Most times, good memories elicit positive feelings. With much of the world still shut down and slowly beginning to move towards any sort of reopening, I thought it would be a good idea to look back at some great memories in Steelers history.
For this series throughout the summer, I’m going to stick to regular season performances since there are already so many playoff performances that gets brought up with the Steelers.
For fun, I’m going to start by looking at some of Willie Parker’s best performances from his career-best season in 2006, a year in which he rushed for a career-high 1,494 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground.
With this first piece, I’ll look at his first career 200-yard rushing performance, which came in a thrilling 38-31 win over the New Orleans Saints in Week 10 at Heinz Field.
In that win, Parker rushed 22 times for 213 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Steelers seal the non-conference win at home on the way to an eventual 8-8 record in Bill Cowher’s final season at the helm.
Parker got off to a slow start in the win over the Saints on Nov. 12, 2006, rushing for just 30 yards in the first half. Fortunately for Parker, Ben Roethlisberger carried the load through the air in the first half, keeping the Steelers in the game as Drew Brees and the Saints had a ton of success through the air.
In the second half though, “Fast Willie” took over, rushing for 183 yards and two scores, ripping off runs of 72 and 76 yards in the second half.
Surprisingly, Parker didn’t score on either long run, getting caught by Saints speedster Mike McKenzie on both runs. While Parker didn’t quite find the end zone on the two long runs, he was able to cap off the drives with short runs, putting six points on the board on each occasion to help the Steelers outscore the Saints in the thrilling win.
Despite Parker’s heroics, the Steelers needed a late, game-saving forced fumble from safety Tyrone Carter – seeing action in place of the injured Troy Polamalu – on Saints wide receiver Terrance Copper that Ryan Clark recovered.