- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
"The Bengals were hopping around and jumping all over the place," Right Guard Steve Courson said. "I've never seen them jumping in and out so much before."
"I could tell what they were doing until I got down in my stance," Center Mike Webster said, "then all I could see was moving feet. Unless I could recognize the shoe size, I couldn't tell who was where. They had our offense down pretty well."
What the Bengals couldn't defense was Harris' exceptional ability to turn Bradshaw's little dump-off passes into five-and 10-yard gains on his own. And Bradshaw had the skill to put just the right kind of touch on them to enable Harris to make one-handed catches without breaking stride.
"Terry throwing the outlet pass instead of forcing the ball downfield is something that we've been hollering about for a long time," said Harris, whose 11 catches were a career high. "I told him one time, then he started looking for me."
So the Steelers dinked their way up and down the field, until the outcome hinged on Gary Anderson's making a 42-yard field goal. Anderson had been Buffalo's seventh-round draft, but he couldn't beat out Nick Mike-Mayer. The Steelers, unhappy with David Trout's kicking last year, grabbed Anderson from the list of final cuts.
"He'd missed all four of his field goals in the preseason with Buffalo," Steeler Vice-President Art Rooney Jr. said, "but our player personnel director, Dick Haley, was very high on him anyway. He said one of those misses was from 59 yards, another from 54, another on a bad hold. We kept our fingers crossed that no one else would pick him up. We were all very excited when we got him, and he put on quite a show on our practice field when we tried him out. All the players stuck around and sat on their helmets watching him kick."
Anderson had booted a 40-yarder to put the Dallas game on ice with 1:02 left, and with 35 seconds showing on the clock he sent the Cincinnati game into overtime with the 42-yarder.
"If I'd been coming off a miss in the Dallas game," Anderson said, "I might have been thinking, 'God, I can't miss another one,' but this time I kind of looked forward to the chance. Ever since I was a kid I've played every game there was that involved kicking, and I've always liked the pressure. The bigger the game, the better I kicked."
The heroics were just beginning, though. Anderson had 28 seconds to work with after the kickoff, and in just 23 seconds and three plays he took the Bengals to the Pittsburgh 21. Breech tried a 39-yard field goal, but it took a low trajectory; 6'5" Defensive End Tom Beasley got a hand on it, and the game was in overtime.
The Bengals got first try, and the Steelers, who had played in a rush-three-men, drop-eight-back-into-coverage prevent-type of defense in those final seconds of regulation time, began blitzing again. Anderson was flushed on first down from his own 20 and scrambled for four yards. A Robin Cole blitz forced a misfire to Halfback Charles Alexander. On third and six the Steelers gambled on one more blitz, this time sending Ham and Strong Safety Donnie Shell. The pressure from Ham forced Anderson to throw early—to Wide Receiver Steve Kreider. Steeler Left Cornerback Dwayne Woodruff, who had been Anderson's main tormentor all afternoon, played the coverage perfectly and stepped in front of Kreider for the interception. His 30-yard return gave the Steelers the ball on the Bengal two-yard line. Pittsburgh called time, and Noll told Bradshaw to give his power back, Russell Davis, the ball.