Steelers lose classic in OT

ATLANTA -- The Steelers and Atlanta Falcons played the NFL's last tie, a 2002 classic, and Sunday the two teams met for the first time since and played another classic. This time the Falcons won in overtime, 41-38.

Morten Andersen booted a 32-yard field goal seven minutes into overtime for the game-winner. It knocked the Pittsburgh Steelers to 2-4, their worst start since 2003, when they finished 6-10.

The Steelers got five touchdown passes out of Ben Roethlisberger and Charlie Batch, but they couldn't stop Michael Vick with the game on the line. Vick threw a career-high four touchdown passes and was responsible for key third-and-long conversions late in the game.

Roethlisberger took a blow to the head in the second half and watched the rest of the game from the sideline as a precaution, but Batch threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward and a 17-yard touchdown pass to Ward to tie the game with 3:19 remaining.

Ward caught eight passes for 171 yards, and his long touchdown run was made without a shoe on one foot. But his homecoming didn't have a happy ending.

The Falcons had the only possession in overtime and Vick's third-and-nine scramble for a first down, followed by a 26-yard pass to tight end Alge Crumpler, set up the game-winning kick by the 46-year-old Andersen.

Andersen had missed a 52-yarder in overtime. He entered the game for Michael Koenan after Steelers Coach Bill Cowher burned his team's last timeout in an attempt to freeze Koenan.

Koenan's 56-yarder with 35 seconds left was canceled because of a late timeout by Cowher. His second attempt from 56 yards missed, but Troy Polamalu was called for running into the kicker after the kicker fell over Polamalu, who was prone on the field.

After the Falcons' second miss, the Steelers gained possession at their own 42 with 30 seconds remaining, but without any timeouts were forced, after a 25-yard completion to Ward, to race to the line and spike the ball with eight seconds remaining. However, Nate Washington, who was lined up as a flanker and moved -- and re-set -- before the snap, was flagged for illegal procedure and the time was run off the clock.

The Steelers blew a 17-7 lead by losing three fumbles and being caught unaware on a Falcons onside kick.


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