It's Better To Be Lucky Than Good - By Mike Marino
Steelers Fever Exclusive Editorial
|Saturday night at Heinz Field, Ben Roethlisberger, the quarterback who has done everything but play like a rookie this year, played like a rookie in his first career playoff game. Certainly, Roethlisberger was not good last night.
But he was lucky. He was lucky because he had the opportunity to get the Steelers into field goal range in overtime after New York Jets kicker Doug Brien missed two field goals in the final two minutes of the game.
Not only was Roethlisberger lucky, the rest of the team was lucky. The Steelers just squeaked out a win in the AFC Division Playoff game 20-17. For the Jets, the game very much resembled the AFC Wild Card Game the weekend before against the San Diego Chargers.
Except that the Jets were on the other side of the missed field goal last weekend. San Diego kicker Nate Kaeding missed a field goal to win the game, sending the game into overtime. The Jets took advantage and kicked a field goal to win the game in overtime, 20-17.
But they were on the opposite end at Heinz Field this weekend. Roethlisberger threw two interceptions, and each of them appeared like it gave the Jets the guaranteed win. But nothings guaranteed, certainly not two field goals. A Jerome Bettis fumble at the Jets 23 in the second half seemed as if it would have given the Jets control as well.
But the rookie Ben Roethlisberger bounced back in overtime leading the Steelers to the Jets 13-yard line, which resulted in Jeff Reed's field goal that allowed the Steelers to advance to the AFC Championship game.
Sunday morning, the New York media was tearing the Jets apart for the loss. Columnists and critics were going crazy criticizing the play calling late in the game along with the kicker. But the optimists were saying, at least the Jets showed that they could play with them.
Sure, but the Steelers are headed to play the winner of the Indianapolis/New England game at 6:30 p.m. next weekend at Heinz Field. The Steelers will absolutely have to play better than they did this weekend. All season, Ben Roethlisberger has not played like a rookie, but in the AFC Divisional Playoff, he played like the rookie he was.
Big Ben struggled from the start, despite that the Steelers took an early 10-0 lead. The Jets answered with a field goal and a punt return from Santana Moss 75 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 10.
Roethlisberger threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown to give the Jets a 17-10 lead, but the Steelers fought back and tied the game. Jerome Bettis' fumble at the Jets 23 was just another mistake that the Steelers had Saturday night.
It was an ugly Saturday night for the Steelers, but they're moving on to the AFC Championship game, and in the end, that's all that matters right?