Steelers wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery summed up the play that came within inches of saving the Steelers' season well:
"It was almost one of the greatest plays the game has seen," Cotchery said, as quoted by Scott Brown of ESPN. "We just came up short. That's kind of how it's been, you know? We keep coming up short."
Antonio Brown racked up yards in what could turn into a new Steelers' single-season receiving record, but his foot just grazed over the left sideline at the 12-yard line.
A touchdown would have created a legend. Music City Miracle-like legends. Dare we even say, "Immaculate" legends?
But the Steelers came up short. So did quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who put the team on his burly shoulders and churned his heavily padded body from the back of the pocket to one yard shy of the first down marker on fourth down. Two drops on the drive may have factored into Roethlisberger's decision to try to take it upon himself - the way he had done on a 3rd-and-16 in the AFC Championship game in 2010 against the New York Jets.
He just came up short.
It was a team effort, too. Six Steelers touched the ball - Roethlisberger completed a pass to Emmanuel Sanders, who eventually flipped it to Cotchery. He, in turn gave it to Le'Veon Bell, who threw it to (gasp) Marcus Gilbert. Perhaps that's when the word "miraculous" began to surface. Gilbert managed to look fairly athletic, flipping it back to Roethlisberger who got it to Brown on the flank, rugby-style.
As elusive as any player in the league, Brown dived, ducked, dipped, dodged and dived his way down the sideline, and nearly made it - his foot was shown to have grazed the outside edge of the sideline stripe, somewhat ironically on the field just barely more than Mike Tomlin was last week against Baltimore.
He was out of bounds. He was close to glory. Even closer than the Steelers have been this season.
More from Behind the Steel Curtain:
- Dolphins vs. Steelers Postgame News and Updates
- Monday Takeaways: Steelers lose to Dolphins in Week 14
- Dolphins vs. Steelers final score: Miami all but ends Pittsburgh's season in 34-28 win
- Winners and Losers from Steelers Week 14 loss to Miami
- NFL draft order: Steelers set to select 10th after Week 14 loss
- You stay classy, Adrian Peterson, Ravens fans