelers 27 vs Panthers 3 TNF
Closing in on a division crown, Big Ben is all over the Panthers, hitting 13 of his first 15 en route to a 20-0 halftime lead. Ben scores 2 TDs (1 passing, 1 rushing), finishing the game with 320 through the air as the Steelers outgain Carolina 408-119. Mike Wallace scores on a 45-yd dart to earn his 6th 100-yd game of the season, and a 35-yd pass to Emmanuel Sanders (who had an earlier TD catch overturned by replay) sets up a 1-yd TD blast by Rashard Mendenhall. Shaun Suisham adds a pair of FGs (and misses a 3rd) before the half, rendering the 2nd half largely irrelevant. Meanwhile, Jimmy Clausen is brutalized by the Steeler defense, finishing 10 of 23 for 72 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT with 4 sacks and the Panthers manage just 74 yds on the ground.
2010 Steelers 41 at Browns 9
An absolute @$$-whipping. The Steelers score on their first 6 possessions and terrorize Colt McCoy, picking off 3 passes and sacking the rookie 4 times. Troy Polamalu, despite playing through a painful Achilles injury, makes a diving INT on only the 2nd play of the game, and Ben Roethlisberger (15 of 22, 280 yds, 2 TDs) immediately hits Mike Wallace in stride for a 56-yd TD bomb. The Steelers extend their lead to 38-3 on their first drive of the 2nd half and Byron Leftwich comes in midway through the 3rd quarter. Polamalu plays only half the game before being rested as a precaution, but the limited action doesn't stop the 6-time Pro Bowler from tying his career high for INTs in a season (7). Polamalu also turns in perhaps the most spectacular play of the game when, with the Browns at the Steelers 2 early in the 2nd quarter, he perfectly times the snap and dives over the Cleveland line at McCoy. McCoy manages to barely elude Polamalu, but the pressure forces an errant pass and the Browns settle for a short FG. The win earns the Steelers a much needed bye and sends them into the playoffs on a high note.
2010 Post Season
2010 AFC Playoffs Steelers 31 vs Ravens 24
The Steelers trail 21-7 at halftime thanks to a pair of costly fumbles that lead to Baltimore TDs. But James Harrison and the Steeler defense takes over and the Ravens implode in 3rd quarter, turning the ball over 3 times and setting up 17 Steeler points to give Pittsburgh a 24-21 lead. The Ravens tie the game with a late FG but leave 3:54 on the clock, an eternity for Roethlisberger. On the game winning drive, Ben first converts a critical 3rd and 10 with a 12-yd laser to Hines Ward. Then, rather than playing it safe on 3rd and 19 from his own 38 with two minutes to play, Ben uncorks a picture-perfect 58-yd bomb to rookie WR Antonio Brown, who only caught 16 passes during the regular season. Amazingly, Brown gets behind Baltimore's prevent coverage and the pass comes down perfectly to the rookie, who somehow pins the ball against his helmet with one hand before running out of sideline at the Raven 4. Moments later on 3rd and goal, Rashard Mendenhall makes a great cut and slices his way into the end zone for the winning TD. The Ravens get the ball back with 1:27 and a timeout. But Baltimore, who manages only 28 yards of offense in the 2nd half, goes backward on a Flacco sack and on 4th and 18, T.J. Houshmandzadeh drops a pass that would've kept the Ravens alive. The Steelers take over on downs, kneel on the ball twice and move on to the AFC Championship. A special thanks to Keith "Crash" Froehlich for digitizing this game.
2010 AFC Championship Steelers 24 vs Jets 19
The Steelers bring down the Jets with an overwhelming show of force in the first half, then hang on to win in the second half en route to their 3rd Super Bowl in 6 years. Pittsburgh sets the tone early with a grinding 15-play, 9-minute opening drive capped by a 1-yd Mendenhall TD plunge. The Steelers soon add a 20-yd Suisham FG after a drive in which all 60 yds come on the ground. On their next possession, the Steelers attack through the air, gaining 58 of their 66 yds passing and taking a 17-0 lead on a 2-yd Roethlisberger high-stepping scoring run at the 2-minute warning. 47 seconds later, Ike Taylor comes on a corner blitz and blindsides Mark Sanchez for a sack, popping a fumble high in the air. William Gay scoops up the loose ball, picks up several blocks and races 19 yds for a TD and an insurmountable 24-0 Pittsburgh lead. Gang Green fight back in the 2nd half but squander a golden opportunity to make it a one-possession game midway through the 4th quarter, coming up empty after a 17-play, 8 minute drive. On three chances from the 1-yd line, amid confusion on the sidelines and questionable play-calling, the Jets come up empty after Sanchez throws a pair of incompletions before Tomlinson is stuffed on 4th down. On the next play, however, Ben fumbles the snap and is caught for a safety. The Jets draw closer on a Sanchez 4-yd TD pass to Cotchery with 4:32 left. But on 3rd and 6 from the Jet 40, Roethlisberger finds Brown for 14 yds on the most important first down of the night and the Steelers go into victory formation. A special thanks to Keith "Crash" Froehlich for digitizing this game for us.
A HUGE gold star thank you goes out to Frankie Sacco for generously digitizing most of the 2010 season for the rest of us to enjoy (we lost our original recordings in a hard drive crash). Kudos, Frankie!