Steelers fans remember where they were for some of the most key moments in franchise history.
The Immaculate Reception.
The Catch. Or, since Dwight Clark called dibs, Santonio's catch.
And, of course...
The Colts started 2005 with a 13-0 record before a loss to the Chargers. The Steelers, a favorite in the AFC heading into the year, followed up Ben Roethlisberger's rookie season with a fast start. After rocketing to a 7-2 record, Ben fell to injury for the second time in the campaign.
A three-game losing stretch nearly cost the team its championship hopes, but the Steelers won their final four games to qualify for the playoffs.
After beating the Bengals, the team traveled to Indianapolis, for a rematch with Peyton Manning and the Colts. Pittsburgh had lost at the RCA Dome 26-7 earlier in the season.
The Steelers defense got constant pressure. Manning began the afternoon 2-for-9, and the invincible Colts looked fragile. Receivers couldn't hit their marks due to the disruption of a secondary playing at its optimum level and the ruthless pursuit of the defensive front and linebackers of Manning.
Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger and the offense chose a finesse approach, quickly jumping to a 14-0 lead. With plenty of time left in the game, the public surely anticipated an furious Indianapolis rally before halftime. Yet, at intermission, the Colts trailed 14-3.
In the second half, Jerome Bettis began to churn out yardage, and Pittsburgh's offense performed the essence of a root canal on Indy, manhandling the defense and taking a 21-3 lead.
With everything in hand, the Colts came to a breaking point with a fourth down, and Peyton furiously waved the special teams off the field. The quarterback converted the key down before cutting the Steelers lead to 21-10.
Afterwards, with another opportunity to continue the rally, Peyton threw an interception to Troy Polamalu. However, upon getting up, the safety dislodged the football with his own knee, and the officials blew the call. Indianapolis scored, and a 21-18 game was suddenly interesting, especially...
When the Colts got the ball back again. Pittsburgh's defense, infuriated by the missed interception call, went into "the zone." Joey Porter, angry over the turn of events preceding the drive, took it upon himself to single-handedly destroy the Colts offense, sacking Manning on consecutive plays to end the apparent final drive. Porter came in untouched on the final down, sacking Peyton near his own endzone as the result of a tremendous (and confusing) effort along the defensive front.
With timeout in the Colts' possession and little time left, the Steelers gave the ball to "The Bus" to end the game.
A helmet hit the ball, which popped out of Bettis's arm. Nick Harper, having been a stabbing victim by his significant other days earlier, grabbed the gift and ran downfield. Ben Roethlisberger wisely began to track the defender by running backwards.
Harper was unable to elude the quarterback, whose game-saving tackle will be forever remembered as one of the top 10 plays of Pittsburgh sports lore.
Manning and the offense took control of the ball, but the defense—specifically the secondary—held stout, refusing to give up a touchdown. Reggie Wayne was covered by Ike Taylor on a deep route, and the corner broke up a fantastic throw from Manning to his favorite target.
In field goal range, Indianapolis attempted to tie the game with Mike Vanderjagt, a kicker who had become infamous for misses in key moments.
Building on his unenviable legacy of inopportune choking (what else can you call it?), the kick sailed WIDE (capital letters), and Pittsburgh secured a place in the AFC Championship Game against Denver.