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Steelers Beat Oilers When Left Hook Misses : AFC: Moon is sidelined after taking one on the chin, then Del Greco hooks kick with six seconds left.

November 02, 1992|From Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — Al Del Greco's kick went wide left and things keep going right for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Del Greco missed a 39-yard field-goal attempt with six seconds left after Neil O'Donnell rallied the Steelers with two touchdown passes for a 21-20 victory Sunday over the Houston Oilers.

The Oilers not only lost the game but also quarterback Warren Moon, who sustained a concussion when he was clipped on the chin by Rod Woodson after throwing a nine-yard completion to Haywood Jeffires on the second play of the third quarter. Moon did not return.

"I'm sure (the Oilers are) going to say, 'What if, what if, what if?' " said linebacker Greg Lloyd, who recovered a fumble to set up Pittsburgh's go-ahead touchdown. "That's a tough loss for them, but a great win for us."

The Steelers (6-2), who rallied from a 14-0 deficit to win, 29-24, at Houston on Sept. 6, came from 13 points down this time to take sole possession of the AFC Central lead.

"We were down, 20-7, but we've been there before," Steeler Coach Bill Cowher said. "That was a great game, a classic and it was decided by inches."

The Oilers (5-3) took the lead by scoring two touchdowns in a span of 1:03 in the third quarter.

After O'Donnell put the Steelers back into the lead, Houston drove from its 14 to the Steeler 22 in the final three minutes, before Del Greco missed.

"I think I'm a good pressure kicker and I'm not going to change my mind after one kick," Del Greco said. "The way we lost will play with everyone's emotions."

The Steelers lead the division for the first time since Houston reserve quarterback Cody Carlson threw three touchdown passes to knock Pittsburgh out of the playoffs, 34-14, in the final game of the 1990 season.

Carlson almost pulled another off-the-bench miracle after replacing Moon early in the second half. He threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Webster Slaughter to give Houston a 13-7 lead. It was the first touchdown in 11 quarters against Pittsburgh's defense.

The Oilers scored again 1:03 later when defensive tackle Ray Childress picked up O'Donnell's fumble and ran it in from the eight yards. It was Childress' first NFL touchdown and it gave the Oilers a 13-point lead with 8:58 remaining in the quarter.

Keyed by NFL rushing leader Barry Foster's sixth 100-yard game this season--he had 118 yards in 31 carries--the Steelers drove 75 yards to score on O'Donnell's two-yard pass to Adrian Cooper and slice it to 20-14 early in the fourth quarter.

O'Donnell gave Pittsburgh its winning points with a five-yard scoring pass to Eric Green with 7:13 left.

O'Donnell completed 14 of 22 passes for 201 yards. Moon was 13 for 19 for 104 yards before being injured, and Carlson was 15 for 23 for 137 yards.

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