The two gunslingers had inflicted enough damage, and with enough precision, relentlessness and accuracy, that Mike Tomlin felt compelled to attempt an onside kick with his team leading and just 3:58 remaining in the fourth quarter.
In retrospect, Mike McCarthy should have contemplated the same moments later.
Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers outlasted Aaron Rodgers and the Packers back on Dec. 20, 2009, the day the two franchise quarterbacks squaring off for the first time transformed Heinz Field into the O.K. Corral. Roethlisberger got the last shot and Rodgers could only watch as wide receiver Mike Wallace hauled in Roethlisberger's final pass while somehow getting two feet down in the end zone as the scoreboard clock ticked down to triple zeroes.
The 19-yard touchdown reception, and kicker Jeff Reed's extra point, provided the winning margin in a 37-36 Steelers' victory.
The last-play, game-winning laser also pushed Roethlisberger's passing yards on the day to a franchise-record 503.
"We needed all 503," he noted afterward.
The win snapped a five-game losing streak, evened the Steelers' record at 7-7 and kept beating, temporarily, "a little pulse," as Tomlin characterized it, of hope they'd make the playoffs (they ultimately did not at 9-7).
The Packers saw their five-game winning streak come to a sudden, stunning end and fell to 9-5 on the way to 11-5 and an NFC Wild Card loss to Arizona.
The two teams would meet again approximately 14 months later in Dallas with a Vince Lombardi Trophy. at stake.
Rodgers won Super Bowl XLV
Roethlisberger won the Shootout.
The third and perhaps final meeting between the two scheduled for Sunday in Green Bay stands as a potential rubber match and, given the pedigree of the headliners and the storied histories of the two franchises, looms as perhaps as anticipated an inter-conference game as the NFL is capable of staging.