Breathe easy. Not too easy, but easier, let’s put it that way.
For the Super Bowl Champs, the effort was good enough to get out of Heinz Field with a 13-10 overtime win over a game Titans team. The Steelers basically had the game won with less than a minute left, but Hines Ward was stripped of the ball inside the five, taking away what would have been a sure chip-shot field goal.
Instead, the team won the coin toss in overtime, and on the arm of Ben Roethlisberger, the team was able to march down the field and kick a Jeff Reed 33-yard field goal for the victory. Without a running game to speak of, the game came down to Roethlisberger, who went 33-for-43 for 363 yards with one TD and two picks.
The big play in OT came from of all people – rookie wide out Mike Wallace, who made a great 22-yard catch to the Titans 15-yard line. After that, Mike Tomlin marched Reed out there to finish off a Titans team that matched Pittsburgh punch for punch most of the night.
Tennessee had their shots, as kicker Rob Bironas missed one field goal, had another blocked, and did hit one long 45-yard field goal, but the team could have won the game if he would have made another one of those kicks. Kerry Collins threw a 14-yard TD to Justin Gage to make it 7-7 with 0:48 in the second quarter after the Steelers took a 7-0 lead after Roethlisberger hit Santonio Holmes with a 34-yard TD.
Collins went 22-for-35 for 244 yards with one TD and one pick. The Titans run game was more effective from the start, as they ran for 86 yards compared to the Steelers 36 yards. Chris Johnson ran for 57 yards on 15 carries, LenDale White had 28 yards on 8 carries.
The Steelers are going to have to hold their breath on safety Troy Polamalu, who suffered a knee injury on the blocked field goal in the second quarter. He left the field with a minute left in the first half, and didn’t return. His long-term status remains unknown.
For the Steelers, they escaped against a good team. They were up against it, and it was Roethlisberger’s arm that got the job done. They didn’t look all that great, but they secured a win against a team that who knows – they may see again.
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