Lost amid the chaos of the dramatic Steelers victory Saturday night in Cincinnati was the roller coaster of emotions backup quarterback Landry Jones experienced. Jones went from throwing an interception that should have ended the game to celebrating with teammates after an improbable series of events led to their 18-16 victory.
“You go from the lowest of lows to ‘Oh man, we have a chance to win a game,’ ” Jones said. “You feel like you gave the game away and then [Ryan] Shazier goes out and makes this unbelievable play and turns it all around for us.”
Shazier, a second-year linebacker, stripped Bengals running back Jeremy Hill on the next play, giving the Steelers their final possession with 1:23 remaining. Jones played all but the final series in the fourth quarter after Ben Roethlisberger injured his shoulder on the final play of the third quarter. He was 2 for 5 for 11 yards in the three series he played.
Roethlisberger has what is believed to be a shoulder sprain and is expected to play Sunday at Denver in the AFC divisional-round game. But Jones must be ready to play again should Roethlisberger reinjure the shoulder.
“I don’t know what the doctors have said,” Jones said. “I don’t know what’s going on with him. I’m going to prepare and get ready to go. Even if he’s cleared to play, I’m going to prepare the way I’ve been preparing all year.”
Jones could get a lot of snaps early in the week with Roethlisberger recovering from his injury. He said playing the Broncos a month ago will make his job easier this week.
Even though his performance was forgettable, he was able to appreciate playing in a game with such high stakes.
“That was a wild game,” he said. “It was unbelievable. It’s going to go down as one of the crazier games in NFL history.”
Toussaint earns trust
Running backs Fitzgerald Toussaint and Jordan Todman combined for 183 yards from scrimmage in place of injured starter DeAngelo Williams. Toussaint had 58 rushing yards and 60 receiving yards, and Todman was the team’s leading rusher with 65 yards on 11 carries.
“There was definitely a rhythm,” Toussaint said. “We had both guys making big plays. There is a confidence between the both of us.”
One of Toussaint’s receptions came on the final drive. It was a crucial third-and-2 early in the drive, and Toussaint was able to convert it for a first down.
“I’d say that was big,” Toussaint said. “Most importantly, I wanted to catch it to get Ben’s trust just in case a situation like that happens again. I feel like I stepped up. We prepared for that all week. I was able to take that to game.”
Lucky to win?
The Steelers became only the second team in NFL history to win a playoff game when getting penalized for more than 140 yards. The Steelers were penalized 10 times for 142 yards. The only other team to win a playoff game while being penalized that much was the San Francisco 49ers, who beat the New York Giants, 38-24, in a divisional-round game after the 1981 season. The 49ers were penalized 14 times for 145 yards in that game.
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