TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -James Harrison didn't win the Defensive Player of the Year award by making plays like this. He's a sacker and a run-stuffer, not a long-distance runner.
Didn't matter. Harrison went the distance on a 100-yard interception return - one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl and Steelers history - to swing the NFL title game on Sunday night when it appeared the Arizona Cardinals were ready to take the halftime lead.
On a first-and-goal play from the Steelers 2 with 18 seconds left in the half, Warner threw a short pass over the middle intended for Anquan Boldin, who had made two catches for 11 yards on the previous two plays.
Harrison, the Steelers' right outside linebacker, read the play perfectly and cut in front of Boldin to make the interception at the goal line and take off up the Arizona sideline. The All-Pro linebacker was slowed twice on either side of the 50, with Warner himself trying and missing to make the tackle, before being hauled down by a face-mask tackle - but not before thrusting the ball across the goal line.
e if Harrison got the ball across the line and the call was upheld, allowing the Steelers to seize a 17-7 lead when it appeared the Cardinals, once down 10-0, might take a 14-10 halftime lead. The replay was important because no time was left and Pittsburgh couldn't have run a play from scrimmage.
What a matchup: the Defensive Player of the Year met the NFL Man of the Year - Warner was announced as the winner minutes before kickoff - and, this time, Harrison came out the winner.
Not only that, Harrison's return brought a bit of excitement to what otherwise had been something of a drab Super Bowl, and was the second such memorable play in as many Super Bowls, this year's version of David Tyree's against-his-helmet catch for the Giants last year.
It was fitting that Harrison had such a lengthy return. Cut four times by NFL teams, three by the Steelers, he mulled a career as a long-distance trucker or bus driver before the Steelers brought him back in 2004 and he stayed. He became a starter only last season and made the Pro Bowl team and, this season, his 16 sacks won him the AP Defensive Player of the Year award.
Harrison had only three previous interception returns in his career. A 33-yarder this season was his longest.
me's 85-yard TD throw to Muhsin Muhammad for Carolina against New England five years ago Sunday.
The Steelers' Willie Parker had a 75-yard touchdown against Seattle, the longest run in Super Bowl history.

Recent NFL Discussions

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Jets Season Win Total Prediction Both sides can stop reaching for their holsters and start retreating from the saloon. After a months-long standoff, the Jets and Ryan...
Thumbnail Eagles 2016 Win Total Prediction After finishing 7-9 last season, will the new-look Philadelphia Eagles improve upon that record in 2016?
Thumbnail Redskins 2016 Win Total Pick   After being the surprise winner of the NFC East in 2015, can the Washington Redskins find a way to have another big season in...
Thumbnail Bills Season Win Total Prediction Rex Ryan blew into Orchard Park last January with his patented bravado dialed up to 11, but all the swagger in the world couldn’t mask another disappointing...
Thumbnail Chicago Bears Win Total Picks The Chicago Bears find themselves in a competitive NFC North Division. Can they navigate the waters in 2016 to have a winning...
More inNFL Articles  

NFL Team Pages