On Jan. 15, 2006, the sixth-seeded Steelers led the top-seeded and heavily favored Colts 21-18 with 1:20 left in an AFC divisional playoff game. Pittsburgh had the ball first-and-goal at the Colts' 2-yard line and naturally turned to Jerome Bettis, the bruising veteran running back who hadn't fumbled all season. Bettis took the handoff and followed fullback Dan Kreider toward the end zone. Then, the unthinkable happened: Colts linebacker Gary Brackett speared the ball out of Bettis' arms, and cornerback Nick Harper scooped up the ball and headed off to the races. The only Steelers player with a chance to stop him was quarterback Ben Roethlisberger ...

Written and reported by: JEFFRI CHADIHA


Ben Roethlisberger's tackle of Nick Harper didn't just save a game.

It ultimately saved a championship.

Photo by Steve C. Mitchell