As the Game Turns, Week 5 vs Philly: Heinz Field is a Tough Place to Kick

Fox Sports

By: G.Stryker, Twitter @SNStryker and Instagram @SNStryker


Every game is like a soap opera with 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 happen. So each week we will explore the exact moment of drama where the game pivots on: As the Game Turns.


I don’t know if it is the wind blowing in across the three rivers, the spinning of Terrible Towels by Steeler Nation, or the mystique of the stadium itself, but for some reason, long distance kicks just don’t split the uprights in Heinz Field. The longest regular season kick belongs to former Dallas Cowboy, Dan Bailey and current Pittsburgh Steeler, Chris Boswell at 53 yards. So when Jake Elliott lined up for a 57-yard attempt, I had to smile and say to myself, “They don’t know what it’s like to kick at Heinz Field, do they?”

The Philadelphia Eagles had all of the momentum. After falling behind 31-14, the Eagles hit 2 touchdowns and a 2-point conversion to bring the game within 2 at 29-31.  After Eric Ebron lost a fumble on the ensuing drive, the Eagles seemed poised to take the lead.  That is until their drive bogged down at midfield, and they decided to kick for the lead while tickling the midfield logo.  

The Eagles attempted the kick from the 39-yard line, and missed to the right. It appeared to have enough leg, but not if the temperature was colder, as it becomes nearly impossible to hit 50+ yarders in sub-freezing conditions. The ball was spotted at the 47-yard line due to the miss, and the Steelers only needed 4 plays and 19 seconds to score the game clinching 35-yard touchdown to Chase Claypool, who was having a breakout game of his own setting the franchise rookie record with his 4th touchdown.  

Usually the game pivots on a big play to determine the outcome. This past Sunday, the stoic stadium and those unattainable uprights 57-yards away, were the difference makers for the Steelers’ 4th straight victory, assuring their best start since 1979.


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