Originally written on Bleed Black & Gold  |  Last updated 1/8/12

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 27: Ike Taylor #24 of the Pittsburgh Steelers sacks Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens on December 27, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh won the game 23-20. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Steelers have been bounced from the playoffs by the Denver Broncos.  The final score was 29-23 as the Broncos scored in overtime on an 80 yard pass from Tim Tebow to Demarius Thomas.  Thomas beat Taylor for the 5th time on the day.  Taylor did his best Neil O’Donnell impression today by handing the Broncos the game all by his lonesome.

The Steelers came out and got a 6-0 lead on the Broncos in the first quarter.  They played well but could not punch it in the end zone.  They also stuffed Tebow and the Broncos on their first two drives.  They only gave up 8 yards in the first quarter.  It looked as if the Steelers were going to dominate the game.

Then everything changed when quarter 2 came around.  Casey Hampton and Brett Keisel went down with injuries and the defense took a hit.  The Broncos came out and went after Taylor with the Deep Ball.  On the way to their first score Demarius Thomas beat Taylor for a 51 yard gain.  The Broncos finished the drive with a pass to Eddie Royal over William Gay for the score.  The Broncos came out on the next drive and did much of the same.  They went over Taylor’s head again for another 58 yards.  They then scored on a Tebow run to the right.

The teams went into the half with the Broncos up 20-6.  The Steelers came out in the second half and were about to stop the Broncos when Ike Taylor committed a penalty for holding and gave the ball back to the Broncos.  The Broncos ended up punting but instead of getting the ball around mid field the Steelers were stuck at their own 12.  The Steelers drove all the way down the field on the back of Issac Redman.  They scored on a Mike Wallace end around from one yard out.  The Steelers were picking up momentum.

That was taken away almost immediately as Tebow went after Taylor again.  This time for a 32 yard pass interference penalty giving the Broncos the ball inside Steelers territory again.  That lead to a Denver field goal putting the Broncos back up 10.  The Steelers kicked a field goal on their next possession. They were back within a touchdown.  Denver went right back at Taylor twice on the next drive.  Taylor was saved by Ryan Mundy forcing his 2nd fumble of the game and getting the Steelers the ball back.

The Steelers went down and got the game tying touchdown on a rope from Ben Roethlisberger to Jerricho Cotchery.  That was how regulation ended.  The score tied 23-23.  The Broncos got the ball to start overtime.  On their first play Tebow went right back to Thomas.  He beat Taylor across the middle and took the ball 80 yards to end the Steelers season.  All in all Taylor gave up 204 yards to Thomas and 37 yards in penalties.  It was the worst game I have ever seen Taylor play.

On to the off season.

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