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The Greatest Football Team Of All Time - Week 12


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Chapter from "The Greatest Football Team Of All Time: 2015 Pittsburgh Steelers - Super Bowl 50 Champions"

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The Greatest Football Team Of All Time - Week 12

  1. 1. Week 12 Nov. 29, 2015: Pittsburgh Steelers @ Seattle Seahawks Steelers Outlast Seahawks to Win in Overtime 41-35 Coming off a bye week, Pittsburgh needed all their extra energy to win in overtime by a touchdown. While the Steelers remained unde- feated (now 11-0 on the year), the Seahawks fell to 5-6. Seattle's losing record was the clearest sign yet that visiting teams were adapting more and more efficiently to the loudest house in the NFL, where the "12th Man" noise once had made it all but impossible for offensive players to hear the signal caller, who at times could barely hear himself. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had an Olympian day, com- pleting 32 of 49 passes for 456 yards, four touchdowns, and zero inter- ceptions. Backup quarterback Michael Vick's only throw of the game connected for a 24-yard gain. Wide receiver Antonio Brown hauled in 13 balls for a gigantic 202 yards and a touchdown. Fellow wide re- ceiver Sammie Coates caught seven passes for 113 yards and a touch- down. On the receiving ends of the other touchdown strikes were wide- out Darrius Heyward-Bey and running back Le'Veon Bell, who also contributed 67 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns on the ground. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson paralleled Big Ben's perfor- mance, completing 27 out of 48 pass attempts for 415 yards, four touch- downs, and no interceptions. Leading the Seahawks receiving corps, wide receiver Doug Baldwin caught 11 passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns. Wide-out Jermaine Kearse brought down five balls for 91
  2. 2. 94 The Greatest Football Team yards and a touchdown. Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls caught the other touchdown toss. In the absence of injured Marshawn Lynch, the Steelers defense effectively shut down Seahawks' running lanes, holding Wilson and Rawls to a combined total of 62 yards on the ground and causing Rawls to commit a crucial fumble. Defensive end Cameron Heyward sacked Wilson twice. Linebackers Lawrence Timmons, Bug Dupree, and Jarvis Jones also caught Wilson in the backfield for big losses. Dupree and Timmons led the Steelers with nine and seven tackles, respectively. The Seahawks were equally successful at limiting Steelers' running game, with five players contributing at least five tackles each. Line- backer K.J. Wright got to Roethlisberger twice, sharing one of the sacks with defensive end Michael Bennett. *** The Seahawks called the winning side of the coin and elected to de- fer. Steve Hauschka's kickoff was downed in the end zone for a touch- back. On their first possession of the game, the Steelers methodically marched downfield 80 yards in five minutes. Bell eked out nine rushing yards on three carries, and Roethlisberger completed five out of six pass attempts for 56 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown pass to Bell. Scobee's extra-point kick made the score 7-0. Big Ben gets Steelers up on the board quickly Tyler Lockett returned Scobee's kickoff 17 yards to the Seattle 27- yard line. The Seahawks offense made short work of the Pittsburgh de- fense. Wilson completed each of his three pass attempts for a total of
  3. 3. Week 12 95 68 yards, including a 43-yard strike to Kevin Smith and a 2-yard touch- down toss to Baldwin. Hauschka's kick was good, and the game was tied at 7. Baldwin catches his first touchdown of the game Hauschka's kickoff was downed in the end zone for a touchback. The Steelers responded with a vengeance, going 80 yardson just two Roeth- lisberger passes. The second pass went to Coates and was good for 58
  4. 4. 96 The Greatest Football Team yards and a touchdown. Scobee's kick was good, and the Steelers were quickly back on top 14-7. Scobee's kickoff was downed in the end zone for a touchback. Start- ing on their 20-yard line, the Seahawks moved the chains once after a 13-yard pass from Wilson to Smith. However, on 3rd-and-5, Boykin batted down the ball intended for Cooper Helfet. Jon Ryan's punt sailed for 46 yards to Brown, who brought it back four yards to the Pittsburgh 18-yard line. Steelers' following possession straddled the quarters. At first, the ball moved backwards a couple of times on a sack and a false start penalty. Then Roethlisberger connected on five out of seven pass attempts for 62 yards and managed to scram- ble for eight yards after a play action attempt failed. Bell gained 23 yards on the ground, including the last five yards of the drive into the end zone. Scobee kicked the extra point, and the Steelers stretched their lead to 21-7 with nine minutes remaining in the half. Scobee's kickoff was downed in the end zone for a touchback. The Seahawks had a bad start as Jones sacked Wilson for a huge 9-yard loss, then came right back to knock down Wilson's pass that was in- tended for Helfet. However, the Seahawks then converted on two con- secutive third-down plays for a total of 47 yards and moved into the red zone. Steelers' defense formed a wall at the 11-yard line, and the Seahawks had to settle for a 25-yard field goal. With four minutes left in the first half, the score was Steelers 21, Seahawks 10.
  5. 5. Week 12 97 Jones (95) sacks Wilson for 9-yard loss Hauschka's kickoff was downed in the end zone for a touchback. The Steelers started out hot. Their combined air and ground attack moved the chains twice on the first two plays from scrimmage. However, Sea- hawks' defense put the brakes on at midfield, and the Steelers failed to convert on 3rd-and-10, which brought their punting unit onto the field for the first time. Jordan Berry's 41-yard punt bounced into the end zone. The Sea- hawks had the ball back with 1:34 remaining in the first half, but the Pittsburgh "D" was at their stingiest yet. After Heyward sacked Wilson for an irrecoverable 7-yard loss, Seattle went three-and-out. Ryan boomed a 49-yard punt to Brown, who carried it back three yards to the Pittsburgh 41-yard line. With 1:01 left on the clock, Roeth- lisberger completed three out of four pass attempts for 51 yards. How- ever, a sack by Wright for a 5-yard loss cost them a timeout, and the clock ran out before the Steelers could get close enough for a field goal attempt. At halftime, the score remained Steelers 21, Seahawks 10. The second half opened with the Steelers kickoff team's vigilant cov- erage stopping Lockett at the Seattle 9-yard line. The Seahawks moved the chains twice, on a 9-yard run by Rawls and two Wilson pass com-
  6. 6. 98 The Greatest Football Team pletions. Although Heyward caught Seattle's quarterback in the back- field for a 9-yard loss, Wilson threw for two more first-downs. How- ever, it was Dupree's turn to sack the Seahawks signal-caller for a 7- yard loss, and Steelers' pass pressure, which included a blitz on 3rd- and-17, held Seattle to a 42-yard field goal attempt. Hauschka's kick was good, and halfway through the third quarter, the scoreboard read Steelers 21, Seahawks 13. Both Seahawks starting guards, J.R. Sweezy and Justin Britt, were injured during the drive and went off the field. Dri Archer returned Hauschka's kickoff 18 yards to the Pittsburgh 22-yard line. The Seattle defense stepped up and forced a three-and- out, with a little help from Seahawks' "12th man" leading to a Steelers false start penalty. Berry punted the ball away 47 yards to the awaiting Lockett, who returned it eight yards to the Seattle 43-yard line. The Seahawks of- fense took full advantage of the good field position and wasted no time marching the remaining distance to the end zone. After two rushes for 16 yards and a 5-yard defensive holding penalty, Wilson tossed a 36- yard pass to Rawls for a touchdown, and the Seahawks clawed back to within two points of the Steelers. Wilson's pass to Baldwin tied the game at 21. Dri Archer returned Hauschka's kickoff 14 yards to the Pittsburgh 16-yard line. The Steelers had been held scoreless for more than 20 minutes, but Big Ben finally came out swinging and completed three out of five pass attempts for 59 yards. Bell rushed three times for 11 yards, including a 3-yarder into the end zone. Scobee's kick was good, and the Steelers regained the lead 28-21. Scobee's kickoff was downed in the end zone for a touchback. Sea- hawks' next drive spanned more than five minutes on 11 plays. Wilson completed five out of 10 pass attempts for 75 yards, including two huge plays on 3rd-and-10 and a 14-yard touchdown strike to Kearse. Hauschka tied the game again with a good extra-point kick, and the score was 28-28 with 6:21 remaining in the game. Hauschka's kickoff was downed in the end zone for a touchback. Riding on Seahawks' offensive momentum, the Seattledefense held the Steelers offense to just nine yards on three plays from scrimmage. Berry's 41-yard punt sailed to Lockett, who called for a fair catch at the Seattle 30 yard-line with just under five minutes to go in the game. The Seahawks drive proceeded with minimal opposition from a seem- ingly deflated Pittsburgh defense. Wilson ran for 15 yards and com- pleted eight out of 10 pass attempts for the remainder of the yardage,
  7. 7. Week 12 99 culminating in a 5-yard touchdown toss to Baldwin. Hauschka's suc- cessful kick put the Seahawks ahead 35-28 for the first time in the game with just over two minutes left on the clock. Baldwin (89) and Wilson (3) celebrate their first lead of the game Hauschka's kickoff flew through the end zone for a touchback. After Big Ben threw three straight incompletions, the momentum was firmly on Seahawks' side. Right at the two-minute warning, coach Mike Tom- lin made the controversial decision to send out the punting unit on 4th- and-10. Berry's wobbly punt travelled 32 yards in the air and left some ob- servers wondering whether it was supposed to be a trick play. Lockett managed to return the punt for three yards to Pittsburgh's side of the field. On Seahawks' first play of the possession, the Steelers caught a huge break. Rookie running back Rawls fumbled the ball as he care- lessly tried to blast off-tackle, and Dupree recovered the loose ball. With 1:31 left in the game, Michael Vick threw a 24-yard completion to Brown on a wildcat play. Roethlisberger added three passes, includ- ing a 21-yard touchdown strike to Heyward-Bey. With less than a mi- nute left on the clock, the game for the Steelers was riding on Scobee's extra-point conversion. The kick was good, and the game was tied at 35.
  8. 8. 100 The Greatest Football Team Roethlisberger ties the game with 45 seconds left on the clock The Seahawks were visibly stunned, but on the ensuing kickoff, Lockett almost broke a long return. He eventually brought the ball 31 yards out to the Seattle 39-yard line, giving Wilson and the offense one
  9. 9. Week 12 101 last good field position in regulation time. However, the pressure of the clock and the rejuvenated Pittsburgh defense created an insurmounta- ble obstacle. At the climax, Timmons sacked Wilson for a 6-yard loss, and as time expired, the score stood at Steelers 35, Seahawks 35. When overtime began, the wind coming off the Puget Sound was blowing in Steelers' favor. Pittsburgh won the coin toss and chose to receive. Archer hauled in Hauschka's kickoff and ran it back 17 yards to the Pittsburgh 24-yard line. The Seahawks defense tried to dig in, but Pittsburgh's methodical drive kept the ball moving downfield on quick passes for a total of four first-downs. Bell contributed 14 yards rushing, and the drive was crowned by a 20-yard Roethlisberger touch- down pass to Brown on 3rd-and-7 that ended the game with the score 41-35. Brown’s 20-yard catch for a TD wins the game in OT *** Pittsburgh Steelers in Review Grades • Offense • Pass Offense A • Run Offense B- • Defense
  10. 10. 102 The Greatest Football Team • Pass Defense B- • Run Defense B • Special Teams C • Coaching A Top Performers 1. Antonio Brown 2. Bud Dupree 3. Ben Roethlisberger