Sometimes people ask us why we watch sports.
Why waste time with something that you have no control over, they say.
The reason jagoffs like that don’t understand sports is because they would have shut this game off after Gary Russell got stoned on 4th and 1.
There some moments in life that are only possible because of sports; times that make you feel nothing in your heart except pure joy.
It didn’t matter if you had 7 final exams to study for, a root canal on Monday, or just found out your best friend was banging your girlfriend…when Deshea Townsend intercepted Tony Romo’s pass Sunday, you’re life was amazing. Nothing else mattered, even if it was only for a few seconds.
That’s why we watch sports. That’s why we love Steelers football.
Now, onto the rest of the game.
Steelers defer and the Cowboys recieve the opening kickoff. Nobody made a big deal about it at the time, but Tomlin choosing to go with the wind during the 2nd and 4th quarters was the kind of smart move coaches like Romeo Crennel wouldn’t think of.
Tony Romo came into Heinz Field with the best passer rating in the NFL. Troy Polamalu doesn’t buy into the hype and schools Romo with an interception on the third play of the game.
Ben and Holmes light up the defense for a long gain, but Skippy stuns the world when he misses a field goal.
We know that James Harrison can bench 475 pounds and squat 700 pounds. But the play he makes on Dallas’ next drive on 4th and one was unreal. He powers through Jason Witten and stones Anderson for a loss.
Wade was too busy eating hot dogs this week to figure out the Stees defense.
The offense continues to struggle mightily. Tough to watch. Mitch Berger launches a punt to Pacman Jones who muffs the catch because who was too busy stuffing dollar bills in his pocket for the club tonight. Jones recovers it but Andre Frazier made him pay.
If Andre Frazier is found dead in an alley somewhere, this man had nothing to do with it.
James Harrison makes a routine play for him, sacking Romo and forcing a fumble. The sack also tied the franchise record for a single season with 15 takedowns. If there’s a higher honor as far as records go in the Steelers organization, we couldn’t think of it.
We’ll say it again: James Harrison for defensive player of the year. Nobody changes games like Silverback.
Big Ben owes Romo a favor and coughs the ball up during the Steelers next possession. When he gets to the sideline, somebody tries to hand him the photos from the play and Ben throws them to the ground.
Somewhere Peyton Manning weeps.
A few drives later, Romo tries to force a ball to TO, but Ike Taylor has him on lockdown. Ike shocks the world and actually catches the ball.
The Steelers are in business, but Ben can’t connect with anybody. Skippy Reed bails out the offense.
With only a couple of minutes left, the Cowboys find some rhythm and drive down for a Nick Folk field goal. Maybe Romo finally found his groove.
3-3 tie game.
What an American.
After the offense goes three and out again, Tashard Choice breaks a big gainer out of a draw play. Then Romo runs away from Aaron Smith & Co. for what seems like forever. He throws up a prayer in the back of the endzone, Ike Taylor gets turned around, and all of a sudden Dallas strikes when TO comes down with the ball.
Gay Cowboys rejoice everywhere.
The Steelers offense was terrible for 95% of the day and can only muster a five play drive.
Dallas drives back down the field when Choice takes a screen pass for 50 yards down the field. All of a sudden the cowboys were inside the 10 yard line. But James Farrior is a team captain for a reason, and makes a clutch sack of Romo forcing a field goal .
Not gonna lie, things were pretty hopeless right now. The Steeler hadn’t moved the ball all day and were now two scores away from a tie.
Steeler fans were looking for any reason to believe. But the first play of the ensuing drive, Ben gets sacked for a big loss. Next pass was thrown away.
3rd and 16. The Heinz Field fans were starting to pack up their belongings.
But Ben throws a bomb down the field. Holmes lights up the defense and comes down with a 47 yard grab.
At that time, the chances of the Steelers converting 3rd and 16 were slim to none. Don’t forget about that play.
Eventually the Stees get the ball inside the 1 yard line, but a 3rd down pass to Carey Davis is just short. Tomlin sends the offense out there, but Gary Russell gets wrecked in the backfield after Willie Colon slips.
Suicide Watch was on.
But just like they have all season, the defense put the offense, team, and Steeler Nation on their backs.
They force a quick five play drive and Holmes steps up once again. Santonio returns the punt for 35 yards, with a helpful escort from Anthony Smith.
It’s a good things Holmes gave the team good field position because Anthony Henry tackles Hines Ward before Ben even threw the ball on 3rd and long. A blown call, no doubt.
Jeff Reed has ice in his veins and makes a 41 yard field goal. If Skippy misses that kick….
Again, nobody would blame the defense if they let a vaunted offense like the Cowboys eat up the clock with only 7:15 left. The Steelers D was tired. But somebody always steps up and it was Travis Kirschke’s turn. Sack. Three and out.
We feel like we stick up for Big Ben all the time. The guy is always dealing with heat from the fans. He’s sucked all game long, but like we’ve been preaching for years, the guy is a gamer and steps up when he’s called upon.
Exhibit A is this brilliant drive. Nate Washington makes 2 long catches putting the Stees in position.
The Cowboys tightened up on D and end up forcing a 4th and 1. This had been the Achilles heel of the Stees all year, but Big Ben was all business with a QB sneak.
Ben hits Nate for another big gainer, but Anthony Henry tries to shred his knee after the catch.
It was a weird moment, but we were devistated to see Nate writhing in pain on the ground. A lot of the offense has underachieved this year, but Nate Washington has not. This guy will probably end up as a starting reciever on another team next year. Mark it down, and give Nate some credit.
Thankfully, he bounces to his feet and was fine.
Ben doesn’t waste any time and hits big Heath Miller on the next play, who carries his man over the pylon, ending Suicide Watch.
13-13 tie game.
After the kickoff return, you had all kinds of thoughts racing through their head. Would the defense be gassed? Would TO make a big play? Did the Steelers leave too much time on the clock?
While your mind wonders, Romo drops back to pass….all of a sudden a flash of black and gold jumps the route.
It’s number 26, the Steelers greybeard Deshea Townsend.
He makes a few guys miss on his way to the house.
When he dives into the endzone…you call your friends, you wake up your neighbors. Now we understand why people riot after a big win. Wow.
Heinz Field has never been louder.
The Cowboys still have a little bit of time to try and make something happen, but they are a disaster. Romo makes some of the worst throws we’ve seen and the clock reads 0:00.
20-13 Steelers. Game.
+ Couldn’t have picked a more standup guy than Townsend to get the winner. Guy has worked hard and overachieved as a Steeler for a very long time.
+ James Harrison’s biggest compeition for defensive player of the year should be from Troy Polamalu.
+ Did Ware even play more than one play for the Cowboys? Nobody could have watched this game and walked away thinking that Demarcus Ware is a better football player than James Harrison.
+ Holmes made some very, very big plays. Without his spark, the Stees don’t win this game.
+ Everybody will want to talk about Tomlin going for it on 4th down. We don’t really like the call, but if Colon doesn’t slip it could have been an entirely different story. Still, the Steelers won, so who really cares.
+ Oh, the commenters on BlogNGold do. You’d think the Steelers got blown out reading some of those comments over there. Proceed with caution, they are on Suicide Watch. Yinzers…
+ Nice to see Limas Sweed getting some more playing time. Same with Gary Russell.
+ Ike Taylor has shadowed TO and Randy Moss the past two weeks.
Comined stats from TO/Moss – 7 catches, 77 yards, 1 TD.
Can’t ask for more.
+ The Steelers have lost a few games that they should have won. It was nice to feel the shoe on the other foot.
+ 10-3 is an awesome record with this tough of a schedule. No complaints here.