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Live from Heinz Field -- Playoffs
January 11, 2009 - Buck Frank
Steelers just took a commanding 28-10 lead on a Gary Russell touchdown following an interference penalty on the Chargers.
It looks like Ravens-Steelers Part III will be staged next Sunday at Heinz Field (6:30 kickoff).
The Steelers came out in the third quarter, leading 14-10, and took over the game, holding the ball for all but one play. Ben Roethlisberger has thrown for one score, Willie Parker, who's closing in on 100 yards, ran in another, and Santonio Holmes got things started with a 67-yard punt return.
The defense has been well rested and is now teeing off on Philip Rivers.
Internet problems prevented me from updating this earlier. I was off line for two-and-half quarters. I'm back up but no longer wireless. Guessing the increased number of media knocked off a few of us. A Heinz Field technician helped me through the problems.
Half-hour before kickoff
The Steelers just went back into the locker room after pregame warm-ups. Jerome Bettis was on the sideline shaking hands.
The sun and snow are both gone, and now it's just plain cold.
The Eagles just made it three-for-three for the road teams. So far, the bye hasn't been nice. The Steelers should break that trend, though.
The officiating crew will be led by referee Bill Leavy.
1 hour before kickoff
It's official: LT won't play. The Chargers have listed LaDainian Tomlinson as inactive for the game. Darren Sproles will start in his place.
No surprises on the Steelers' inactive list. Probably the biggest name is safety Anthony Smith. Others are linemen Jason Capizzi and Tony Hills, defensive linemen Orpheus Roye and Scott Paxson, linebacker Bruce Davis and cornerback Fernando Bryant.
SUN is out.
Eagles in position to become third road team to win this weekend.
1 hour, 30 minutes before kickoff:
Light snow flurrires right now at the stadium. Not sticking to the Heinz Field turf.
Crowd is starting to filter in slowly. Styx will perform "Renegade' before the game, which should get the fans in playoff mode.
Press box is crowded. They've tried to shoehorn all the increased media into the same area they use during the regular season. At least I have a seat and can see the game, though.
No update yet on LaDainian Tomlinson.
Road teams have performed well so far in the divisional playoffs. That should at least have gotten the Steelers' attention.