NFL Beast

The Best Damn NFL News Site Ever!

Steelers March Sadness Tournament: Sweet 16

8 min read

#NFLBeast #NFL #NFLTwitter #NFLUpdate #NFLNews #NFLBlogs

#Pittsburgh #Steelers #PittsburghSteelers #AFC

By: Kyle Chrise

Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

Round 3 of our quest to find the saddest moment in Steelers history…

After two rounds of matchups, we’ve reached the Sweet 16 of our Steelers March Sadness tournament. The 64 worst moments in Pittsburgh Steelers history continue to face off until we choose a champion. Only one moment from the dynasty era remains on the board. Let’s get to the games!

Pierogi Bracket

Pierogi Bracket, round 3

No. 1 seed: Super Bowl XXX, 1/28/96 — O’Donnell’s second 4th quarter INT

With 4:08 left in the fourth quarter, trailing 20-17, Pittsburgh still had a chance for a miracle comeback. On second down from their own 32-yard line, Neil O’Donnell threw his second and most fatal interception to Larry Brown. Two plays later, Emmitt Smith scored to make the score 27-17.


No. 4 seed: Super Bowl XLV, 2/6/2011 — Aaron Rodgers dices Steelers defense

The Steelers cut the lead to 28-25 with just over seven minutes left in the game. Green Bay then found themselves facing a third-and-ten. Ike Taylor was covering Greg Jennings, but Jennings was a step quicker. Aaron Rodgers completed the pass for 31 yards. Green Bay would ultimately extend the lead to 31-25.

No. 6 seed: AFC Championship vs. Chargers, 1/15/95 — Tony Martin’s 4th quarter touchdown

Despite being heavily favored, and dominating time of possession, Pittsburgh was only leading 13-10 at the start of the fourth quarter. With 5:13 left in the game, trailing 16-13, San Diego faced a third-and-14 from the Pittsburgh 43. Instead of going for the first down, Stan Humphries went for it all, finding Tony Martin a step ahead of Tim McKyer in the end zone to take the lead for the first time.


No. 15 seed: Super Bowl XLV, 2/6/2011 — 4th quarter comeback denied

Ben Roethlisberger had another chance to play the Super Bowl hero. Trailing 31-25 with 56 seconds left, Pittsburgh faced a fourth-and-five. Big Ben couldn’t keep the drive and the dream alive, with the pass to Mike Wallace falling incomplete.

Halupki Bracket

Halupki Bracket, round 3

No. 1 seed: Super Bowl XLV, 2/6/2011 — Rashard Mendenhall’s fumble

Pittsburgh was trailing 21-17 at the start of the fourth quarter, but momentum was on their side. The Steelers were facing a second-and-two at the Green Bay 33, when they handed the ball off to Rashard Mendenhall. He was hit behind the line of scrimmage by Clay Matthews and Ryan Pickett, separating the ball from his body, which was then recovered by the Packers.


No. 12 seed: AFC Wild Card vs. Browns, 1/10/21 — Pouncey’s bad snap

On Pittsburgh’s first snap from scrimmage, Maurkice Pouncey snapped the ball over Ben Roethlisberger’s head, and Cleveland recovered in the end zone.

No. 2 seed: AFC Divisional Round at Broncos, 1/7/90 — Elway’s fourth-quarter comeback

Denver was trailing 23-17 with seven minutes left in the game, when John Elway captained a nine-play, 71-yard comeback drive. It all came down to third-and-goal from the one-yard line where Mel Bratton dove in for the game-winning score.


No. 3 seed: Super Bowl XXX, 1/28/96 — Neil’s first interception

Pittsburgh was trailing Dallas 13-7 in the third quarter, but was in a position to turn the tide. The Steelers had strung together a pair of first downs and were facing a third-and-nine at their own 48. Neil O’Donnell was apparently looking for Ernie Mills, but there were no players near the ball, except for Larry Brown, who intercepted the pass and returned it to the 18-yard line.

Chipped Ham Bracket

Chipped Ham Bracket, round 3

No. 1 seed: AFC Championship vs. Chargers, 1/15/95 — Three. More. Yards.

The Steelers had five minutes left in the game and needed a touchdown to win. Neil O’Donnell drove Pittsburgh across the field, ultimately giving the Steelers a first-and-goal from the nine yard line. It would all come down to a fourth-and-goal from the three. O’Donnell was looking for Barry Foster in the shallow of the end zone, but linebacker Dennis Gibson broke up the pass.


No. 4 seed: AFC Divisional Round at Broncos, 1/17/16 — Toussaint’s fourth-quarter fumble

Clinging on to a 13-12 lead in the fourth quarter, Ben Roethlisberger began methodically moving the ball down the field, with completions to Jesse James, Markus Wheaton, and Darrius Heyward-Bey. It appeared inevitable that the Steelers would expand on their lead. On second-and-four from Denver’s 34, Fitzgerald Toussaint got the ball and was untouched for about six or seven yards. Then, safety Bradley Roby came sprinting in with a hit that caused a fumble and changed the direction of the game.

No. 2 seed: AFC Divisional Round at Titans, 1/11/03 — Dewayne Washington runs into kicker

Joe Nedney lined up in overtime for the game-winning 31-yard field goal. The kick was good, but Pittsburgh had actually called a timeout. Nedney tried again, and this time he missed, however, Dewayne Washington was flagged for running into the kicker. Third time was a charm for Nedney and the Titans.


No. 11 seed: AFC Divisional vs. Bills, 1/9/93 — Shelton drops pick-6

Pittsburgh didn’t put up any first-half points after their opening drive field goal. However, they were only trailing 7-3 at halftime. On Buffalo’s opening possession of the second half, Frank Reich’s pass to Don Beebe hit Richard Shelton right in the hands, in what was sure to be a pick-six. Instead, on the next play, Reich connected with James Lofton to increase the lead to 14-3.

Banana Split Division

Banana Split Bracket, round 3

No. 1 seed: Week 13 at Bengals, 12/4/17 — Shazier’s career-ending injury

It was the first quarter of Monday Night Football. Cincinnati had just entered the red zone on their opening drive, after picking off Ben Roethlisberger three plays earlier. Facing a second-and-five, Ryan Shazier appeared to make a routine tackle to prevent Josh Malone from getting the first down. In reality, he suffered a life-altering spinal cord injury that would end his career on the spot.


No. 12 seed: AFC Championship vs. Dolphins, 12/31/72 — Larry Seiple’s fake punt

The Steelers had an early 7-0 lead against the perfect Dolphins with the momentum in the black and gold’s favor. In the second quarter, Miami faced a fourth-and-five at midfield, so Larry Seiple lined up at the Dolphin’s own 35 to receive the punt. Even though Don Shula did not call for the fake, the part-time rusher saw something he liked and took off for 37 yards. NFL Films called it the ‘turning point of the game.’ It would set up Earl Morrall’s nine-yard touchdown pass to fullback Larry Csonka to tie the game at seven, but more importantly, swinging the momentum in Miami’s favor.

No. 2 seed: AFC Wildcard at Broncos, 1/8/12 — Tebow to Thomas in OT

Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow completed just 9-of-20 passes in regulation, so Pittsburgh stacked the box in overtime, anticipating a run. Instead, Tebow found Demaryius Thomas in stride for the 80-yard, game-winning touchdown.


No. 3 seed: 1/27/02 AFC Championship vs. Patriots — Kordell’s second 4th quarter INT

Despite the interception just 43 seconds earlier, Pittsburgh had one more chance for a comeback, trailing 24-17 with 2:11 left in the game. This time, on a second-and-ten from his own 40, Kordell Stewart forced a pass to Plaxico Burress, despite the excellent coverage. The pass wasn’t even catchable, and Lawyer Milloy made the game-sealing interception.

We’ll unveil the Elite 8 later in the week. Vote and spread the word!

Originally posted on Behind the Steel Curtain – All Posts