I hate to boil a game down to one play or one player. Obviously, a number of plays could have turned the tide the Steeler’s way in the heavy weight slugfest between Dallas and Pittsburgh Sunday; but it was Mike Wallace’s thinking that a play was over when Ben Roethlisberger was picked off in overtime that truly cost the Steeler’s a win. It was this play that decided the outcome.
Yes, Roethlisberger’s interception was bad, but they could still have bounced back from it. If Wallace had transitioned from offense to defense and simply placed a hand on his defender while he was on the ground after his diving interception, the play would have been over and Dallas would have still needed to advance the ball 20-yards to be within field goal range.
Instead, Wallace stopped playing. He literally just stood there and watched Brandon Carr get up and start running toward the end zone.
“Those are the plays you dream about in the backyard, making the game-winning interception or touchdown,” Carr said.
Carr’s interception was a great read on one of the best in the league. No one can fault Roethlisberger for his read or Wallace for his route. Carr simply made a great play on the ball. But after the interception, Wallace’s inability to finish the play was inexcusable. This single play allowed Carr to run the ball down to the Pittsburgh goal line and eventually lead to the game winning field goal by Dan Bailey just 1:24 into overtime.
Roethlisberger wouldn’t come down on Wallace after the game stating, “There won’t be any quit from us, especially from me. This one is going to sting real bad. It will hopefully make me and make us better.”
This rightfully drops the Steelers to 7-7 and lifts Dallas to 8-6 on the year. Steeler have struggled with a hobbled Roethlisberger most of the season and this play clearly indicates how not on the same page this squad of players remains.
Photo Credit: Getty