Steelers

Carter’s Classroom Classic: The day Roethlisberger upstaged Manning

Ben Roethlisberger's big day against Peyton Manning and the Colts in the playoffs was a classic - MATT SUNDAY DKPS

When the Steelers came to Indianapolis to face the Colts for a second time during the 2005-06 NFL season, many things were different coming into the AFC Divisional Round game.

For one, the Steelers weren't just getting Ben Roethlisberger back from injury as they were in the first game, and they were on a five-game win streak this time around. After the 26-7 drubbing they faced at the hands of the Colts earlier in the season, they knew something had to be different to win.

The Steelers had established their identity of running the ball to get on their win streak that put them in the playoffs, relying on a solid offensive line and the thunder-and-lightning package of Jerome Bettis and Willie Parker to take over games.

So when Joey Porter spoke to the media about how "soft" the Colts were, he set the tone for what the Colts thought they could expect from the Steelers' offense. A ground-and-pound game that their Tampa 2 defense could eat up easily with its aggressive style of play.

That allowed for the Steelers' offensive coordinator, Ken Whisenhunt, to come into the game with a less obvious plan of moving the ball down the field. What transpired was a first quarter that shook the NFL and put the heavy favorite Colts on alert for the entire game.

While many people looking back at that game remember the back-to-back sacks from Porter in the fourth quarter, Bettis' late fumble that was saved by Roethlisberger's amazing tackle, or Mike Vanderjagt missing his first field goal of the season to end the game, it was the the style of offense that built the big early lead.

Let's go back to the film room and see just they took over the first quarter:

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