Pittsburgh Steelers Pulled Together as a Team to End 2009 Season
The locker room strife that made news late in the season was not evident during the Pittsburgh Steelers' game against Baltimore on Dec. 27, 2009.
The team knuckled down and found a way to win a close game against the red-hot Ravens.
After watching this weekend's playoff games, the regret that we didn't get into the playoffs after finishing strong led me to look at the photos I took of the game and reflect on the Steelers' last 2009 effort in Heinz Field.
Ben Roethlisberger escapes pressure from the Ravens defense
Though they fought valiantly like champions through their last three games, the Steelers found their identity too late in the season to earn a trip to the playoffs.
James Farrior gets a pick in '09
James Farrior led the Steelers with 102 total tackles this year. He nabbed his first and only pick of the year at the 10-minute mark of the first quarter when he grabbed a third down pass intended for Derrick Mason at the Baltimore 26 and returned it to their eight-yard line.
Ray Lewis makes his presence felt
Ray Lewis, who had a fumble recovery in the game, helped the Baltimore defense stand up to Pittsburgh, but ultimately, 11 penalties for 113 yards cost the Ravens a victory.
LaMarr Woodley helps stop the Ravens in their tracks
LaMarr Woodley's performance against Baltimore earned him the distinction of being named AFC Defensive player of the week.
Woodley notched seven tackles, and his second sack of Joe Flacco resulted in a forced fumble, ending the Ravens' final drive with 2:27 left in the game.
Casey Hampton applying some verbal pressure to Joe Flacco
The Steeler defense shut down the Ravens' final drive, but Baltimore proved to be its own worst enemy with two touchdowns taken off the board due to penalties.
The Ravens also applied pressure to the quarterback
Roethlisberger faced pressure but ended the game completing 17 of his 33 passes for 259 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Rashard Mendenhall had a hand in the win
Rashard Mendenhall did not rack up many yards, gaining just 36 yards on 17 attempts, but his four-yard TD run was critical for the Steelers.
The no-huddle was nowhere to be seen
The Steelers used the no-huddle only once just before the half on a drive that ended with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes with 44 seconds on the clock.
Everyone watched for the results of other NFL games
The fans in the crowd were not the only ones who had an interest in results and scores coming in from around the league.
Woodley gave Big Ben a break
The game ended with a rare sight: a defensive takeaway allowing the offense to take a knee to seal the 23-20 Steeler victory.