Someone get LenDale a towel. I think he might want to hide his head under one on his way out of Pittsburgh.
On a night when Troy Polamalu went down to a knee injury, Wille Parker and the rest of the Steelers running back corps couldn't seem to get the ball rolling, and Hines Ward did something he rarely ever does—fumbled in a big play situation—Ben Roethlisberger stood firm in the backfield, took a few sacks, but ultimately engineered yet another game winning drive to help Pittsburgh outlast Tennessee 13-10 in the NFL season opener.
It didn't start off well for Big Ben and company; Tennessee brought their "A" game and virtually shut the Steelers running game down.
It's not often that Pittsburgh can rush for only 36 yards and expect to come out on the winning end.
Roethlisberger was cool under pressure, though. Yes, he threw two picks (Brett Favre does it all the time, and there are people willing to kiss his feet when he enters a room, so get off it).
But he also threw for 363 yards, including 60 yards on his final drive of the game.
The defense stepped up and performed when the chips were down, particularly on special teams, where a blocked Rob Bironas field goal led to their only touchdown of the game.
Of course, that play cost them Troy Polamalu, but it only slowed them down for a minute or two.
If Hines Ward had either fallen down or turned a little faster at the end of his run in the foruth quarter, the game might have ended earlier.
But this was too good a game to not go to overtime. Both teams had fought hard, both teams had players go down to injury, and overtime seemed the only fair way to settle things.
If, that is, you can call NFL overtimes fair.
After Pittsburgh won the toss, Roethlisberger and company made short work of a winded Tennessee defense, driving downfield for 63 yards to set up the game-winning field goal.
After the game, LenDale White was nowhere to be seen, and Terrible Towels were once again waving proudly at the end of a Steelers victory.
These teams will likely meet again in the postseason this year. We may even be fortunate enough to see them in the AFC Championship game this year, a game that should have happened last January.
If we do, one word of advice: If you're a Tennessee Titan, keep the towels out of it.
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