A HUGE gold star thank you goes out to Barry Blyler for generously (and tirelessly) digitizing the 2007 season for the rest of us to enjoy. Kudos, Barry!
2007 Regular Season
2007 Steelers 34 at Browns 7
Big Ben throws 4 TD passes and Willie Parker rushes for 109 yds as the Steelers rout the Browns in Mike Tomlin's head coaching debut. Pittsburgh jumps out to a quick 17-0 lead and dominates in every phase of the game, out-rushing Cleveland 206-46 while forcing 5 turnovers and recording 6 sacks. The Browns waste no time imploding. On their first possession, their punter lets the snap slip through his hands before scrambling to get off a 15-yd punt. On that single play, Cleveland draws 4 penalties: 2 holds, illegal formation and illegal man downfield (lol). Moments later, Roethlisberger hit Hines Ward for a TD and Tomlin is en route to an easy career win #1. A shout out to Barry Blyler for providing us with this game!
2007 Steelers 26 vs Bills 3
Throwback game! The Steelers cruise to a 26-3 victory, moving the ball well and scoring on their first five possessions (although four of those are field goals). Meanwhile, Pittsburgh's defense throttles Buffalo, giving up just 1st down, 2 completed passes and 58 total yds in the first half. The lone bright spot for Buffalo is rookie RB Marshawn Lynch, who runs for 67 yds on 18 carries. Thanks to Barry Blyler for providing us with this game!
2007 Steelers 37 vs 49ers 16
Allen Rossum returns a kickoff 98-yds for a TD, Willie Parker runs for 133 yds and Bryant McFadden socres on a 50-yd pick-6 as Pittsburgh plays nearly error-free for the 3rd straight week thanks to punishing defense, a dominant running game and excellent special teams. Frank Gore manages just 39 yds on 14 carries, while Alex Smith is sacked twice despite a game plan relying on rollouts and quick passes. Kudos to Barry Blyler for providing us with this game!
2007 Steelers 14 at Cardinals 21
Ken Whisenhunt "out-Steelers" the Steelers and gets a little revenge for being passed over in favor of Mike Tomlin. After 3 quarters, the game is tied 7-7. But in the first minute of the 4th quarter, rookie Steve Breaston returns a punt 73 yds up the middle for a TD after the initial punt is called back by one of Pittsburgh's 11 penalties. The Steelers rally late as Ben hits Santonio Holmes for a TD to pull within 7 with just under 2 minutes to play. But a failed onside kick followed by an INT on a desperation pass seal the game. A big-time thanks to Barry Blyler for contributin this game!
2007 Steelers 21 vs Seahawks 0
I attended this game with my kids and I can assure you, we weren't expecting temps in the mid-80's when we bought our tickets. But it was sunny and beautiful and felt like a hot summer day as the Steelers beat the living daylights out of the Seahawks, despite a host of key injuries. Ben Roethlisberger is flawless, hitting 18 of 22 for 206 yds and a TD. The Steelers pound the Seahawks on the ground, dominating time of possession 40:45 - 19:15 by running 41 times for 163 yds while limiting Seattle to just 144 total yds. Leading only 7-0 at the half, the Steelers open the 3rd quarter with a marathon 17-play 80-yd drive that consumes over 10 minutes, overcoming 3 holding penalties and converting 3 times on 3rd and long. Pittsburgh's next drive goes 85 yds in 13 plays, eating up over 8 minutes and stretching well into the 4th quarter to extend their lead to 21-0 on Davenport's 2nd TD run of the day. A big-time thanks to Barry Blyler for contributing this game!
2007 Steelers 28 at Broncos 31 SNF
Jason Elam hits a 49-yd FG as time expires as the Broncos hold off a late Pittsburgh rally. Big Ben is forced into 3 turnovers and 4 sacks as the Steelers, who had allowed just 5 TDs all season, surrender 4 to the Broncos (including 3 TD passes by Jay Cutler), although one of those scores is a 50-yd fumble recovery for a TD. Pittsburgh, trailing 28-14 after 3 quarters, rallies back to tie the game on the strength of two brilliant 4th quarter drives. The first is a 94-yd marathon capped by Matt Spaeth's 13-yard TD grab, and the second sees Ben go 8-for-8 for 80 yds, including a 12-yd TD strike to Health Miller with 1:10 remaining. That's enough time, unfortunately, for Cutler to maneuver into position for Elam's game-winner. Thanks to Barry Blyler for contributin this game!
2007 Steelers 24 at Bengals 13
The post-game buzz surrounding this game centered around a conservative call by Bengals coach Marvin Lewis. Trailing 14-3 and facing 4th-and-a-foot inside the 2-yd line with 2:21 left in the half, Lewis opts to kick a FG instead of going for it. The kick puts 3 points on the board but draws boos from the home crowd, which grow even louder after the Steelers' 2-minute offense effortlessly marches 67 yds on the ensuing drive (keyed by a 32-yd run by Willie Parker, who finishes with 126 yds on 22 carries) to take a 21-6 lead into the half. Thanks to Barry Blyler for hooking us up with this game!
2007 Steelers 38 vs Ravens 7 MNF
Ben Roethlisberger puts on a clinic of escapability, accuracy and poise, hitting 13 of 16 for 209 yds and a record 5 first half TDs as the Steelers utterly annihilate the Ravens on a rainy Monday Night in Pittsburgh. Santonio Holmes snags 4 receptions for 110 yds and 2 TDs and Nate Washington also hauls in a pair of TD catches. Meanwhile, LB James Harrison goes absolutely berserk, victimizing Baltimore for 3 1/2 sacks, forcing three fumbles (one of which he also recovers) and intercepting a pass as the Steeler defense, wearing their '60s-era throwback unis, holds Baltimore to their lowest offensive output in franchise history (104 yds) and forces 4 turnovers. Steve McNair goes 13 of 22 for only 63 yds and is sacked 5 times before Kyle Boller comes in and goes 3 of 9 for 21 yds and a sack. An stunningly beautiful win over a HATED opponent. A special thanks to Keith "Crash" Froehlich for generously providing us with this game.
2007 Steelers 31 vs Browns 28
Probably my favorite game of the '07 season. After falling behind 21-6 and giving up a pair of long kick returns to Josh Cribbs (including a crazy tip-toe 100-yd TD), Ben Roethlisberger pulls off his best magic act of the season to give the Steelers a critical division victory. Stats don't begin to convey how great Roethlisberger was in this game. On paper, Ben is a very respectable 23 of 34 for 278 yds, 2 TDs and 1 INT. What the stats don't show are how many times Ben spun disaster into gold with great improvisation, long 3rd down conversions and perhaps most surprisingly, clutch runs. Late in the game on 3rd and 10, Roethlisberger scrambles up the middle for an unlikely 30 yd TD to give Pittsburgh their first lead of the game. On the ensuing kickoff comes Cribbs' scintillating 100-yd kick return for a TD. Unfazed, Ben coolly leads the Steelers 78 yds in 14 plays. On the drive, Ben converts three 3rd downs including a 3rd and 18 followed by a clutch 10-yd scramble on 3rd and 9 to set up his go-ahead TD pass to Heath Miller to win the game. Thanks to Barry Blyler for contributing this game!
2007 Steelers 16 at Jets 19 OT
The 7-2 Steelers with their top-5 offense should've blown out the 1-8 Jets and their bottom 3 defense. Instead, the Jets sack Big Ben 7 times, force 3 turnovers and limit Willie Parker to just 52 yds. The Jets kick a FG with 26 seconds left in regulation to tie the game, then following a 33-yd punt return to the Steeler 26 in overtime, New York kicks a 38-yd FG to complete the shocker. Thanks to Barry Blyler for contributing this game!
2007 Steelers 3 vs Dolphins 0 MNF
Played in an absolute quagmire, this game features the infamous punt that comes straight down and plunges into the newly-sodded field like a javelin, burying itself several inches deep in the drenched turf (this hilarious play happens with 4 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter, at the 1:10:40 mark). After being delayed by lightning and heavy rain, and after 59 minutes and 43 seconds of offensive futility thanks to the terrible field conditions, Jeff Reed finally hits a 24-yd FG with 17 seconds left. Thanks to Barry Blyler for providing us with this game!
2007 Steelers 24 vs Bengals 10 SNF
Despite more rainy weather, Heinz field holds up well enough for Big Ben to toss a pair of TD passes to Hines Ward and rush for another. Ward racks up 11 receptions for 90 yds to break John Stallworth's franchise record with his 64th career TD catch. Roethlisberger engineers another trademark 2-minute drill before the half with a 12-play, 66-yd drive to give the Steelers a 17-7 advantage. Conversely, Carson Palmer has a miserable 17-of-44 night as Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh are visibly frustrated. A huge thanks for Barry Blyler for contributing this game!
2007 Steelers 13 at Patriots 34
The infamous Anthony Smith guarantee. After a close, competitive first half ends with the Patriots holding a narrow 17-13 lead, the second half turns into a bloodbath. On their first drive of the 3rd quarter, the undefeated Pats break the game open on a flea-flicker. From their own 44, Brady fires a backward pass to Randy Moss on the right sideline. Moss momentarily bobbles the ball, but since it is a lateral and not a pass, he picks it up, throws it back across the field to Brady, who then fires the ball deep down the middle to a wide open Jabar Gaffney who has gotten behind, who else -- Anthony Smith, who guaranteed a Steeler victory prior to the game -- for a 56-yd TD. The Steelers never recover as the Pats score 17 unanswered points. Kudos to Barry Blyler for contributing this debacle.
2007 Steelers 22 vs Jaguars 29
Normally, snow, wind and cold would favor the Steelers. But the physical Jaguars beat the Steelers at their own game as Fred Taylor plows his way for 147 yds on 25 carries, including the game-winning TD with under 2 minutes left. The Steelers fall behind 22-7 before Ben Roethlisberger mounts a characteristic 4th quarter comeback to tie the game at 22 with TD passes to Hines Ward and Nate Washington (with a surprising Santonio Holmes to Cedrick Wilson pass for a 2-point conversion). But the Steelers can't stop the one-two punch of Taylor and MJD as the Jaguars drive 73 yds -- all but 20 of it on the ground -- to seal a Jaguar win. Thanks to Barry Blyler for contributing this game!
2007 Steelers 41 at Rams 24 TNF
Big Ben tallies a perfect 158.3 passer rating, hitting 16 of 20 for 261 yds and 3 TDs, while Najeh Davenport -- subbing for an injured Willie Parker -- rushes for 123 yds and scores 2 TDs against the struggling Rams. On their first offensive play of the game from their own 4-yd line, Roethlisberger rips a BOMB down the middle of the field to Santonio Holmes (4 catches, 133 yds) for an 83-yd gain. Unfortunately, on Pittsburgh's second offensive play, Willie Parker fractures his fibula on Pittsburgh's, ending his season. Despite Parker's absence and Roethlisberger playing with a sore right shoulder, Pittsburgh piles up 427 yds and snaps their 2-game losing streak. Thanks to Barry Blyler for providing us with this game!
2007 Steelers 21 at Ravens 27
With a playoff spot clinched and having already won the division, the Steelers rest Roethlisberger, Ward, Polamalu several other starters who are nursing minor injuries. After falling behind 27-7, Charlie Batch rallies the Steelers with late TD passes to Santonio Holmes and Cedrick Wilson to narrow the score to 27-21. The Steelers get last-gasp chance from their own 2-yd line with 1:36 remaining, but a Batch INT seals the win for Baltimore. Thanks to Barry Blyler for providing this game!
2007 Post Season
2007 AFC Wild Card Steelers 29 vs Jaguars 31
The Steelers come out firing on all cylinders, methodically marching 80 yds in 10 plays capped by a 1-yd TD run by Najeh Davenport. Their lead lasts exactly 19 seconds, as Maurice Jones-Drew returns the ensuing kickoff 96 yds to the Steeler 1-yd line, setting up short TD run by Fred Taylor. Things go from bad to worse when Rashean Mathis picks off Roethlisberger pass and returns it 63 yds for a TD. Two plays later, Mathis picks off Ben again and David Garrard strikes quickly, hitting MJD for a 43-yd TD. Jacksonville continues to dominate and holds a 28-10 lead at the start of the 4th quarter. But the final period belongs to Pittsburgh, as Ben hits Santonio Holmes for a quick 37 yd score, follows up with a 14-yd TD toss to Heath Miller, then following an INT by Ike Taylor, Davenport scores on a 1-yd plunge to give the Steelers a 29-28 lead. The Steelers seem poised to win when with less than 2 minutes left, the Jaguars face a 4th and 2 on the Pittsburgh 43. Thanks to a BLATANT, OBVIOUS and UNCALLED HOLD by OT Khalif Barnes on James Harrison, Garrard has a free run up the middle for 32 yds to the Steeler 11. Four plays later, Scobee kicks a 25-yd FG to win it. Thanks to Barry Blyler for providing this bull$#!t win for the Jags.