THE FIRST IN A SERIES OF STORIES OFFERING SUGGESTIONS TO STEELERS FANS ABOUT TAKING ADVANTAGE OF FREE NFL GAME PASS.
The NFL will be offering complimentary access to NFL Game Pass to provide fans the opportunity to relive games and moments from seasons past.
NFL Game Pass offers an extensive library of football programming for fans, including access to regular season and postseason games; to previous years of NFL Films' series such as Hard Knocks and A Football Life; and exclusive NFL Game Pass Film Sessions with some of the league's star players and coaches.
To sign up for the complimentary access to NFL Game Pass, fans need to create an account on the web at NFL.com/GamePass, or via the NFL app across mobile and connected TV devices.
Today's suggestions for viewing past games are from the Steelers' 2009 and 2010 seasons:
SEPT. 9, 2009: STEELERS 13, TITANS 10, OT
The NFL opened its season on a Thursday night at Heinz Field, and this game was less than aesthetically pleasing. The teams combined for five turnovers and a 29.6 conversion percentage on third downs, but there were some examples of individual brilliance. Especially from Troy Polamalu. Later this summer, Polamalu will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and plays like the one he made in this game to intercept a Kerry Collins pass helped pave his path to Canton. Polamalu finished with six tackles, two passes defensed, and that memorable interception.
OCT. 4, 2009: STEELERS 38, CHARGERS 28
If you like offense, this is a game for you. The Steelers evened their record on the season at 2-2 with an offensive explosion that included 32 first downs, 497 total net yards of offense, 8-of-12 (75 percent) on third downs; and 40:20 in time of possession in a victory that showcased the Steelers' arsenal of weapons. Ben Roethlisberger put together a day that allowed him to finish with a 128.9 passer rating, while Rashard Mendenhall rushed for 165 yards and scored two touchdowns. Hines Ward finished with over 100 yards receiving, and Heath Miller caught two touchdown passes.
NOV. 9, 2009: STEELERS 28, BRONCOS 10
The defending Super Bowl Champions finished the first half of the regular season on a five-game winning streak by administering a physical pounding to the Broncos at Mile High Stadium. The Steelers came off their bye clicking on all cylinders, and ended up with advantages in first downs: 21-12; rushing yards: 173-27; and third-down conversions: 7-of-12 (58.3 percent)-to-5-of-14 (35.7 percent). Mendenhall led the rushing attack with 155 yards, and Roethlisberger threw three touchdown passes and finished with a 116.0 passer rating. On defense Tyrone Carter had a pick-six, and Brett Keisel finished with two sacks.
DEC. 20, 2009: STEELERS 37, PACKERS 36
The Steelers snapped a five-game losing streak with a victory in this shootout that brought out the best in two of the league's premier quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers passed for 383 yards, with three touchdowns, no interceptions, and a rating of 101.3 to go along with a 14-yard rushing touchdown; but Ben Roethlisberger was better because he passed for 503 yards, with three touchdowns, no interceptions, and a rating of 121.9. Ward finished with 126 receiving yards, and Miller finished with 118. Make sure to stick around for the game's final play and then try to decide whether it was Roethlisberger's throw or Mike Wallace's catch that was more spectacular.
SEPT. 19, 2010: STEELERS 19, TITANS 11
With Ben Roethlisberger serving a four-game suspension, the Steelers traveled to Nashville and pounded the want-to right out of the Titans with a physically dominating performance by their defense. With little offense to speak of – only seven first downs and 127 total net yards – the Steelers still dominated by taking the ball away seven times and limiting Tennessee's respected rushing offense to 46 yards on 22 attempts. James Harrison finished with two sacks, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery, and the opening kickoff announced the presence of a Steelers rookie who had come to the team as a sixth-round pick.
OCT. 17: STEELERS 28, BROWNS 10
This marked Roethlisberger's first game back from suspension, but instead it always will be remembered for the debut of the NFL's player safety initiative. Hits that were legal just the week before suddenly became things for which players would be fined and suspended by the NFL office even though the on-field officials still were not flagging them as penalties. The Steelers defense finished with six sacks and three takeaways, and even though the team was penalized only four times for 25 yards during the game, Roger Goodell would lay the hammer down on the Tuesday after the Steelers raised their record to 4-1.
DEC. 5, 2010: STEELERS 13, RAVENS 10
It was another bar brawl between these teams, and the Steelers' victory in Baltimore allowed them to take over the AFC North Division lead. The teams combined for 12 punts, and the Steelers were staring at a 10-3 deficit at the start of the fourth quarter. But when they absolutely, positively had to have someone step up and make a play, there were a couple of guys who answered the call. And one of them will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame later this year.
JAN. 15, 2011: AFC DIVISIONAL ROUND
STEELERS 31, RAVENS 24
That December victory in Baltimore helped the Steelers win the division title on tiebreakers, which gave them the right to host this game. In one way, it came down to the two quarterbacks, and while Joe Flacco completed 16-of-30 (53.3 percent) for 125 yards, with one touchdown, one interceptions, five sacks, a lost fumble, and a rating of 61.1, Ben Roethlisberger completed 19-of-32 (59.4 percent) for two touchdowns, no interceptions, and a rating of 101.8. The Steelers trailed, 21-7, at halftime, but in the fourth quarter the football world witnessed the blossoming of a dynamic quarterback-receiver pairing.
JAN. 23, 2011: AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
STEELERS 24, N.Y. JETS 19
The Steelers avenged a regular season loss to the Jets, and it initially appeared that it would be a decisive victory. The Steelers scored all of their points in the first half, including an exciting defensive touchdown by Will Gay, but the Jets battled back to make it a close game entering the final minutes of the fourth quarter. But just when Jets Coach Rex Ryan thought he had Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin figured out, he learned the hard way that he didn't.
NEXT: The 2011 and 2012 seasons