Nov 8, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) gestures at the line of scrimmage against the Oakland Raiders during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Very few times are tackles by offensive players remembered. Typically, if an offensive player even has to make a tackle it’s because something has gone horribly wrong. Few tackles are as important to Steelers history as the tackle Ben Roethlisberger made on Colts cornerback Nick Harper in the 2005 AFC Divisional Round playoff game.
The Steelers entered the game against a heavily favored Indianapolis Colts as the sixth-seed in the playoffs that just happened to have won their Wild Card game the previous week. With a three point lead in the game Steelers linebacker Joey Porter sacked Colts quarterback Peyton Manning on fourth down at the Indianapolis 2-yard line.
With the ball and a three-point lead the Steelers looked to have the game locked up with just over a minute left to play. Unfortunately for the Steelers, the Colts had all three of their timeouts and the Steelers weren’t able to run the clock out by kneeling.
On first and goal Steelers running back Jerome Bettis, who hadn’t fumbled at all that entire season, went to his left with the ball and Colts linebackerGary Brackett
knocked the ball out with his helmet, popping it right out of Bettis’ arms.
Colt’s cornerback Nick Harper scooped the ball up and headed towards the end zone. With Harper running down the field Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger managed to stay ahead of him and grabbed ahold of his leg by diving backwards, making a shoestring tackle at the Colts’ 42-yard line.
The tackle proved to keep the Steelers’ Super Bowl hopes alive as the Colts eventually tried a potential game-tying 46-yard field goal by Mike Vanderjagt that went wide-right, sealing the Steelers 21-18 victory and sending them to Denver to beat the Broncos 34-17 in an upset the following week in the AFC Championship Game.
The Steelers then went on to defeat the Seattle Seahawks 21-10 to win Super Bowl XL, their first Super Bowl win in 26 years.
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