1995 Steelers 49 at Bengals 31
mcmillenandwife
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#1
05-27-2017, 08:51 PM

1995 Steelers 49 at Bengals 31

One of the greatest comebacks in franchise history! This is definitely one of my favorite "90s-era" games. The Bungles had already embarrassed the Steelers 27-9 a few weeks earlier before a stunned Three Rivers crowd, dropping Pittsburgh to 3-4 and threatening to end the team's playoff hopes just midway through the season. This time, the Bengals jump out to a 21-3 advantage just one series into the 2nd quarter, and still hold a 31-13 lead early in the 3rd after they march down the field for a TD on their opening drive of the 2nd half. Already counting his chickens, Dave Shula is absolutely tickled pink on the sideline, so much so that he actually taunts Pittsburgh players. His euphoria evaporates rather quickly over the next quarter and a half, however, as he watches his coaching career go down the tubes (you can almost hear the giant flushing sound at Riverfront Stadium), the victim of 36 unanswered points by Pittsburgh. O'Donnell throws for a career-high 377 yards and 3 TDs and Morris rushes for 101 yards and three scores. Pittsburgh scores 5 straight TDs while the defense allows Cinci only one 1st down on its final four possessions. There are many memorable moments in this pivotal game, but the image that will stay with me till the day I die is that of Kordell "Slash" Stewart's electrifying 71-yard TD grab. On 3rd and long, O'Donnell finds a wide-open Stewart over the middle about 20 yards downfield. Slash somehow knifes between two DBs, then turns on the afterburners, completing the play with a 360 degree pirouette as he slips out of the grasp of a defender en route to the end zone. Stewart's play gives the Steelers their first lead of the game, solidifies Kordell's superstar status as "Slash" and ostensibly ends David Shula's coaching career. Gotta love it! 
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#2
05-31-2017, 12:49 AM

I remember this game like it was yesterday. Kordell should of stayed in the "Slash" role. I think he had a chance at a Hall of Fame career if he did. he was sure exciting to see on the field. He was able to do it all.
Like I posted in another before, the 90's made watching Steelers football fun again.

Sal
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#3
05-31-2017, 06:30 PM

I noticed Kimo VonOlhofan in the game film on the sidelines. I wonder at the time if Bengal fans blamed Dave Shula for this loss
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Crash
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#4
06-01-2017, 05:13 AM

Kordell at WR was ridiculous. No one could cover him. I imagine that's how Terrelle Pryor would be now if he had a good QB throwing him the football. We should have signed him as a TE and not Ladarius Green.

That game may also be the ONLY time we saw Levon Kirkland lose his cool with that cheap hit on Blake.

OD should have never left. If the Steelers would have signed him prior to 1995? IMO they win the AFC again in 1996 or (perhaps both) 1997 with OD at quarterback and those two "best seasons" of Bettis' career here. Jerome had some decent seasons after but he didn't start having problems with his weight until 1999, but in 1996 and 1997 he was as close to Earl Campbell as it gets.
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mcmillenandwife
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#5
06-01-2017, 07:21 AM

(06-01-2017, 05:13 AM)Crash Wrote: Kordell at WR was ridiculous.  No one could cover him.  I imagine that's how Terrelle Pryor would be now if he had a good QB throwing him the football.  We should have signed him as a TE and not Ladarius Green.  

That game may also be the ONLY time we saw Levon Kirkland lose his cool with that cheap hit on Blake.  

OD should have never left.  If the Steelers would have signed him prior to 1995? IMO they win the AFC again in 1996 or (perhaps both) 1997 with OD at quarterback and those two "best seasons" of Bettis' career here.   Jerome had some decent seasons after but he didn't start having problems with his weight until 1999, but in 1996 and 1997 he was as close to Earl Campbell as it gets.

Kneel O'Dollar would've provided stability in '96 and a better shot at the Super Bowl than Mike Tomczak, no question about it. That said, Kordell was PRODUCTIVE in '97. He threw for more TDs (21 vs. O'Dollar's career high of 17) plus RAN for 11 more TDs. 32 TDs!!! That is strong production from a young QB. 

Frankly, I was glad to see O'Donnell go because I never believed he was legit. No imagination, no heart, no creativity as a player. Too risk averse, played too safe, wasn't a "big play" player (except in Super Bowl XXX... for DALLAS).  Sick  And all that speaking in the third person O'Dollar did in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl made me f'n SICK. Thinking more about free agency than winning the damn game.

The sad thing is, Kordell never grew from there. He never got better. Chan Gailey left for Dallas and '97 ended up being by far the most productive season of Stewart's career. I think the story might've been different had Gailey stayed.
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#6
06-01-2017, 09:45 AM

Kordell also couldn't stop throwing picks. Led the AFC in picks in 1997 and was the worst rated first half QB in the NFL that season.

That 1997 team was two missed field goals by two of the worst teams in the league, and a fluke INT from Kevin Henry from 7-9 due to some of the holes Kordell dug for that team with his erratic play.

Kordell never got better for two reasons, 1. He didn't work hard enough, and 2. Because he never took responsibility for his bad play he never felt #1 was a problem.

Even now, he STILL doesn't take any responsibility for how his career ended up. He blames everyone but himself. He called the entire NFL racist, he called Pittsburgh racist. Then he the balls to ask the Steelers to let him "retire" as a Steeler? And what's worse is they let him. I would have told him, in true Pittsburgh form, to go shit in his hat.

OD had heart, he played the entire 1993 season with tendinitis in his elbow and took some ferocious beatings in 1994 also, Cowher actually spared him that two weeks in 1994 to heal because Neil insisted he could play.

What's ironic about Neal leaving was that 7 years later Dan Rooney tried to personally get him back in 2004 after Maddox blew out his elbow.

If it wasn't for his hometown Jets making that offer IMO he would have stayed. He also went there partly because his father died in 1994 and wanted to be closer to his mother and his siblings. Can't fault him for that.
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mcmillenandwife
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#7
06-01-2017, 11:31 AM

(06-01-2017, 09:45 AM)Crash Wrote: Kordell also couldn't stop throwing picks.  Led the AFC in picks in 1997 and was the worst rated first half QB in the NFL that season.  
Kordell was a 3rd year player, 2nd year QB, first year starter. Throwing a few picks is part of that equation. He threw 10 more picks than O'Donnell... and scored 15 more TDs. Risk, reward. I'll take it. Stewart was exciting, dynamic and effective in 1997.




(06-01-2017, 09:45 AM)Crash Wrote: That 1997 team was two missed field goals by two of the worst teams in the league, and a fluke INT from Kevin Henry from 7-9 due to some of the holes Kordell dug for that team with his erratic play.  
Just about every team has some wins (and some losses) that are fluky. One time, there was this play called "The Immaculate Reception" and...  Pi_wink1



(06-01-2017, 09:45 AM)Crash Wrote: Kordell never got better for two reasons, 1. He didn't work hard enough, and 2. Because he never took responsibility for his bad play he never felt #1 was a problem.  


Yes, I agree and actually discussed this previously in another thread. IMO, poor work ethic was the main reason he didn't progress. 



(06-01-2017, 09:45 AM)Crash Wrote: OD had heart, he played the entire 1993 season with tendinitis in his elbow and took some ferocious beatings in 1994 also, Cowher actually spared him that two weeks in 1994 to heal because Neil insisted he could play.  


I disagree. In fact, I think there have been few Steeler quarterbacks with less heart than O'Donnell.  Heart is what keeps plays alive when the pocket breaks down. I've rarely seen a QB as quick to duck & cover in a fetal ball than Neil O'Donnell. 




(06-01-2017, 09:45 AM)Crash Wrote: If it wasn't for his hometown Jets making that offer IMO he would have stayed.  He also went there partly because his father died in 1994 and wanted to be closer to his mother and his siblings.  Can't fault him for that.


M'eh. O'Dollar was following the money wherever it led him IMO. There was nothing altruistic about it. Unless you're prepared to tell me mom and siblings following him to Cinci just two seasons later?  Pi_wink1
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#8
06-01-2017, 01:16 PM

He was cut by the Jets because they hired Parcells and he wanted his own guy, that guy was Glenn Foley.  LOL

The way Parcells sabotaged OD in the last game of their season with a playoff berth on the line is probably where Haley got the crazy idea for his red zone idiocy (Haley was on the Jets staff).  

OD drove the Jets to the red zone?  Parcells put Ray Lucas in who threw a pick.  

OD drives them to the red zone again?  Parcells had Leon Johnson throw a HB pass on first and goal from the 9, picked.  

Season over, no playoffs.   He sabotaged an entire team's postseason berth in a three point loss because he didn't want the QB who was there before him.  

IMO Bill Parcells is the most overrated blowhard coach in history.  Best thing Bob Kraft ever did for his team was show him the door.
(This post was last modified: 06-01-2017, 03:21 PM by Crash.)
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mcmillenandwife
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#9
06-01-2017, 03:51 PM

(06-01-2017, 01:16 PM)Crash Wrote: He was cut by the Jets because they hired Parcells and he wanted his own guy, that guy was Glenn Foley.  LOL

The way Parcells sabotaged OD in the last game of their season with a playoff berth on the line is probably where Haley got the crazy idea for his red zone idiocy (Haley was on the Jets staff).  

OD drove the Jets to the red zone?  Parcells put Ray Lucas in who threw a pick.  

OD drives them to the red zone again?  Parcells had Leon Johnson throw a HB pass on first and goal from the 9, picked.  

Season over, no playoffs.   He sabotaged an entire team's postseason berth in a three point loss because he didn't want the QB who was there before him.  

IMO Bill Parcells is the most overrated blowhard coach in history.  Best thing Bob Kraft ever did for his team was show him the door.


So you're telling me Parcells intentionally "sabotaged" a playoff berth just to get rid of overpaid, under-performing Neil O'Donnell? When all he had to do was point to his production (or lack thereof) and say, "This guy isn't getting it done, I want someone else?"

Um... no.  Laugh  My recollection of this game was VERY different, so I just popped it in and "speed-watched" it. 

O'Donnell started that game pretty well, hitting 8 of 10 in the first quarter and getting the Jets a 10-0 lead. But from there, he was awful. Gutless. Multiple sacks, countless dink and dunk passes for small gains or just as frequently losses as he, in typical Neil O'Donnell fashion, wilted under pressure and suffered back-to-back sacks at one point. Keyshawn Johnson was even more embarrassing and certainly wasn't helping his QB. 

For the record, O'Donnell didn't drive them into the red zone on the first drive; Ray Lucas did. On his first 5 touches, Lucas picked up 5 first downs. He was the only real spark in the Jets' offense. O'Donnell was running for his life and had done nothing on but 3 & outs on 3 straight drives and the only first down the Jets picked up in their last 4 drives was on a Lucas run. Parcells justifiably had little faith in O'Donnell, so he tried to get a spark. So Lucas came in and smoothly drove deep into Lions territory, and after a penalty set them back, threw a bad pass as young QBs often do. It was a bitter pill, but it led to no points for the Lions an the Jets soon had the ball back. 

On the second pick, I agree, it was a terrible call and an even more terrible decision by the RB to throw the ball. Even worse was the officiating, however, because the DB was well out of bounds before he had control. That said, I'd say both of these red zone calls were born of Neil O'Donnell's ineffectiveness in the red zone throughout the season. Parcell's was trying for TDs instead of FGs. He failed, but he clearly liked his chances with people other than Neil O'Donnell in those situations. 

And let's not forget, O'Donnell got the ball back with 3:21 remaining. The game was right there for a QB with kahunas to go win. Instead, Neil took another huge SACK and the Jets had to punt. AGAIN. Sanders burst free for a 53-yard run, got his 2000 yards and it was over. 

So while I agree with you that Parcells was an overrated blowhard, he didn't need to "sabotage" O'Donnell; O'Donnell did it himself.  Sick
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#10
06-01-2017, 05:56 PM

Quote:So you're telling me Parcells intentionally "sabotaged" a playoff berth just to get rid of overpaid, under-performing Neil O'Donnell?

The proof was in the play-calling. He also didn't talk to O'Donnell the final 6 weeks of the season. He also didn't include his starting QB in strategy meetings. His teammates were dumbfounded, they'd never seen a QB have to endure that.

But that's what Parcells does. He played his mind games on players everywhere he's been. When a coach gets in physical altercations with numerous players (LT and Jim Burt)? He's not playing with a full deck.

First nine games before he got hurt OD threw 13 TD passes and only 3 picks. I'll take that any day from my starter.

Foley? LOL He crapped out and was out of the league two years later.
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#11
06-01-2017, 07:41 PM

(06-01-2017, 05:56 PM)Crash Wrote:
Quote:So you're telling me Parcells intentionally "sabotaged" a playoff berth just to get rid of overpaid, under-performing Neil O'Donnell?

The proof was in the play-calling.  He also didn't talk to O'Donnell the final 6 weeks of the season.  He also didn't include his starting QB in strategy meetings.  His teammates were dumbfounded, they'd never seen a QB have to endure that.  

But that's what Parcells does.  He played his mind games on players everywhere he's been.  When a coach gets in physical altercations with numerous players (LT and Jim Burt)?  He's not playing with a full deck.    

First nine games before he got hurt OD threw 13 TD passes and only 3 picks.  I'll take that any day from my starter.

Foley? LOL  He crapped out and was out of the league two years later.


Obviously, Parcells quickly identified O'Donnell as an overpaid stiff. Crash, I don't understand why you keep bringing up Foley? Vinny Intercepteverde is the guy Parcells brought in after O'Dollar, and flippin' Vinny threw 29 TDs, made the Pro Bowl and took them all the way to the AFC Championship game. Vinny flippin' Testeverde, man!  Scared Scared Scared Vinny led them to a 12-2 record before sitting out the final two regular season games. 

Vinny outperformed O'Donnell by every measure, which further solidified my opinion that O'Donnell always WAS a stiff and will always BE a stiff.  Vinnie ruptured his achilles in the season opener the following year and that was that.
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#12
06-02-2017, 03:52 AM

Foley started the season as the Jets starter and their co-offensive Captain. He got hurt, Vinny started, he came back, played like ass, and THEN Vinny took over for good.
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#13
06-02-2017, 04:30 AM

(06-02-2017, 03:52 AM)Crash Wrote: Foley started the season as the Jets starter and their co-offensive Captain.  He got hurt, Vinny started, he came back, played like ass, and THEN Vinny took over for good.

That's right, because Foley was the guy in the Garrison Hearst OT game in San Fran, wasn't he? Pretty crazy... that ended up being the best year of Vinny's career, by far. 

Now if you're asking me, I would've taken O'Donnell over Vinny. But it's still a matter of mediocre QB "A" vs. mediocre QB "B." And the reality is, Kordell turned out to be mediocre QB "C".  Embarassed

But DAYYYUMMM, was it fun when Kordell was Slash!   Dance
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#14
06-02-2017, 04:43 AM

What's ironic is when Tampa offered OD that offer sheet? Many in the Steelers organization wanted to let Neil go, and replace him, with Testaverde! It was Bill Cowher himself, who pleaded with the Rooney's to match that contract.
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#15
06-07-2017, 02:48 PM

Despite their record, this may have been the least terrible Bengals team between 1991-2002.

They lost a lot of close games that year. (This game was actually their most lopsided margin of defeat in 1995).

(I know they were 8-8 in 1996, but that team had some uglier defeats by comparison)

Played some good teams tough (Beat PIT's eventual AFC-CG foe Indy in OT, barely lost to a playoff team in Miami, beat decent Oakland/Chicago teams)
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