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Classic Matchup: Steelers-Bengals 2001


Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals October 7, 2001 Heinz Field Steelers 16, Bengals 7In the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, the NFL cancelled all games the following Sunday, which meant the opening of Heinz Field wouldn't take place until the Steelers hosted the Bengals.

With a backdrop of American flags waving during pregame and national pride at a peak, the Steelers knew that they had a job to do, and that was play without fear.

Jerome Bettis did just that. Bettis carried the ball 23 times for 153 yards, including a 48-yard run, and had amassed 103 yards by halftime.

"When you play the Steelers, you've got to stop him, and we didn't," said Bengals cornerback Tom Carter. "That was the best I've seen him play, and that goes back to when we were freshmen at Notre Dame."

It was a rather nondescript three-yard carry in the first quarter that provided the first great memory in Heinz Field history when Bettis eclipsed the 10,000 yard mark for his career, becoming the 14th player in NFL history to do so.

"What a milestone and what a guy," said Coach Bill Cowher. "He's a true team leader.  If there's anybody that deserves the accomplishment and has done it in a non-fanfare way – he's done it. He's been so dependable and so reliable."   **

Take a look at this matchup against the Bengals in 2001. The Steelers defeated the Bengals 16-7, and Jerome Bettis rushed for over 10,000 yards in his career.


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