Here we are. The Steelers are the last team remaining from the American Football Conference. Not New England. Not Baltimore. Not Indianapolis. The Pittsburgh Steelers took on two of the toughest teams in the league and came out on top. They'll be playing in their record-tying eighth Superbowl against the Green Bay Packers in two weeks. This is a great football team that had to beat great football teams to get where they are. And they'll have to beat one more to finish climbing the fabled Stairway to Seven. Today, we reflect on the 2010 Steelers' victory over the New York Jets.
Franco Harris is suited up during the national anthem.
The Jets defer the coin toss. A few penalties each way stunt the Steelers' first drive. Ben scrambles in the pocket and flips the ball off to Mendenhall. A few plays later, Mendy forgets how getting tackled works and keeps on running after a play gets all but stopped in the backfield.
Ben gets hit in the leg somewhere and he limps around for like ten minutes. Heath Miller dives for a catch in the red zone. Rex Ryan challenges the play and wins it. Ben scrambles for a 12-yard gain. So much for that injured leg.
Ben does his thing, triple-pumps, and hits Ward at the one. Pouncey goes down on the play. He hobbles off the field unable to stand on his left leg. Rough looking injury.
Mendenhall breaks the plane. 7-0.
Pouncey gets carted into the locker room. The Steelers defense takes a bunch of penalties but the Jets offense eventually stalls. The Steelers come back out with the Rashard Mendenhall show. Not content to just go out of bounds on a reception, he shoulders some DB in the face on the way down.
Rememer Willie Parker? Neither do we.
The Steelers hurry to the line on 4th & 1 to try and draw the Jets offside. Ed Hochuli gives them a free timeout with the least necessary measurement ever. Roethlisberger's pass bounces off Mendenhall's hands and it gets picked off. Same outcome as not making the yard-and-a-half anyway.
James Harrison shadows Cotchery and drops him for a 4-yard loss. Punt.
Roethlisberger challenges Revis on a deep throw. He's up to the task. The rest of the defense isn't up to the tackling-Rashard-Mendenhall task though.
All we do is run, run, run no matter what.
Heath Miller throws a pedestrian block on some linebacker and he flies like 9 yards back into the end zone. Ben's pass gets batted down on 3rd & goal. Suisham. 10-0.
The kickoff goes out of bounds and the Jets go 3-and-out anyway. Now that their defense is selling out to stop Mendenhall, Ben starts firing down the field on another long drive. He bootlegs himself into the end zone to finish it off. 17-0.
This guy just wins. It's what he does.
Mark Sanchez and his questionable-at-best two-minute offense try to get something going. Ike Taylor blitzes. Big play Willie Gay returns the fumble for a touchdown. 24-0.
A desperate Jets offense claws its way down the field. Nick folk sneaks in a field goal to break the shutout. 24-3.
A lot of talk about how the Jets were the only team that could run on the Steelers this season. They had one rushing yard in the first half.
Santonio Holmes beats everyone deep for the touchdown. 24-10. Suddenly it's not a blowout.
Dude shows up.
Ben hits some DB in the face with a pass. Hope he did it on purpose. Kapinos punts and gets roughed. Referee ruled that the defender didn't touch the football at all so it was a rough. One of the top ten best calls of the season. That was close even in slow-motion replay. Offense comes right back out on the field. Mewelde Moore reminds you he's still on the team. 3rd down conversions all day.
Following Matt Birk's lead, Doug Legursky shoves a snap into his own backside. Ben recovers the fumble. Next play, he puts a slick spin move on a free-rushing DB and find himself with space to throw and receivers at the goal line.
Unfortunately he looks more like Rex Grossman this time. Picked off.
We'll count that as a punt.
Jets are back to their 3-and-outs. The Steelers are back to grinding out runs for first downs.
O-line is dominating the game.
Cromartie grabs Mike Wallace's jersey for like 3 minutes and doesn't understand why it's a penalty. Ben gets sacked for the first time of the game. His name starts falling off his jersey, which is kind of metal. Punt.
Troy Polamalu makes his first play of the game, which is surprisingly a big hit on Jerricho Cotchery. Sanchez finally shows up for the game and starts throwing those short passes the Steelers struggle with.
Steelers linebackers get away with two obvious penalties when James Harrison hits Sanchez after a QB slide and James Farrior headbutts Shonn Greene straight in the face. No clue how those went uncalled, but we'll take it after this season.
The Jets keep on driving down the field. They end up with a 1st & goal at the Steelers' one yard line. Four plays later, the Steelers take over on downs.
This defense is legendary.
Legursky fumbles the snap. Safety. 24-12. Way to waste that incredible defensive effort.
Sanchez pulls the Kurt Warner fall-over-mid-dropback handoff. They convert another 4th down and keep driving down the field into the red zone. Nobody covers Cotchery. Touchdown, 24-19. Defense had been on the field for like half an hour; they were gassed.
Antonio Brown sets the Steelers up with a solid return and the Jets prepare for Rashard Mendenhall to keep shoving the ball down their throats. Instead, Heath Miller sneaks behind the defense and converts a first down. The Jets burn all their timeouts.
After the two minute warning, the Steelers can end it with a first down and three kneels. Ben rolls out. Antonio Brown is cutting across the field, back to the quarterback.
And the Jets' season is over.
The Jets actually try to break through and force a fumble on the QB kneel. Who does that?
Whatever. We've got a date with the Packers.
- This game wasn't as exciting at the final score would have you believe.
- Couldn't ask for a better opponent than the Green Bay Packers.
- If the fabled 2011 lackout happens (it won't), the last Superbowl will be the two most storied franchises of the era. Not a bad finish.
- If Hines Ward could recover from his ailing knee for Superbowl 43, Pouncey has to be able to recover from his ankle in time for 45.