Welcome to the first edition of the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Greatest Plays Bracket. In honor of March Madness, we at BTSC have decided to select, what we thought, the top 16 Steelers plays of all-time. Once we made the selections, we ranked them in order of importance.
Round 1 of the bracket is almost complete, and yesterday saw the No. 6 seeded Lynn Swann sideline catch in Super Bowl X trump the No. 11 seeded play of Jerome Bettis running over Brian Urlacher in the memorable snow game against the Chicago Bears in 2005.
The matchups continue as we weed through the plays worthy enough to move onto the elite 8, and today's matchup were two huge plays which paid major dividends in the same Super Bowl run of 2005. The No. 7 seeded Antwaan Randle El pass to Hines Ward in Super Bowl 40 will go up against the No. 10 seeded shoe string tackle by Ben Roethlisberger when Jerome Bettis fumbled against the Indianapolis Colts in the Divisional round of the AFC Playoffs.
Take a look and place your vote!
7. Antwaan Randle El's reverse touchdown pass to Hines Ward in Super Bowl 40
The Steelers needed a spark, and leave it to the former quarterback Antwaan Randle El to produce the spark. On an end around reverse toss pass, Randle El lofted a beauty of a pass to a wide open Hines Ward who took it into the end zone for the Steelers score. Ward, largely due to the two big catches he made in the game, was later named Super Bowl MVP, and this play will forever live in Steelers' lore as one of the main plays which finally captured Pittsburgh 'one for the thumb'.
10. Ben Roethliserger's shoe string tackle against the Indianapolis Colts in the 2005 AFC Divisional game
It was over. Tunch Ilkin was telling fans to pack their bags and book their travel plans to play the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship game. Joey Porter was yelling, "CHEAT THAT!" on the sidelines after the team was robbed of a Troy Polamalu interception. It was over. Here came Jerome Bettis on the field to seal the deal, and then the fumble occured. The moment when Steelers Nation's hearts stopped around the globe as the ball hit the turf and Nick Harper picked it up in stride and raced towards the end zone. Roethlisberger turns and runs with him and makes one incredible open field tackle.
Ben Roethlisberger never gets enough credit for the plays he has made in his career, but watch these plays closely and he had a large part in both. On the reverse pass to Ward in Super Bowl XL, it was Roethlisberger's block which kept the play clean, and obviously without the tackle the Steelers very well could have been watching the Colts play in Detroit rather than watching Jerome Bettis walk off into the sunset holding a Lombardi trophy.
Nonetheless, be sure to place your vote below as to which play moves on to Round 2, and which play is sent packing.
Wednesday we wrap up Round 1 of the Steelers All-Time Greatest Plays Bracket with Rockey Bleir's leaping touchdown in Super Bowl 13 vs. Lynn Swann's game clinching touchdown catch in Super Bowl 10.
We hope you continue to enjoy the Sweet 16 bracket - Steelers style.