Gerry Dulac's Two-Minute Drill: Steelers vs. Broncos
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Redman did more than fill in for injured Rashard Mendenhall in his second NFL start. He finished with 121 yards on 17 carries, an average of 7.1 yards per attempt, and made two big runs in the second half that helped change the momentum of the game. Redman's 32-yard run to the 1, in which he fought off CB Andre Goodman, was originally ruled a touchdown. And his 28-yarder in the fourth quarter set up a FG that made the score 23-16. "We felt like we were stopping ourselves and we didn't want to abandon the run and get into a throwing match," Redman said.
X's AND O's
After a season in which teammates thought he deserved to be in the Pro Bowl, CB Ike Taylor showed in one game why he wasn't. He allowed completions of 51 and 58 yards to WR Demaryius Thomas that led to two TDs in the second quarter, then gave up the winning 80-yard TD in overtime on a simple crossing pattern. He also had a pass-interference penalty that resulted in a FG in the last quarter. The total of his mistakes: 23 of the 29 points by the Broncos. "He's the reason why we're here," said James Farrior. "You can't blame it on one guy because one guy had a bad game."
A quick look at the top performances from Sunday's game:
1. WHAT A CATCH: Jerricho Cotchery made what appeared to be the biggest catch in the game -- a 31-yarder for a TD from Ben Roethlisberger with 3:48 remaining that brought the Steelers back from a 14-point deficit and forced OT. Cotchery made a leaping catch over LB D.J. Williams and held on despite taking a hit from S Rafael Bush. "I thought it was our game and when we got the ball back, I felt we would go down and score," Cotchery said.
2. DROPPED OPPORTUNITY: WR Mike Wallace had only three catches and dropped what would have been a 51-yard completion just two plays after the Broncos took a 7-6 lead -- a play that could have changed the momentum. The play was challenged and overturned by replay.
3. SACKED ... AGAIN: Roethlisberger was sacked five times, but three came on the final drive of regulation. The biggest occurred at the Broncos 45 with 29 seconds left when DE Elvis Dumervil knocked the ball loose. Roethlisberger recovered but the 11-yard loss took them from FG range.
4. FINALLY, A TURNOVER: The defense had only one takeaway -- a forced fumble by DE Cam Heyward that LB LaMarr Woodley recovered at the Denver 45 with 7:35 left -- but it was a big one. The Steelers converted the turnover into Cochery's 31-yard TD to tie the score, 23-23.
5. BIG DRIVE: After the Steelers cut the lead to 20-13 on a 1-yard TD run by WR Mike Wallace, the defense let the Broncos use 12 plays and consume 6 minutes, 19 seconds to kick a field goal to make it 23-13 with 13:10 remaining -- another failure by the defense to stop Tebow.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
366That's the number of offensive yards produced by QB Tim Tebow, who passed for 316 yards and rushed for 50 on 10 carries. His passing yards and passer rating of 125.6 were the highest the Steelers allowed all season
WHAT WAS HE THINKING?
The Steelers No. 1--ranked pass defense had allowed only two completions of 40 yards or longer this season, fewest in the NFL. But they allowed four against Broncos QB Tim Tebow, who had only six during the regular season. Tebow completed only 10 passes against the Steelers, but four of those were for 51, 58, 40 and 80 yards. "The number of completions wasn't surprising," coach Mike Tomlin said. "The number of long completions was."
"I talked to him one corner to another. I did his job for a while. I know how he feels. Right now he's down, but he'll be back."
-- Defensive coordinator and Hall of Fame cornerback Dick LeBeau, after consoling CB Ike Taylor in the locker room
The Steelers, who finished with a 12-5 record, will concentrate on getting ready for the NFL draft that is scheduled for April 26-28 in New York. The NFL scouting combine is Feb. 22-28 in Indianapolis.
First Published January 9, 2012 12:00 am