Ben Roethlisberger pulls a Dan Marino, faking a spike then throwing go-ahead TD
Pittsburgh native Dan Marino must be honored.
Taking a page from the Hall of Famer's playbook, Ben Roethlisberger, with his Steelers down 29-24 with less than one minute remaining and the ball inside the red zone, used a fake spike to lull the Dallas Cowboys into a defensive sleep then, as the defense stood around without any pass rushers or linebackers moving, Antonio Brown started a go route, past Leon McFadden, who realized what was happening a split-second too late, and caught a lofted pass from Big Ben to take the lead in Sunday's wild inter-conference showdown.
Unfortunately for the Steelers, they scored too soon.
The Cowboys came back in the final seconds to win the game – it was the seventh lead change of the afternoon – rendering Roethlisberger's fake as a footnote to one of the best games of the NFL season.
Marino faked Aaron Glenn and the New York Jets in 1994, when, down three points, he yelled “clock, clock, clock” at the line of scrimmage and mimicked the spike but instead threw to an in-the-know Mark Ingram for the game-winning score. On that play, the Jets had a decent excuse. The trend of fake spikes (which we see once or twice a year) hadn't started yet, and it was reasonable to believe Marino might spike the ball.
With 46 seconds and a timeout left, Pittsburgh wouldn't have spiked the ball. The Steelers didn't need to and would never have wasted the down. Dallas got burned, but, by a stroke of good fortune, was able to put out the fire and win the game.