Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was active against the San Francisco 49ers despite being limited in practice this week with a sprained left ankle. Roethlisberger wore a custom-made ankle brace that stretched up his calf while warming up before Monday night’s game at San Francisco.
The game was delayed for approximately 20 minutes because of a pre-game power outage at Candlestick Park that took place about 25 minutes before the scheduled kickoff of Monday Night Football.
The stadium lights went out again in the second quarter with 12:13 to play and the 49ers holding a 6-0 lead. That delay lasted approximately 16 minutes before play resumed with the Steelers having possession of the ball.
The 49ers rode their top-ranked run defense once again to beat ailing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-3 on Monday night.
Roethlisberger ended the night completing 25 of 44 passes for 330 yards, but the determining factor was his 3 interceptions and a fumble. One of those interceptions was a give me near the end of the game on a despiration throw. It was evident that Ben was off of his game because of his mobility. He couldn’t plant his left foot on his throws and was over throwing most of the night.
Lamarr Woodley left the game as he re-aggrivated his hamstring. Mewelde Moore also left the game in the 4th quarter with what looked like a knee injury. It looks like it is time to start resting for the playoffs and heal up some injuries.
Injuries played a big part in the game as the Steelers offense was clearly off of their game, and without Harrison and Woodley the defense could not rush the passer in a manner in which they were accustomed.
I was tweeting with Mike Pereira (Former Vice President of Officiating in the National Football League) during the game. According to Mike, there were a couple of bad calls made by the referees. The first bad call was during a Steeler punt. The receiver fumbled the ball and the Steelers recovered with what would have been good field position. The referee threw the flag and said that the Steeler interfered with the receivers ability to make the catch.
Mike tweeted “Tough play but I don’t think that is a foul. SF 30 initiated the block and that should take the foul off. Not a good call in my mind.”
The second bad call was when Akers kicked a field goal that would have put San Francisco up 13-3. Timmons was flagged for Leaping, and San Francisco was given a first down and subsequently scored a touchdown.
“Leaping is running forward from off the line and landing on a teammate or opponent. He landed mostly on his feet. Not a good call in my book.” Mike Tweeted.
Regardless of those bad calls, the 49ers came to play. They were looking for respect and they earned it on Monday night.
Vernon Davis caught a 1-yard touchdown pass for the 49ers (11-3) one play after setting himself up with a 21-yard reception from Alex Smith, Frank Gore ran for a 5-yard score and David Akers kicked field goals of 22 and 38 yards to overtake Hall of Famer Jerry Rice for San Francisco’s single-season scoring record.
“I think we showed the world we can play the game of football on a national stage,” Davis said. “At the end of the day that’s what it’s all about: respect.”
San Francisco, with a team of 21 first round players (11 in the first 10 picks and 10 in the first 11 picks) showed that they can play with the NFL’s Elite. The defence is every bit as good as the hype and they are as good as anyone in the league. Look forward to seeing them deep in the playoffs. The win puts San Francisco one step closer to the #2 seed in the NFC and raises their record to 11-3. The Steelers (10-4) missed a key chance to take sole possession of first place in the AFC North and gain the AFC’s No. 1 playoff seed.
Game Notes: With his field goal in the second quarter, Akers became the single-season scoring leader in franchise history with 141 points, surpassing Jerry Rice’s mark of 138 points. … Linebacker Aldon Smith set a team rookie record with 2.5 sacks on the evening, giving him 13 for the year. The 49’ers have also extended their record to 14 games without allowing a touchdown.