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Live from Heinz Field
November 9, 2008 - Buck Frank
Third quarter report:
We're all tied at 17 with the Steelers near midfield entering the fourth quarter. The Colts had a time-consuming drive to begin the third quarter and tied the game with an field goal. The Steelers haven't done much offensively in a while, but they need to get a score soon. They don't want to risk having Adam Vinatierri on the field with the game on the line.
Still waiting on that Nate Washington deep pass ...
The Steelers hold a 17-14 lead at halftime, although it seems as though they should be up by two touchdowns. Two big plays have kept the Colts in the game -- a 65-yard touchdown reception by Reggie Wayne on a pass that went through Ike Taylor's hands and an interception by Keiwan Ratliff off a Ben Roethlisberger pass late in the first half. The latter, along with a questionable defensive holding call on Deshea Townsend, set up a Peyton Manning-to-Dallas Clark with nine seconds left in the first half.
Otherwise, the Steelers have controlled the game. Manning is just 9-of-23 throwing the ball, and Joseph Addai has just 30 yards rushing.
We're waiting on the deep pass to Nate Washington. That could break the game open in the second half.
First quarter report:
OK, the Steelers actually scored again real early in the second quarter to take a 14-7 lead. A flea-flicker from Ben Roethlisberger to Hines Ward set up Mewelde Moore's second touchdown of the game.
The Steelers have been able to keep the Colts in check offensively, except for a pass that went through Ike Taylor's hands to Reggie Wayne for a 65-yard touchdown. Aaron Smith broke through late in the first quarter and sacked Peyton Manning. If the Steelers can continue to put that kind of pressure on Manning, they should stay in control of the game.
The Steelers have been picking on Colts cornerback Tim Jennings with good success.
Approximately 45 minutes before kickoff.
It's a cold day in Pittsburgh and will get even colder in the next few hours.
The kickers are out on the field warming up. New punter Paul Ernster is holding for Jeff Reed field goals. Of course, Jared Retkovsky, with one game under his belt, is the long snapper, so two-thirds of the Steelers' field-goal unit is new.
It appears as though Ben Roethlisberger will indeed start today as he is not listed on the Steelers' lineup changes sheet. He's now down on the field doing some short tosses with Byron Leftwich, and Big Ben appears to be affected somewhat by his shoulder injury.
The big news is that outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley (calf) will not dress. Woodley had said he was 50-50 and a game-time decision. Lawrence Timmons will replace him in the starting lineup, which will be interesting to see how effective he will be from the left side.
As expected tight end Heath Miller (ankle), running back Willie Parker (shoulder), tackle Marvel Smith (back) and cornerback Bryant McFadden (arm) will not play. ESPN is reporting that Parker has a torn labrum that will require offseason surgery. If he plays again this year, ESPN says he'll need to wear a shoulder harness.
The Colts' biggest injury today is at left cornerback, where Kelvin Hayden will be replaced by Keiwan Ratliff. The Colts' other starting corner, Marlin Jackson, is on injured reserve.