As the Game Turns: Week 13 : That’s the Way the Ball Bounces

By: G.Stryker

Each and every game has a pivotal moment where victory is decided.  Not always the game winning play, but a play that determines the outcome, and if it went differently, a different result could be likely. So each week we will explore the exact moment of drama where the game pivots on: As the Game Turns.

Sometimes in the game of football you can do everything right, and still fail on a play.  The scenario was set: 2nd and 3 from the Pittsburgh 10 yard line. Steelers held a 23-7 lead with 1:49 left in the 3rd quarter.  Philip Rivers drops back to pass on a play where Mike Hilton is blitzing.  The pressure seemed to force Rivers into a quick throw to Keenan Allen in the end zone who was double covered.

The ball was thrown behind Allen and it appeared that Joe Haden was set for an easy interception, after jumping the route.  Except he was torpedoed by his teammate Sean Davis, who had his head down and was only had eyes for the football.  The force of the play popped the football straight up in the air to a surprised and thankful Allen, who gladly earned a touchdown for his diving catch of this fortuitous bounce.

Instead of holding possession and preventing a San Diego touchdown to keep a 23-7 lead, the Steelers watched the Chargers convert an out route by the ageless Antonio Gates for 2 points.  The score was now 23-15, the Chargers were only down by 8 points, and the bounce of the ball on this play, sparked the comeback they needed for a 33-30 win at Heinz Field.

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