Steelers make stunning drive

American Football
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The Independent Online
The San Francisco 49ers shut out the Philadelphia Eagles 14-0 and the Pittsburgh Steelers steamrollered the Indianapolis Colts in the second half of what ended up as a 42-14 rout in the NFL play-offs.

The 49ers' Steve Young ran for a touchdown and overcame a rib injury to throw for the other in the NFC wild-card game at 3COM Park on Sunday, while the Steelers' Jerome Bettis ran for 102 yards and two one-yard scores in the AFC wild-card game at Three Rivers Stadium.

The Steelers outplayed the Colts in Pittsburgh but only made sure of facing the New England Patriots in next weekend's divisional play-offs with a 29-point second half. Indianapolis struggled in the first half, too, but the Steelers' starting quarterback Mike Tomczak threw two interceptions, one resulting in a 59-yard touchdown return by Eugene Daniel and the other leading to a TD.

Bettis's first scoring plunge and Kordell Stewart's two-point conversion pass in the third quarter gave Pittsburgh the lead for good, 21-14, after a 16-play, 91-yard march that devoured the first 9:30 of the second half. Bettis carried seven times for 38 yards on the drive. "I don't know if I've seen a drive that took up that much time that was executed that well," the Steelers coach, Bill Cowher, said. Bettis ran in from a yard out again to make it 28-14 just 39 seconds into the fourth quarter.

Young was the 49ers' leading rusher with 67 yards on 12 carries as the 49ers secured a trip to Green Bay for next weekend's divisional play-offs. He scored on a nine-yard quarterback draw early in the second quarter, but suffered bruised ribs and was forced to leave the field briefly after bouncing off two Eagles defenders into the end zone.

Early in the third quarter, Young hurled a 36-yard pass to Jerry Rice, who made the Eagles three-yard line. On the next play, Young and Rice hooked up again for a touchdown to make it 14-0.

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