Chris Boswell 24, Cincinnati Bengals 20

Okay, I exaggerate.  The kicker for the Pittsburgh Steeelers did not score every single point in their statement victory over the Cincinnati Bengals yesterday.

And he didn’t score every point in a game that extended the Bengals’ streak of not winning a playoff game in nearly a decade – by eliminating the Bungles from the playoffs this year.

No, but Chris Boswell – a second-year kicker from Rice University – was responsible for six successful field goals.  Six of ’em.  Boswell hit from 45 yards in the first quarter, then two 49-yard FG’s in the second, added a 40 and another 49 yarder in the third, then tapped in a 30-yard shot – 18 points by field goal.  That’s the most field goals hit by a Steelers kicker in a single game since 1988, when Gary Anderson popped six FG’s through the uprights in a win over Denver.

And when Pittsburgh’s quarterback threaded the needle to a touchdown pass to Eli Rogers, boom the Steelers were in the lead, thanks to those six field goals by Chris Boswell.

But Boswell didn’t just help the Steelers with his kicking foot.   He also helped on defense.

Yes.  A kicker helped on defense.  So all of you who think kickers aren’t football players, listen up.

There’s five minutes left in the second quarter, and the Cincinnati Fumbles are up 17-3 and are receiving the kickoff.  Boswell boots it to Alex Erickson, who finds a lane and is running through Steelers defenders like he’s Jean-Claude Killy on the slalom.  All he’s got to beat is the kicker and it’s another six points for Cincinnati.

At the last second, Boswell gets his hand on Erickson’s right foot, and Erickson goes down like ski jumper Binko Vogataj on the Wide World of Sports intro.  Boswell prevents a kick-six.

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And one of Boswell’s successful field goals – came thanks to some boneheaded moves by Cincinnati’s resident bonehead, Vontaze Burfict.

Ah, yes.  Vontaze Burfict, the fonebone who seems to make it his life mission to cheap-shot any Pittsburgh Steeler he can get his meathooks on.  Example.  Pittsburgh’s quarterback does an end-reverse to Sammie Coates, who helps Pittsburgh get a first down.  While that’s going on, Burfict gets a hold of the quarterback and slams him to the ground.  Unnecessary roughness.  Surprisingly, Burfict didn’t do what he normally does and try to stomp his cleats into the Steeler player, or dive into him to create another concussion.   But what Perfect Burfict did do was give Pittsburgh another 15 yards – and allow Boswell to hit another field goal.  Thanks, Vontaze.  Oh, and now that the Dingles are out of the playoffs, I’m sure you can do what Cincinnati does every year in January… find an open golf course. 😀

So yeah, maybe it wasn’t the greatest Pittsburgh Steelers win.  Maybe it was bowling-shoe ugly.  But it’s a win.  A win that all but mathematically secures the Steelers a playoff berth.  And with a healthy quarterback, along with a speedy Le’Veon Bell, a scintillating Antonio Brown, and this week’s scoring machine Chris Boswell… that seventh Steelers Super Bowl championship is looking more and more likely.

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