Oh god, the horror! Decades from now, your children will look to you and say "Do you remember that fateful December eve?" The expression on your face will answer their question. You will relive the experience you wanted so badly to forget. You will tell your children of the uncertainty, and how it gave way into disorder, and how it evolved into chaos. The riots, the violence, the cannibalism. There was no society. No order. Only terror. It was a time you went through so future generations wouldn't have to. It was the time some lights went out for 20 minutes at some football game.
Or at least how ESPN painted it. In the meantime, the Steelers lost a boring game because Ben Roethlisberger couldn't put any weight on his left leg. Jump for the recap.
A good way to know how many Steeler fans are invading a stadium: See how loud the Heath chants are when he makes a catch in the first quarter. In San Fancisco, the chants are loud.
The gameplan is quick passes. Everyone knew that going in. But some DB takes a bad anlge on a Mike Wallace slant route and he takes off down the sideline for 36.
Ben takes a shot into the end zone and all he finds is Carlos Rodgers for the pick. Max Starks makes the tackle.
Not something you want to see when you're a 5'10" defensive back.AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
Alex Smith steps in and just throws first down passes. DBs are playing off the line and receivers are open for quick passes. Frank Gore does everything else. The 49ers convert every third down. Gore tries to punch it in from 2. The OL parts like the Red Sea and four defenders walk freely into the backfield for a tackle. Smith tries a screen pass to Gore but Polamalu blitzes from that side. Tough to throw a good pass with a faceful of BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA
Field goal. 3-0.AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
Antonio Brown catches every third down pass in history. He makes a sick turn-around catch of a ball behind his back and runs it for a first down. Heath Miller becomes a pulling guard somehow and paves a path for Rashard Mendenhall.
Ben has 100 years to find someone downfield and he overthrows his man. Picked off again.
Vernon Davis stretches out and gets a first down. He's a tough dude to cover/tackle. This would become a theme.
Brett Keisel drops into the flat to cover Frank Gore. Smith will take that matchup. Gore drops it. Akers makes it 6-0.
AND THEN WE DO THIS AGAIN.AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
A flag flies when the power comes back on. Surprisingly not for Delay of Game.
Some terrified-sounding foreign intern or something talks about electricity. What is ESPN doing?
Some DB piledrives Mike Wallace. If Ryan Clark does that, it's an easy penalty.
Ben has to sling a ball into the end zone on 3rd down. Wallace didn't even make a try for it. Punt.
Ryan Clark hits Vernon Davis in the arms as he reaches for a pass. Great defensive play. The defense has a chance to retake momentum when the Niners get into a 3rd & 8. They only rush 4 guys and Smith hits another quick comeback.
Frank Gore gets called on the weakest chop block call of the last ten years. The 49ers punt with 1:26 left in the half. It's downed at the 5.
The Steelers test the waters with a halfback draw. Moore breaks it out to the outside and gets out of bounds at the 25. Antonio Brown hauls in a pass and gets up to the 45. Then he converts another big time third down.
Ten seconds left as Ben hurries everyone to the line. He dumps the ball off to Mewelde Moore. He loses like 3 yards but manages to get out of bounds. Why would you not just spike the ball there if your best play is a dump-off?
Brown makes a catch as time expires. He doesn't score.
They talk about the NBA for halftime. Snooze.
The Steelers finally play up on the line on 3rd down instead of giving the receivers whatever quick routes they want. Andy Lee booms it a thousand yards out of his own end zone.
After several missed throws, the Steelers punt. It may or may not be muffed, but Keenan Lewis gets flagged for catch interference. He kind of pushed a 49er into the receiver and reached in himself to hit the ball. Tough call to take but it happens.
Polamalu makes the best open-field tackle of the 2011 season on Vernon Davis. Got a hit and a wrap-up around the legs. The Niners have to punt and the Steelers take over at the 10 yard line.
Ben throws a beautiful ball down the sideline to Heath Miller and he takes it in stride to midfield. Then he finds him again right at the first down marker. Justin Smith puts a big hit on Rashard Mendenhall.
Antonio Brown makes an unbelievable catch on the sideline. Not a football catch, because he hit down out of bounds, but he held onto the ball the whole time. Great athleticism. Suisham sneaks a 51 yard field goal through the uprights. 6-3.
Vernon Davis gets open on James Farrior for 30 yards. LaMarr Woodley draws the easiest holding call in NFL history. Smith runs a great-looking shift right and throw left to Vernon Davis at the 1.
The Niners send in like 4 extra tackles to punch it in. Smith sells a play fake and pitches the ball to Vernon Davis by himself in the end zone. 13-3.
Arians finally defers to the no-huddle offense. Mendenhall makes some moves and reverses his field. Ben almost threw a block for him. Thakfully he pulled up.
Jerricho Cotchery fakes out some DB down the sideline. Huge gain. Larry Grant makes a couple of great defensive plays and Ben almost throws another interception on third down.
Suisham misses a 48 yard field goal. That's basically where the game ends.
49ers punt. Andy Lee can freely decide where punts land and the Steelers start from the 8. Ben finds Cotchery on third down. Great play to hold onto the ball.
Then Smiths, Aldon and Justin team up for a sack and fumble by Ben Roethlisberger. (f%&k your Oxford commas)
David Akers kick a field goal but the back judge makes up a penalty to call on Lawrence Timmons. It's an automatic first down. Frank Gore punches it in. 20-3.
The Steelers come back out and try to get something going. They don't, and Ben takes some hits. Both teams trade punts.
Tomlin apparently refuses to take Ben out of the game. Ben stays in and takes hits. I never figured I'd be rooting for Ben to throw an interception, but if giving San Francisco the ball is the only way to make Ben get out of the game, I'm for it.
And Ben obliges.
- Late recap today, probably due to an exploding transformer or something.
- 5th seed basically clinched. Bring it, Tebow.
- If the Steelers don't play Ben, Woodley, or any of the stars until the playoffs, that's fine by me.
- Not many pictures because not unlike the game last night, this recap was tough to stay awake through. Props if you made it this far.