It's a sad fact that such a great game on both sides came down to the subjectivity of an official. But, we can't completely overlook the fact that while the Titans had their chances to put the Steelers away early, the Steelers had their chance in the last 2 minutes to win the game.
Tommy Maddox, who had been so brilliant a week before in the final moments, wasn't nearly as sharp. He short-hopped a wide-open Terance Mathis, forced a ball to Hines Ward, and threw behind Atwaan Randle-El. It's even more jaw-dropping because Maddox's line gave him such incredible protection all game.
The receivers, who had been so clutch, dropped big passes - Ward's above-mentioned attempt and Plaxico Burress, on a crossing pattern, that would have gone for a touchdown.
Key penalties took their toll. The above penalty to Washington, Chris Fuamatu-Mafala's illegal block during ARE's return, and Jeff Hartings' holding penalty to take the Steelers out of field goal range.
Embarrassing. What may be the worst moments came at the very end. Bill Cowher, the head and leader of the team, stormed over to the officials. He was complaining of various things, but one was the time-out not granted to his team before Nedney's game-winning field goal. Then, Cowher proceeded to run directly, or shall I say sprint, directly to the locker room. He never attempted to shake hands with Jeff Fisher.
We'll have to wait another year for our run to the title. Cowher will have to wait another year to shake a coach's hand. His emotions got the better of him. It's human. It's a mistake. But, he should have shaken Fisher's hand.
Sad, disappointing, and embarrassing.
--The Steel Apple