America's game of the week lived up to the hype this week as it was probably one of the most entertaining football games I've watched all season. The Cowboys were riding a 7 game winning streak and the Steelers needed a win to bring them back to life after getting off to a 4-4 start. One thing was for certain, both these teams played with a sense of urgency, and an extreme desire to win, that's why this game was such a gift from the football heavens. Well, that and the fact that these two offenses are filled with play makers, and both defenses lack talent at each level.
Pittsburgh's offense didn't take long to get things going, they scored on their first drive of the game, after forcing a fumble, and recovering it deep in Dallas territory. It was LeVeon Bell's first TD of the season, don't ask me how that's possible with all the touches he gets, but at least he finally broke into the end zone early in this one with a receiving touchdown. The Steelers would march down the field again, they would score another touchdown, and it looked like it was about to be a long day for Dallas. Pittsburgh was up 12-3 at this point in the game, they failed to convert two 2PT conversions, and Dallas was able to put together a nice little drive that came up just short resulting in a field goal. Dallas would answer the Pittsburgh long touchdown drive, with a quick touchdown drive, it was a screen pass caught behind the line of scrimmage by Ezekiel Elliot, he put on the after burners, made everyone look like they were running through molasses, and he got into the endzone on a 83 yard receiving touchdown to bring the score to 12-10. A field goal from each side occurred before the end of the first half and it was 15-13 going into the lockeroom, at this point their were only two lead changes and it looked like the Steelers could be in cruise control at this point if it weren't for an 83 yard screenplay, but that's why you don't let up the big plays because it gets teams right back in games.
The second half was madness, it would include 5 lead changes alone, and a stunning finish to a glorious battle at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh opened the second half with a field goal to extend their lead to 18-13, Dallas would come right back though scoring 10 unanswered points to make the score 23-18, giving us our 3rd lead change of the game. Dak made an impressive throw that was an absolute dime to Dez Bryant that went for a 50 yard score, guess Dak and Dez will get along just fine after all if they can keep that big play connection up. The fourth quarter rolled around, Dallas was up 5, and they just had a 3 and out to kick off their first drive of the fourth quarter. Pittsburgh went 46 yards in 6 plays to score a touchdown on a 1 yard LeVeon Bell run as the Steelers took a 24-23 lead, failing once again to score on the 2PT conversion. Dallas, more importantly Dak was able to keep his composure on the road, he's down late on the road, in a hostile environment, and he elevates his game to the next level. Now that's something you just don't see out of a guy making his 9th start in the league. The Cowboys went on one of their patented 10 play 75 yard drives that lasted what feels like an eternity, realistically 6 minutes, but anyways Zeke capped the drive with his 2nd touchdown of the game giving Dallas a 29-24 lead with only 1:55 on the clock. Pittsburgh wasn't going to roll over and be handed their 5th loss of the season without Big Ben having something to say about it. Big Ben completed 4 passes in a row to get down to the Dallas 15 with about a minute to play. Ben rushed everyone to the line to spike the ball to kill the clock so they could get a better play call since they were now in the red zone, at least that's what he wanted everyone to think, Ben faked the spike, and Antonio Brown playing heads up football breaks free from his defender, and is open in the endzone for the touchdown as the Steelers take back the lead with just 42 seconds to play. Steelers were now up 30-29 after they failed to convert on the 2PT try once again, you'd think a team that does so many 2PT conversions would actually be pretty good at it, but the Steelers were 0-4 yesterday on the 2PT attempts. Dallas now had the ball at their own 25, 42 seconds on the clock, and they had all three of their timeouts. Now, Dallas only had to get a field goal to win, Dan Bailey being almost automatic didn't help the Steelers case, so prevent defense wasn't going to be the best idea in this situation. Dak completes three passes in a row after throwing an incompletion on his first attempt of the drive, this would get Dallas to about midfield, but Pittsburgh winds up getting a costly penalty, and 15 yards were tacked on putting Dallas on the Pittsburgh 32 yard line. At this point Dallas would try to pick up a couple yards and leave Dan Bailey with about a 45-47 yard field goal attempt, not a chip shot whatsoever, especially under the circumstances. Dallas wouldn't have to leave it to their kicker though, the Dallas offensive line parted the black and gold sea, and Ezekiel Elliot exploded through it with his incendiary speed as he goes untouched into the endzone on a 32 yard run to win the game. Pittsburgh got their hearts ripped out and Dallas continues to look like the team that will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
Honestly, I'll give Dallas all the props in the world, they came into a hostile Heinz field environment, fought through adversity finding a way to win a hard fought game. That's what good championship caliber teams do, they find ways to win games, and the fact they're as young as they are it's pretty incredible. A rookie QB and rookie RB are playing better than a lot of the veterans in this league, you can thank the amazing Dallas offensive line for making things a helluva lot easier for them, but they're still executing to near perfection. Ezekiel Elliot is showing us just why he was worth being drafted in the top 5, he's a complete back that does everything well, and he's actually the front runner for the MVP right now I'd say. There's a lot of football still to be played, Cowboys have some tough games coming up down the stretch, no more gimmes on the schedule, so we'll get to see what this team is really made of. Hopefully this was just a super mirage because if they continue to play the way they are, they Giants better hope they can hold onto that wildcard spot because there's no way were catching Dallas. Pittsburgh on the other hand is in some serious trouble, I don't know what's going on in Pittsburgh, but they re not a 4-5 team. Tomlin better figure this out or his seat is going to continue to get hotter, especially since the AFC North should've been a gimme this year with the Bengals and Ravens both being very average teams,