2000 Steelers 22 vs Browns 0
After starting the season 0-3 (including an embarrassing early loss to the Browns), the Steelers win their 4th straight by simply driving The Bus right through the Cleveland Browns (33 carries, 105 yds, 1 TD). After Kent Graham starts a putrid 3 of 12, Cowher replaces him with Kordell Stewart who fares little better passing (7 of 13, 74 yds) but certainly looks more athletic handing the ball off to Bettis. Defensively, the Steelers overwhelm QB Doug Pederson, forcing 3 INTs while giving up only 55 net passing yards and holding Cleveland to 104 total yards. Cleveland finishes 1-12 on 3rd down and the Steelers enjoy a 2-1 time of possession. Cleveland only has the ball in Pittburgh territory 1 time the entire game (after an unnecessary roughing penalty is tagged onto a long kick return by Jamel White) but comes away empty when Phil Dawson misses a 42-yd FG attempt.
2000 Steelers 23 vs Eagles 26 OT
A rollercoaster and one of the few Steelers losses I have ever witnessed in person (my record is 34-3). The Steelers fall behind 10-0 early in the 2nd quarter but come back to take a seemingly commanding 23-13 lead thanks to a late 32-yd fumble return for a TD by Joey Porter and a Kris Brown FG with only 3:42 left in the game. McNabb, who struggles for 3 quarters, suddenly comes alive and shows no panic, leading Philly on a 57-yd drive capped by a 13-yd TD pass to Mitchell with 2:29 remaining. The Eagles then recover an onside kick and drive close enough for David Akers to run on the field and kick the tying 42-yd FG as regulation expires. In OT, Philly receives and quickly moves into FG range to win it on another 42-yd Akers FG. As games go, this is an ugly one. The Steelers are penalized 13 times for 141 yds and lose in spite of a 30 carry, 134 yd performance by Bettis. What a LONG drive home from Pittsburgh that was.
2000 Steelers 21 vs Raiders 20
A classic worthy of the rivalry. While the stakes aren't as high and the matchup isn't as "marquis" as some of the '70s meetings between these two proud franchises, the game is epic in it's own right and certainly embodies the ferocity of days gone by. Kordell Stewart comes out hot and caps Pittsburgh's opening drive with a beautiful 19-yd TD pass to Bobby Shaw. Unfortunately, Stewart leaves the game late in the 1st quarter with a knee injury and Kent Graham comes in and throws an ugly pick 6 to Eric Allen on his very first pass. By halftime, Graham has managed just 1 completion, has 3 sacks to go along with his INT and the Steelers trail 17-7. Thankfully, Stewart returns in the 2nd half and picks up right where he left off, leading the Steelers on a marathon 9-minute, 16-pay, 91-yd drive in which he scrambles for 17 yds, converts two 3rd down passes and finally hits Mark Bruener, who drags his would-be tackler into the end zone for a gutsy 6-yd TD. After pinning the Raiders deep and forcing a punt, the Steelers get the ball near midfield and ride The Bus. On first down, Bettis (24 carries, 128 yds) blows through a hole off left guard, steamrolls safety Anthony Dorsett and drags Eric Allen another 5 yds for a 30-yd bull rush to the 17. After a tipped pass, Stewart drops back to pass and then takes off, dodging a pair of Raider tacklers on his way into the end zone for a 21-17 Steelers lead to start the 4th quarter. Janikowski adds a FG to make it a 1-point game on the ensuing drive, but a subsequent 44-yd Janikowski miss with 4 minutes left proves fatal. The Raiders get one last chance from their 10 with a minute and a half to go, but Rich Gannon somehow loses track of downs, thinking he still has 1 more down to go, and the Raiders turn it over without letting Janikowski try a long 50+ yd kick. A fantastic game.
2000 Steelers 24 vs Redskins 3
In the final game ever at Three Rivers Stadium, the Steelers terrorize Jeff George and take advantage of 5 Washington turnovers to send the stadium out with style, keeping their slim playoff hopes alive while beating the snot out of Dan Snyder's overpaid Redskins with their $100 million in salaries. Hank Poteat highlights a 17-point 2nd quarter with a 53-yard punt return for a TD, Bettis gains 104 yds on 25 carries and Richard Huntley scores 2 TDs. Farewell, TRS, and thank you for 31 fantastic seasons of Steeler football. A special thanks to Matthew Simon for providing us with a complete recording of this game (our original version was missing the kickoff).