Sunday, December 20, 2009
Wrap-up: Steelers 37, Packers 36
By James Walker
Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin owes rookie Mike Wallace a special Christmas gift. The Steelers' rookie saved his boss from a lot of scrutiny with an amazing touchdown reception with no time remaining to seal a 37-36 victory over the Green Bay Packers.
Tomlin made one of the most curious coaching decisions of the 2009 season late in the fourth quarter.
After taking a two-point lead with less than four minutes remaining in the game, Tomlin called for an onside kick. It only went nine yards and Green Bay got possession at the Steelers' 39. Green Bay scored a touchdown less than two minutes later to take a six-point lead.
But Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who threw for a team-record 503 yards and three touchdowns, led a masterful two-minute drive against a tough Packers defense. It ended on the final play when Roethlisberger connected by throwing the football on the back shoulder of Wallace, who also had the savvy to tap his two feet in bounds.
The win ended a five-game losing streak for Pittsburgh (7-7), which remains in the hunt for the postseason. The Steelers have an AFC North showdown next week against the Baltimore Ravens (8-6) in a game that will have huge playoff implications.