Steelers Slosh to 3-0 Victory Over Dolphins
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
PITTSBURGH, Nov. 26 -- A terrible field and dreadful weather caused the Dolphins and Steelers to rewind to a different NFL era, a time when points came at a premium and one field goal could decide a game.
They trudged through the quagmire of Heinz Field, nearly going all night without scoring. Nearly.
Jeff Reed's 24-yard field goal with 17 seconds left Monday night gave Pittsburgh a 3-0 victory over winless Miami, the first time in 64 years an NFL game went that long without any points.
It was the league's lowest-scoring game since Dec. 11, 1993, when the New York Jets beat Washington, 3-0. The Detroit Lions and New York Giants played the NFL's last scoreless tie on Nov. 11, 1943.
"Those conditions, whew, they were horrendous," Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward said after daylong rain and new sod created awful playing conditions. "The footing was bad, all of a sudden you'd hit a water puddle and sink down. Some of the defensive backs were scared about falling down and giving up a big play."
Hanging with the first-place Steelers (8-3) for 59 1/2 minutes, Miami (0-11) almost pushed this mess to overtime, where Pittsburgh is 0-2 this season, but the Dolphins managed only 159 yards while going nowhere nearly all night.
"That's what I was afraid of, overtime," Steelers linebacker Larry Foote said. "You just knew it was going to be a 3-0 game, a 6-0 game."
The only scoring drive started on the Dolphins 42 after Miami punted out of its end zone. Ben Roethlisberger drove the Steelers into field goal range with completions of 21, 11 and 6 yards to Ward.
Reed, who had missed badly from 45 yards earlier on the rain-drenched field, came through after Roethlisberger was sacked on third down.
"You put new sod in and weather like this, it's not a good combination," Reed said. "I planted [on his first field goal try] and the whole sod moved over."
Miami's start is the worst for any team since the Lions began 0-12 in 2001. They finished 2-14.
NFL games have been played in downpours and blizzards, and the aftermath of a hurricane -- the Steelers-Dolphins game in Miami in September 2004, won by Pittsburgh 13-3 -- but this was a first: a lightning and heavy rain delay in a late November game in Pittsburgh.