Steelers’ record: 10-4
One year ago: 10-4
Series record (including playoffs): 49ers lead, 11-9
Because of what happened on Sunday, culminating with the Chargers defeating the Ravens in San Diego, this Monday night game took on an even higher meaning for the Steelers. Because the Ravens and Texans both have four losses, the Steelers went into the contest vs. the 49ers with a clear path to the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. Take care of business to get to 13-3, and as a result win any potential tiebreaker with 13-3 New England because of that victory over the Patriots on Oct. 30. That was what the Steelers had set up in front of them as they arrived at Candlestick Park.
Maybe not so much a turning point as it was an omen, the total power outage that struck Candlestick Park about 15 minutes before the scheduled kickoff upset the entire rhythm of the start of the game. The teams were kept in the locker room, and then had to come out and warm-up all over again. By the time the teams got back onto the field and national anthem was sung, the start of the game was delayed by 20 minutes.
STAT THAT STANDS OUT
Through three quarters, the Steelers had more total yards than the 49ers and also had converted 60 percent of their third downs. But they still trailed, 13-3, at the time because of turnovers.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
* After their first takeaway, the 49ers drove 69 yards in 17 plays but had to settle for a field goal after moving to a first-and-goal at the Steelers 2-yard line. Frank Gore was dumped for a loss by
* Ryan Clark covered a lot of ground and timed his hit perfectly to knock the ball out of Vernon Davis’ hands for what would have been about a 20-yard gain late in the second quarter.
WHAT WENT WRONG
* A transformer outside Candlestick Park blew and cast the entire stadium in total darkness about 10-15 minutes before the scheduled kickoff. The official delay was listed at 20 minutes.
* The 49ers defense came into the weekend leading the league in takeaways, and they added to their total on the Steelers first possession. After putting together a couple of first downs, the Steelers had moved to the 49ers 19-yard line when a
* Two possessions, two turnovers by the Steelers, both coming on interceptions by Roethlisberger. On this second one, with all day to throw, Roethlisberger tried to force the ball to
* On a third-and-7 from the Steelers 30-yard line, Alex Smith threw a short pass to Vernon Davis, and when
* The Steelers began their final possession of the first half at their own 5-yard line, and a 24-yard reception by
* Even when the Steelers did something good with one of their units, another would make a mistake to cancel it out. For example, after the defense forced a three-and-out on the opening possession of the second half, Andy Lee punted from the 49ers 12-yard line. Not only did Lee get off a 62-yard punt, but
THE WEEK THAT WAS, INJURY VERSION
When the Steelers began preparing in earnest for this game against the 49ers, there was uncertainty about the playing status of several of their key players.
Ben Roethlisberger and
Pouncey and Sanders never got on the practice field and were declared out, but Polamalu was able to practice by Saturday and he started at safety. Roethlisberger “worked tirelessly” to get ready to play, according to Coach Mike Tomlin, and he was able to show enough by Saturday to start against the 49ers.