It was a rainy day along much of the East Coast, fitting weather as the Patriots’ defense threatened to rain on the Steelers‘ hopes of a road win. Big Ben’s second pass from scrimmage was intercepted and quickly converted into a Patriots touchdown. The next possession was a 3-and-out. The game had ugly potential before it started. That potential was quickly realized.
Characteristically, the Pittsburgh defense would force punts on the following three series before the Patriots broke through for a field goal and a 10-3 lead. Next, the Steelers‘ offense put together their most productive drive of the day and tied the score on a 19 yard pass to Santonio Holmes. Before the half New England tried to answer but missed on a 44 yard field goal attempt.
It wasn’t pretty but the Steelers made it to halftime tied at ten.
New England received the kickoff to start the third quarter. After gaining one first down their drive fizzled and Chris Hanson executed what would be the only punt of the second half. An ugly first half for both teams was about to turn into a hideous nightmare for the Patriots.
The following Steelers’ drive was methodical while picking up two third downs and consuming almost seven minutes of clock. It ended 79 yards later with a 25 yard field goal.
(Cue the scary Patriots-slaying music.) The next five New England drives would end fumble, fumble, interception, interception, regulation. Interspersed were Harrison sacks and forced fumbles, Woodley and Farrior fumble recoveries, Polamalu’s NFL leading sixth interception and an 89 yard interception return to the 1 millimeter line by Lawrence Timmons.
When the clock struck 00:00 the scoreboard read 33-10, Visitor. It was a beautiful sight on an ugly day. A few thousand Steelers fans remained to see it – the front runner Patriots fans having long since fled the beat down at Lady Gillette stadium.