View Full Version : Bires: You can't count out Steelers

12-15-2008, 12:43 PM
Bires: You can't count out Steelers

By Mike Bires
Times Sports Staff
Published: Monday, December 15, 2008 12:03 AM EST
BALTIMORE — As the Steelers ran off the field and into their locker room for a wild celebration, Mike Tomlin greeted each of them at the doorway.

He slapped high-fives with some.

He hugged others.

But one by one as he congratulated his players after one of the most remarkable regular-season wins in franchise history, Tomlin kept yelling out over and over again.

“Steelers football is 60 minutes!”

“Steelers football is 60 minutes!”

“Steelers football is 60 minutes!”

It sure was Sunday in a war of a football game at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Steelers never led until there were 43 ticks left on the clock.

The 13-9 victory over the rival Baltimore Ravens wasn’t sealed until William Gay’s interception on the next-to-the-last play of the game.

Then with one second left to go and the Steelers’ lined up in victory formation, Ben Roethlisberger took a knee and a second straight AFC North title was officially in the books.

Once again, Tomlin and his Steelers found a way to snatch victory from defeat.

It happened on Nov. 16 when Jeff Reed’s field goal with 11 seconds left gave the Steelers their first lead in an 11-10 win over San Diego.

It happened last Sunday when the Steelers trailed Dallas 13-3 but still managed to win 20-13 by scoring twice in a span of 24 seconds late in the fourth quarter.

“Boy, we have an exciting football team in that locker room,” said Tomlin, who wore a Steelers AFC North championship cap as he met the media in the bowels of M&T Bank Stadium. “That was a ridiculously tough football game. But we found a way. We hung together. Hopefully, this is a signature of Steelers’ football for ’08.”

At 11-3, the Steelers now have a division title secured. They have assured themselves of a first-round playoff bye.

They will host an AFC divisional round game Jan. 10 or 11. They still have a chance for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

But it doesn’t matter who the Steelers play or where they play once the Super Bowl tournament begins.

Tennessee (12-2), who hosts the Steelers next Sunday, may have the best record in the AFC right now, but the Titans don’t scare the Steelers. No team scares the Steelers.

Certainly, no team scares the Steelers’ defense.

And even though the offense struggles at times, Ben Roethlisberger just might be the best clutch quarterback in the league right now.

This is a team that, despite playing the NFL’s toughest schedule, just keeps finding ways to win.

“This is a special team,” Roethlisberger said.

Yes, the Steelers are special. They’re talented and resilient, too. There’s something magical about them.

Nobody wants to play them right now, because right now, there’s no NFL team playing as well.

Steelers football is 60 minutes, indeed.

http://www.timesonline.com/articles/200 ... 343780.txt (http://www.timesonline.com/articles/2008/12/15/sports/doc4945e37223e38536343780.txt)