Beating the clock to win late

They've done it at home and on the road, in the regular season and the postseason, and with Mick Vick, Landry Jones and Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback.

And they've done it enough times to believe there's always enough time to salvage a game late in a game.

"The common denominator is just the culture here, understanding how to win," guard Ramon Foster insisted. "In (training) camp, it's one of those things we do a lot, the two-minute drill. And when you have a guy like Ben that's been in that situation before you know he knows how to get it done.

"I think it's the culture of the team that we have here and the understanding that you're never out of a game until it says zero on the clock, that's imbedded in us."

The Steelers will have that going for them on Sunday in Denver, a belief that was reinforced once again by their drive for the game-winning field goal in the waning moments last Saturday night in Cincinnati.

The last possession was set up by linebacker Ryan Shazier's force fumble and cornerback Stephon Tuitt's recovery with 1:23 left in regulation.

But the Steelers regained possession at their 9-yard line, which meant they had a long way to go and a short time to get there.

"You won't believe it but you ask any guy in here, there was no thought of us losing that game," Foster said. "When (Roethlisberger) came out there and we saw that he was in there I don't think anybody thought we were going to lose that game."

The Steelers' 18-16 victory over Cincinnati was their fourth this season that had been secured by scoring the game-winning points when trailing or tied in the fourth quarter.

And that's the type of track record that can resonate in the most difficult of situations.

For example:

Oct. 12, at San Diego: Vick directed a 12-play, 80-yard drive in the game's final 2:56 and the Steelers won on a last-play, 1-yard TD run by running back Le'Veon Bell, 24-20.

Nov. 8, Oakland: The Raiders rallied from 35-21 down to tie the game at 35-35 in the fourth quarter. The Steelers' response was a seven-play, 79-yard march in 1:13 that was led by Jones, who had come after Roethlisberger had been injured, and won the game on Chris Boswell's 18-yard field goal with two seconds left in regulation, 38-35.

Dec. 20, Denver: The Steelers battled back from a 27-10 deficit to tie the game at 27-27, then took the lead for good on three-play, 37-yard drive in 56 seconds that culminated with a 23-yard pass from Roethlisberger to wide receiver Antonio Brown with 3:24 left in the fourth quarter. It wasn't a last-minute score but it held up as decisive in a 34-27 victory.

The playoff win in Cincinnati was Roethlisberger's fourth in which he'd led a fourth-quarter drive to win when the Steelers had been tied or trailing.

That's happened 34 times in regular-season games.

"We're comfortable operating in a no-huddle-type setting," tight end Ben Roethlisberger said. "We run so much of it during the course of a game, two-minute (offense) not a whole lot different. The tempo picks up, certain special situations might change but we're still communicating at the line of scrimmage. I think we're comfortable doing that. We have the whole playbook because we're used to operating in a no-huddle fashion. I'm sure that helps us out."

Amid such circumstances, the Steelers prefer not to ponder the consequences.

"I try not to step back and think about those situations, 'If we don't make something happen here we're going home?' I try not to think about that," Miller said. "Just focus on the plays that are called, 'OK, we have to move it here, get in field goal range and give our kicker a chance.'"

For the Steelers, the amount of time remaining with which to save a game isn't as significant as the opportunity to do so.

"I think we're a group that fights to the end, until it's all the way over with," wide receiver Markus Wheaton said. "We still have a chance until the clock hits zero, so we're going to fight until it does.

"We just look at it as 'we have time.' There was still some time on the clock so we just ran with it (in Cincinnati). We were excited about the little time that we did have to try to make something happen, and it did."

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