PITTSBURGH — Just when you think a game is just destined to play out a certain way … this game is headed to overtime, folks.
The entire Heinz Field crowd gasped at the same time when Steelers WR Hines Ward was stripped of the ball at the 4-yard line. A solid play by Titans FS Michael Griffin. A heads-up play. Plays that Pro Bowlers make.
The radio broadcasters in the booth simultaneously slammed their fists on the table. Broadcasters do not like overtime.
The Steelers predominantly went to the no-huddle in the last two drives, and it was effective. Many of the completions were the same — quick passes to receivers, hot reads to TE Heath Miller, dumps to RB Mewelde Moore — but QB Ben Roethlisberger and the offense established a rhythm. Roethlisberger on several occasions found the holes in the Titans’ zone.
That ill-timed 28-yard punt by the Titans’ Craig Hentrich with just under two minutes felt like the nail in the coffin. The Steelers took over on their own 42-yard line. Almost felt like the game was over right there — you could see the end playing out. A very rough night for the Titans’ kicking game all around, and I’m sure coach Jeff Fisher will have a lot to say about that post-game.
Overtime in the Kickoff 2009 game? How about that? This game is playing out much like many of us thought it would. At least it is for me. You can’t ask for much more than this.
— Frank Tadych