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Special Steeler Nation Staff Inside Edition of Sunday’s Wild Ride

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Special Steeler Nation Staff Inside Edition of Sunday’s Wild Ride

The Pittsburgh Steelers faced the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, January 9, 2022 on the year of the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception.  Some 751 miles away, the Jacksonville Jaguars upset the highly favored Indianapolis Colts and Steeler Nation was feeling the potential of going into a playoff frenzy, if they could only come back from a 10-6 deficit with 8:57 left in the 4th quarterBen Roethlisberger is one of the greatest clutch QBs in NFL history and has broken the backs of Ravens fans multiple times with 4th quarter game-winning drives, so confidence was feeling pretty high.

What we didn’t know at the time is the ghost of John Madden desperately tried to get his revenge for the Immaculate Reception by influencing an improbable outcome from beyond the grave.

Back in the day (as I again show my age), when a team was dependent on the outcome of a Monday Night Football game to make the playoffs, the crew of ABC would put a camera in a players home and show the live reactions of those players, as was done in 1989 with Dwayne Woodruff, as the outcome of the Minnesota Vikings vs. Cincinnati Bengals determined the Steelers playoff hopes.  In that game, a late Wade Wilson TD sealed a 29-21 Vikings win and the celebration ensued.

In this special edition, will relive the experience for everyone and even give unique insights on how the Steeler Nation Staff rode the gambit of emotions from incredible celebration to near meltdown via a one-time only look into our GroupMe chat discussion.


The Game

3:46 pm: Roethlisberger shows his Hall of Fame mettle as he overcome two false start penalties to complete 7/8 passes for 54 yards, capping off his 41st career 4th quarter comeback by connecting on a 6-yard TD pass to Chase Claypool to put the Steelers up 13-10 with only 2:58 to go in the game.  Steeler Nation celebrates as the playoffs are a distinct reality.  The defense just needs to step up one more time.


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3:56 pmTyler Huntley either runs or passes on 6 consecutive plays, including a killer gashing for 21 yards, to move the ball to the Pittsburgh 28-yard line.  He is finally stopped for no gain by Cam Heyward and T.J. Watt (wonder if the Baltimore score keeper would have credited Ray Lewis as a TFL on the play), but regardless Justin Tucker comes out to nail a 46-yard FG to tie the game.  Overtime looms.


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4:07 pmSteeler Nation Senior Writer, Matt Papiernik is pleading for Roethlisberger to call tails: “Ben.  Tails never fails should know this.”  But Ben calls heads and the Ravens get the ball. Although Ahkello Witherspoon nearly has a chance to end it with a pick-6 with a terrific pass defensed, the defense nonetheless rises to the occasion and Baltimore is forced to punt.

4:18 pm:  Rookie Najee Harris shows why he was the Steelers #1 pick with a one-handed grab for an 11-yard gain to kick off a 14-play drive to position the Steelers to win the game.


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4:31 pmChris Boswell kicks a 36-yard FG to complete the OT win and Big Ben’s 53rd game-winning drive.  Steeler Nation starts to celebrate as the only thing that can keep the Steelers out is an unlikely tie between the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers.

4:36 pm: Despite the warning from Steeler Nation staffer Mike Stiffer: “It’s gonna be a long night boys,” the celebration prematurely starts.

4:44 pmPodcast Director, G Stryker lights up a victory pipe.

5:07 pmMarcus Allen posts an Instagram live video showing Mike Tomlin dancing and celebrating the win.

5:10 pm:  I get a pair of text messages from a pair of well-meaning friends (a Dallas Cowboys fan and San Francisco 49ers fan) congratulating me on the Steelers making the playoffs, though one still drops an ominous extra line a tie might happen as “it nearly happened twice on the day”I dismiss it as unlikely and continue to celebrate!



Post Game and Raiders vs. Chargers

For the next several hours, the biggest debates by the Steeler Nation staff are over whether T.J. Watt should get credit for the extra sack that would have given him sole ownership of the single-season sack record, the returning health of Dan Moore Jr. and Kevin Dotson and even Stephon Tuitt (thank you, Sean McGeown), and whether or not the struggling Pressley Harvin III should be the punter on Sunday vs. the Kansas City Chiefs.

8:25 pm:  The Chargers kickoff to the Raiders, who promptly score on two of their first three possessions and take a 10-0 lead.

8:51 pm:  Steeler Nation Writer, Ben Michaelian confidently boasts the Steelers are: “2.5 hours away from the playoffs“.  To be fair, no one argues!

10:23 pm:  The Chargers recklessly attempt a 4th and 1 from their own 18-yard line, Austin Ekeler is stuffed for a loss of two and the Raiders have prime field position, though all they can do is manage a FG.  Steeler Nation Writer, Zach Harbaugh declares: “Going for it on your own 18 is a dumb move.

10:41 pm:  The Raiders are threatening as Matt Papiernik is calling for: “Raider TD.  Go for 2 and don’t get it.”  I entirely agree and it works out precisely that way when Derek Carr gets the TD to Hunter Renfrow but misses the 2-point conversion to Renfrow on the next play.  The Raiders take a 26-14 lead that would seemingly be highly improbably to end in a tie.

10:01 pm: The feelings expound when Raiders DB Casey Hayward intercepts a Justin Herbert pass.  We all begin to feel pretty good, until Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson splits the uprights on a 52-yard FG. Steelers Nation Writer, Parker Abate provides a smiling emoji when he correctly stated “The tie is back in play” as if the football gods directly wanted to contradict and taunt the thoughts behind his article: Football Gods on Ben’s Side: Give him one last ride after wild Sunday.

11:12 pm.  I’m about ready to turn the TV, get into bed and dream of Roethlisberger guiding us to a 7th Super Bowl ring, when the referees ruled a Mike Williams catch short of a first down on 4th and 6.  The call is challenged and overturned.

11:19 pm: After a Maxx Crosby sack positions the Chargers into a 4th and 21, I’m feeling confident that we’re secure as the Raiders possess a 29-14 lead with 4:35 left in the game.  Instead of getting much needed rest,  Justin Herbert connects with Josh Palmer for a 23-yard TD, immediately followed by a 2-point conversion to Austin Eckler and the Chargers are only down a single TD with plenty of time remaining. While Matt Papiernik ponders “How do you allow a TD on 4th and 21?” On my part, all I can say isFudge” (only I didn’t say “Fudge”) and “Excuse me while I go throw up.”

11:28 pm: As Steeler Nation Writer, Sean McGeown remarks “Chris Collinsworth is slobbering for a tie, he is so infuriating,” he gets plenty of agreement as the former Cincinnati Bengals WR who still has a deep seeded jealousy of the Steelers is painfully obvious that he is pulling for the improbable outcome.

11:48 pm:  The Chargers would overcome an NFL record six consecutive 4th down conversions and officially tie the game 29-29 with five seconds left.  The Steeler Nation staff doesn’t know whether to cry or wind their watch:



OT and the Trolls are warming up the Meme Generator:

The game goes into OT and the both the Raiders and Chargers score FGs to tie the game at 32-32.  You just know that John Madden is trying to pull the strings with that particular number.  You also know the meme generator is getting warmed up by the Trolls.  Everything from the Lord of the Rings Boromir saying “One does not simply end a game in a tie” to Father’s Day gift ties that feature a split of Raiders and Chargers logos are being thought of.  Al Davis is altering his famous motto of “Just win baby” to “Just tie baby” and Darth Vader will have a new iconic saying of “I am your TIE-FIGHTER.”



12:15 am:  Chargers head coach Brandon Staley inexplicably calls a time out when the game clock is just ticking away and the Raiders are seemingly in no hurry, running the ball and the remaining time off the clock at midfield.  The Raiders, who openly admitted to considering playing for the tie, came out with a fierce 10-yard run by Josh Jacobs, then called timeout with 2 seconds left.  Steelers fans were finally relieved to see Carlson convert the 47-yard FG and continue the improbable season and perhaps, the most wild Sunday ride ever.

  • Sean McGeown:  “Holy f**king s**t.
  • Justin McGonigle Wow.  No way Ben wasn’t watching.  His career is on the line.”
  • Zachary Harbaugh: “Buying a Daniel Carlson jersey”
  • Brandon Wallace“Why did the Chargers call TO?”
  • Parker Abate“My guess is maybe to say to the Raiders there is only 38 seconds left, just sit on the ball.”


Personally, I think Chuck Noll and Dan Rooney got Madden’s revenge attempt overruled!


What were your thoughts?  Share a comment below:


PMP; CSM; CSPO and host of the PMI-TB Agile Podcast. A lifelong Steelers fan, I had the chance of a lifetime when I was able to celebrate Super Bowl XLIII with the team. I love talking everything Steelers from the old days to the new and look forward to working with the team to grow this platform to be the premier Steelers site.

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