Steelers Play with Fire, Get Burnt

By Harris, John | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 6, 2008 | Go to article overview

Steelers Play with Fire, Get Burnt


Harris, John, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


After playing with fire and losing their fire, the Steelers caught fire during crunch time of their first home playoff game in three years.

The Steelers were a playoff team with plenty of flaws that were all on display Saturday night against Jacksonville.

Poor offensive line play, poor special teams play, inconsistent offensive execution, inconsistent defensive play.

You name it, the Steelers flaunted it.

Jacksonville led, 21-7, at halftime. The Steelers appeared to be one and done in their AFC wild-card playoff game at Heinz Field.

You can't rush for 24 yards on 13 carries in the first half, as the Steelers did, and call yourself a playoff team.

The postseason is supposed to include only the cream. So, how did the Steelers sneak in?

Ben Roethlisberger, the quarterback of a team two years removed from winning a Super Bowl, isn't supposed to throw three first-half interceptions, two that were ridiculously bad -- but that's what happened.

But here's the thing. That same quarterback led the motherlode of all comebacks. That same quarterback picked up the offense, strapped his teammates to his back and carried them across the goal line three times in the second half. That same quarterback made it possible for the Steelers to regain the lead in a game they had no business winning and ultimately lost.

None of the late offensive fireworks would have been possible without the inspired second-half performance of a defense that was torched for 224 rushing yards in Jacksonville's 29-22 win at Heinz Field last month. …

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