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Defense stepped up big this day

Posted Sep 13, 2017

A look back at a memorable win over the Vikings in 2009.

Steelers 27, Minnesota Vikings 17
October 25, 2009
Heinz Field

There are games when the offense carries a team, and there are games when it’s the defense that does. On this day, a day that had Ben Roethlisberger facing Hall of Famer Brett Favre, it was the defense that carried the Steelers to victory.

The Minnesota Vikings came in to Heinz Field with a 6-0 record, looking to keep their streak going. But the defense would have no parts of it.

Heading into the fourth quarter the Steelers held a slim 13-10 lead. But the fireworks were about to start.

Favre drove the Vikings to the eight-yard line, where he was sacked by Brett Keisel, forcing a fumble. LaMarr Woodley recovered and took off running 77 yards for a touchdown and a 20-10 lead.

“I saw the ball come out and I saw it laying on the ground,” said Woodley. “My thought process was fall on it, or pick it up. I decided to pick it up. I was taking a chance. But then, when you pick it up, you might as well get what you can get and make something out of it. I made a touchdown out of it.”

Before Woodley and everyone else had a chance to catch their breath, the fireworks ensued. On the next play Percy Harvin took the kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown, bringing the Vikings right back in it at 20-17.

After the Vikings held off the Steelers’ offense, it was up to the defense again. Favre did what he does, driving his team to the 19-yard line. With a big play needed, the defense came through again. Keyaron Fox, playing for Lawrence Timmons who left the game with an ankle injury, picked off Favre and returned it 82 yards for the touchdown and 27-17 lead.

The Vikings had one last gasp, but James Harrison sacked Favre on the final play of the game to seal the win.

Offensively the numbers weren’t pretty, but the defense did what they needed to get the win.

“We’re pretty fortunate to win that football game to say the least,” said Coach Mike Tomlin. “When you look at the stat sheet and you look at some of the things that happened in that game, usually you don’t win those. They pounded a couple in on us but we stayed in the fight, guys didn’t blink and to their credit, we were able to win the game. When you put a couple of splash plays defensively, you put 14 points on the board defensively you can overcome a lot of errors. We were far from a perfect team, but we won.”

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Listen to the original radio broadcast of this game. Steelers Time Machine debuts on SNR each Wednesday. Click here for more information.