Another ‘Killer B’: During his press conference this past Tuesday Coach Mike Tomlin said that the Steelers’ special teams had not been special as of late.
On Sunday night, it was special teams that played a key role in the Steelers 18-16 win over the Kansas City Chiefs that sent them to the AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots next Sunday.
Chris Boswell was definitely special as he set an NFL and Steelers postseason record with six field goals, accounting for all of the team’s points.
Boswell’s performance didn’t come as a surprise to Tomlin.
“He is the same guy every day regardless of circumstance,” said Tomlin. “He has been that since we acquired him. We are not surprised when he performs well.”
Boswell said he just went out there and did what he always does when he is called upon to kick, which includes not thinking too much about it.
“I just go out there and I can’t tell you what I think about,” said Boswell. “I am focused on Jordan (Berry) and I am focused on the ball. I don’t get too into thinking. You don’t want to think when you kick.
“I had to pick my targets, pick my shots, and hit the right ball. I was able to do that today.”
Record setter: Last week Le’Veon Bell set a Steelers’ postseason record against the Dolphins for most yards rushing in a single-game with 167. He broke his own record against the Chiefs when he rushed for 170 yards.
“I had no idea where I was at the time,” said Bell. “After the game when I heard I broke it, I thought it was crazy because last week I just set it.”
Bell gave credit to his offensive line for his performance, knowing that he couldn’t have done any of it without them.
“Those guys up front did a great job,” said Bell. “You have to give a lot of credit to the offensive line. The coaches put a lot of trust in me to run hard. The offensive line did a great job of opening holes. I always tell them let me get to the line of scrimmage and the rest will be history. Those guys did a perfect job.”
He isn’t the only one singing the praises of the line.
“They are playing in rhythm,” said Tomlin. “We are getting hats on hats. Le’Veon is doing an awesome job. They need no endorsement from me. They have been balling at a high level.”
Ben Roethlisberger also chimed in on their play.
“It’s the line,” said Roethlisberger. “Le’Veon is awesome. There is no doubt about it. But we are only as good as the group up front. You have to tip your hat to the guys up front.”
On hold: William Gay is accustomed to being held, but he said he isn’t used to it being called. But it was called on a key play that helped the Steelers advance to the AFC Championship Game.
After Spencer Ware scored on a one-yard touchdown, the Chiefs converted the two-point conversion for what would have tied that game at 18-18. But Eric Fisher was called for holding Harrison, and the second attempt failed.
“That is a holding call I get maybe once every blue moon,” said Harrison. “I don’t know how it’s not called more often.”
Ready to go: The Steelers will play the New England Patriots on Sunday, Jan. 22 at Gillette Stadium in the AFC Championship Game, and there is no doubt Steelers’ players are excited about the opportunity.
“It’s definitely genuine excitement,” said Ryan Shazier. “A lot of guys in the NFL that have played way more years than I have, they have never been to the divisional game or the AFC Championship Game. For us to be able to go there is going to be a fun match. We are ready to go. We are really excited.”
This will be the second time this season the two teams will meet, with the Steelers losing to the Patriots, 27-16, in Week 7 of the season.
“We played a good game against them the first time and ended up short,” said Shazier. “We are going to go in the film room and study hard and figure out what we need to figure out for when it’s time to play those guys. We have a big test ahead of us.”