Steelers score three TDs in wild third quarter, hold 31-24 lead


An illegal batting call. A fake punt. Four touchdowns.

The third quarter of Sunday’s Steelers-Packers game had more action than some full contests have. And on the strength of three touchdownd in the period, the Steelers have a 31-24 fourth-quarter lead in snowy Green Bay.

Let’s start at the top. A Steelers fake punt set up Pittsburgh’s first TD of the quarter, a 13-yard Ben Roethlisberger TD run to give Pittsburgh a 17-14 edge. One play earlier, punter Mat McBriar connected with tight end David Paulson for 30 yards, and a Green Bay penalty added to the gain.

Later in the quarter, a bizarre sequence of events after a blocked field goal led to the Packers retaining possession of the ball and capitalizing with a two-yard Eddie Lacy TD run to retake a 21-17 lead.

It all began when Steelers nose tackle Steve McLendon blocked Mason Crosby’s 23-yard field goal attempt. Steelers safety Ryan Clark picked up the ball, then lateraled it backwards, where it ended up loose on the ground. Steelers defensive end Ziggy Hood batted the ball forward and out of bounds, which drew a penalty for illegal batting.

As a result, the Packers gained a first down, as the officiating crew ruled that the Steelers never possessed the ball after the block.

On the next play, Lacy scored from two yards out, giving the Packers the lead.

However, the Steelers responded strongly, putting together a six-play, 68-yard drive ending in a Matt Spaeth TD catch to go ahead 24-21 late in the third quarter.

Then, on the Packers’ next series, Cortez Allen intercepted a Matt Flynn pass and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown, giving Pittsburgh an 11-point lead. On the play, Flynn ran into tight end Andrew Quarless, which affected the throw.

The Packers would cut the lead to 31-24 on a 22-yard Mason Crosby field goal with 12:04 left in regulation.

21 responses to “Steelers score three TDs in wild third quarter, hold 31-24 lead

  1. Oh, my, 14 points in 18 seconds puts us 10 points behind. We need to carve out some yards and get a place for ourselves at the playoff table, we can’t allow this to happen. I like Mike McDonald’s wishbone, it’s big, let’s use it.

  2. Congratulations on barely beating the Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay Packers and their 22nd ranked PASS Defense.

  3. On the Steelers fake punt, their Guard was 20 yards down field by the time the punter threw the ball. No illegal man down field call. Its like the refs forget the rules during Steeler games.

  4. Another obviously botched call by the officiating crew. Technology is too good to continually to continually allow these egregious errors to go unchecked.

  5. Might have been one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen in my life. Basically giving the Packers 7 free points. The NFL will give an apology on Tuesday, which is a couple days too late.

  6. How is the determination of possession not a reviewable call? Ryan Clarks knee was down with the ball is his possession.

    Garbage call and garbage block on Tomlin’s attempt to review.

    Here – have 7 points…

  7. Could Tomlin have challenged down by contact there? Or would the refs not allow that challenge because they said no possesion?

  8. I wonder if the league will impose a 25K fine for hitting the defenseless punter? Probably not, because the league bases their fines on the ferocity of hits now a days. It it looks a like a vicious hit or the hit results in an injury, they double or triple the fine. Should be a standard fine, and then escalate for repeat offenders, and not based on the ferocity or injury during the penalty.

  9. Downgrading officials isn’t enough anymore. Officials need to be fined when they make egregious mistakes. You could see all of the officials discussing whether or not Pgh had posession after the block, and not one of them had a clue. What the hell are they all looking at? At least one official has to be watching the ball, and to miss a clear posession by Ryan Clark, and then a lateral is a inexcusable mistake by that officiating crew, and a simple downgrade means nothing. Goodell and the owners need to wake up and make theses officials year round employees who do nothing but review game tape and get everyone on the same page with these calls.

  10. The Steelers will get an apology, but not their draft pick back. Maybe Roger the Great should fine the officials $100k for incompetence like they did Tomlin? Choke. Choke.

  11. How do u pitch the ball without having possession of it? Didn’t know Chris Angel was on our team.

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