Playing for the injured Ryan Shazier, the Steelers came from behind continually to beat the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football 39-38. Ben Roethlisberger went 44 of 66 for 503 yards and two touchdowns.
In all the hoopla of the offseason and following other franchises – most closely the Eagles and what the Browns will do with the #1 overall pick and the #12 – I have lost track that Ben Roethlisberger is considering retirement. He said this after the Steelers got squashed at Gillette Stadium in the AFC Championship game.
But Roethlisberger sounds like he’s coming back. In fact he so much as said he’s leaning towards coming back.
“I’m leaning towards it,” Roethlisberger said on Friday when asked about playing in 2017, via Dale Lolley of the Washington (PA) Observer-Reporter.
Well, that’s good for the game of football. He will be back. He’s the player that you hear so many compare Carson Wentz to. He’s a future Hall of Famer. The game wouldn’t be quite as prominent just losing Roethlisberger on a whim to retirement. When he announces it’s official that he’s coming back, we’ll be happy to see him play at least one more season.
The door is truly wide open for the Steelers to make yet another run through the AFC North, they have the best skill players in the NFL.
One of the wildest football games I’ve ever seen closed out Wildcard Saturday in Cincinnati, with the Bengals losing to the Steelers 18-16; in the rain.
The Steelers were not to midfield with no timeouts left and trailing 16-15 with just over 20 seconds left in the game. Antonio Brown took a huge hit from Vontaze Burfict; which was flagged and gave the Steelers 15-yards to be on the cusp of their kicker’s range. After that, Joey Porter (a Steelers coach) was out on the field when Brown was being checked out and Pacman Jones was flagged for something that occurred while the referees were trying to clear out the scrum.
From there, the Steelers were set up for a chip shot field goal that would win them the game; and it would keep the Bengals winless in the postseason for the 25th straight season. They’re now 0-7 under Marvin Lewis in the playoffs.
All this occurred after the Steelers built a 15-0 lead and the Bengals looked completely lifeless. Ben Roethlisberger left the game with what looked like a shoulder injury and returned from the cart to win the Steelers the game. A.J. Mccarron missed a lot of throws on this rainy night. Giovani Bernard looked like he got killed with a hit from Ryan Shazier.
I will never forget this one; as it was truly one of the wildest football games I’ve ever seen. And just when you think you have seen it all, the NFL provides you something brand new on a Saturday night spectacle.
I am watching one of the NFL’s forgotten classic games on NFL Network right now. I’ve made it a habit of DVR’ing these games and this is one I did not recognize. It was five days before my 13th birthday on November 5th, 1995.
The box score shows an absolute shootout, won in overtime by the Steelers 37-34. Here are the things I’m seeing as I roll the tape:
- Erik Kramer is mentioned as having a dream season at the beginning of the telecast. Despite having Rashaan Salaam, the Bears are working out at the moment because Kramer leads the NFL in touchdown passes entering the game with 18.
- The telecast crew mentions the Bears success due to Dave Wannstedt.
- Jeff Graham at wide receiver, out of Ohio State University.
- I see Kevin Greene on the screen early almost intercepting a Kramer pass; what a monster Greene was in these days. He had nine sacks in 1995, and none on this day at Soldier Field.
- Bears entered the game -2.5 favorites.
- This slugfest ends in overtime on a Norm Johnson 24-yard field goal.
Also on this day around the NFL:
*The Oilers blew out the Browns in Cleveland 37-10.
*The Raiders and Jeff Hostetler snuck past the Bengals in Cincinnati 20-17. This was very early in Jeff Blake’s run.
*Brett Favre had a rough week in what turned out to be his ‘house of horrors’ at the Metrodome in Minnesota.
*The Panthers and rookie Kerry Collins beat the 49ers in San Francisco 13-7. Elvis Grbac was under center that day for the 49ers.
*The Broncos covered an 8-point spread easily in Denver 38-6. The Cardinals were a shell of their current selves in those days, and the Broncos were on their way to an 8-8 season. Garrison Hearst had 12 carries for 50 yards.
*My wife and father in law’s Giants wasted a great effort from Dave Brown and lost to the Seahawks 30-28 in Seattle.
I’m having all kinds of fun on YouTube tonight with old NFL highlights from my childhood.
The caption of this one says it all:
Yancey Thigpen’s drop of a sure touchdown pass on 4th and goal with 12 seconds left gives the Packers their first division title in 23 years on Christmas Eve, 1995.
I had this game on in my room. I was waiting for my grandparents to come over for our Christmas Eve celebration. They always returned home from Florida just a day or two before Christmas. And man, was I excited to see them because for me on this Christmas they had the favorite present I would ever get for Christmas – and they let the cat out of the bag early before returning home from Deltona. With them for Christmas they had a 1994 Brett Favre ROOKIE Kenner Starting Lineup Figure! The holy grail of figures at that time, and Brett Favre was like a God to me in those days.
Christmas eve football at Lambeau with the snowflakes falling and a game down to the wire, while mom was in the kitchen making a meal. Things like that you’ll just never re-create, you’ll never have again. But another magical memory for me that ties me to my family.
The Bengals exorcised their horrible demons against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium where they were previously 1-11. They won me money by covering the -7. Gio Bernard was explosive last night. Andy Dalton didn’t turn the ball over, hung in and took tough hits, and made enough big throws to get the win in a game that took on the pace of a slugfest from the early-going.
In the AFC, I’m declaring right now that the Bengals and the Broncos are going to be the teams to beat. This is going to be the Bengals year. I can feel it, and I can see it.
*Giovani Bernard is going to be a superstar. He has the look, and when the ball is in his hands things happen. He’s exciting and runs hard. He ran over several Steelers on tough carries.
*The Bengals defense is pretty good. Their defensive backs had several big hits. They’re aggressive and play hard. Geno Atkins finally got in on the act by getting to Ben Roethlisberger.
*Mohammed Sanu looked good with several contributing catches.
*He had several boneheaded false start penalties, but Jermaine Gresham was the Bengals leading receiver with six catches for 66 yards. Tyler Eiffert had three for 66 yards including the longest Bengals passing play of the night – a beautiful throw in space by Dalton that spanned 61 yards.
*I don’t get the cover in this game without Benjarvus Green-Ellis. The Law Firm ran hard all night, totaling 75 yards on 22 tough carries. He constantly spun and stretched for extra yards and grinded out the clock at the end of the game for Cincinnati.
*I don’t get the cover without Reggie Nelson’s incredible interception late on Roethlisberger. Again, an instance of the Bengals defense playing hard.
And now, a Cincinnati-style song in honor of the big win:
The game of the day was one to remember in Pittsburgh.
This was the game on my TV set all day long. The Bengals delivered at the end of the game. It was a 10-10 stalemate for much of the game with two bruising defenses locking up–it really reminded me of watching two state championship caliber wrestlers locking up in a 2-2 tie and someone has to lose by the final gun.
At the end of the day, it was a Bengals defense that refused to lose (Geno Atkins was a monster today); forcing Ben Roethlisberger into his second critical mistake of the day, and Andy Dalton hitting A.J. Green for 21 yards down the sideline to set up a game-winning Chris Brown field goal with just :04 seconds left on the clock.
The Bengals earned this one today. My grandma would have been proud. My mom and I were.