2002 Pittsburgh Steelers Season
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2002 Pittsburgh Steelers Season
2002 Pittsburgh Steelers season
OwnerThe Rooney Family
Head coachBill Cowher
General managerKevin Colbert
Home fieldHeinz Field
Results
Record10-5-1
Division place1st AFC North
Playoff finishWon Wild Card Playoffs (vs. Browns) 36-33
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Titans) 31-34 (OT)
Pro Bowlers
AP All-Pros
Team MVPJoey Porter
Hines Ward
Team ROYKendall Simmons
Uniform
Pittsb steelers uniforms17.png

The 2002 season was the Pittsburgh Steelers' 70th as a professional sports franchise and as a member of the National Football League.

The Steelers were coming off a 13-3 record in 2001 and making an appearance in the AFC Championship Game. The team failed to improve their 13-3 record, finishing 10-5-1, although this record was good enough for a division championship. With their finish, the Steelers became the first champions of the newly created AFC North. Bill Cowher's team won the Wild Card Game, defeating the Cleveland Browns at home, but lost to AFC South champion Tennessee Titans in the divisional round.

Week 4 saw Kordell Stewart's final game as the Steelers' starting quarterback, as he was replaced by Tommy Maddox during the game and although he did relieve an injured Maddox, never regained his job as he was released following the season.

Offseason

Additions Subtractions
QB Charlie Batch (Lions) WR Troy Edwards (Rams)
WR Terance Mathis (Falcons) FS Jason Simmons (Texans)
K Todd Peterson (Chiefs)

NFL draft

2002 Pittsburgh Steelers draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 30 Kendall Simmons  Guard Auburn
2 63 Antwaan Randle El  Wide receiver Indiana
3 94 Chris Hope *  Safety Florida State
4 128 Larry Foote  Linebacker Michigan
5 166 Verron Haynes  Running back Georgia
6 202 Lee Mays  Wide receiver Texas El Paso
7 212 Lavar Glover  Defensive back Cincinnati
7 242 Brett Keisel *  Defensive end Brigham Young
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

Undrafted free agents

2002 Undrafted Free Agents of note
Player Position College
James Harrison Linebacker Kent State

Personnel

Roster

Preseason

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance Recap
1 August 8 New York Jets L 16-6 0-1 Heinz Field 57,251 Recap
2 August 18 at Washington Redskins L 35-34 0-2 FedExField 70,310 Recap
3 August 24 at Detroit Lions W 34-22 1-2 Ford Field 59,262 Recap
4 August 29 Minnesota Vikings W 17-14 2-2 Heinz Field 57,062 Recap

Regular season

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance Recap
1 September 9 at New England Patriots L 30-14 0-1 Gillette Stadium 68,436 Summary
2 September 15 Oakland Raiders L 30-17 0-2 Heinz Field 62,260 Summary
3 Bye week
4 September 29 Cleveland Browns W 16-13 (OT) 1-2 Heinz Field 62,864 Summary
5 October 6 at New Orleans Saints L 32-29 1-3 Louisiana Superdome 67,734 Summary
6 October 13 at Cincinnati Bengals W 34-7 2-3 Paul Brown Stadium 63,900 Summary
7 October 21 Indianapolis Colts W 28-10 3-3 Heinz Field 62,800 Summary
8 October 27 at Baltimore Ravens W 31-18 4-3 PSINet Stadium 69,638 Summary
9 November 3 at Cleveland Browns W 23-20 5-3 Cleveland Browns Stadium 73,718 Summary
10 November 10 Atlanta Falcons T 34-34 (OT) 5-3-1 Heinz Field 62,779 Summary
11 November 17 at Tennessee Titans L 31-23 5-4-1 Adelphia Coliseum 68,804 Summary
12 November 24 Cincinnati Bengals W 29-21 6-4-1 Heinz Field 60,473 Summary
13 December 1 at Jacksonville Jaguars W 25-23 7-4-1 Alltel Stadium 55,260 Summary
14 December 8 Houston Texans L 24-6 7-5-1 Heinz Field 58,551 Summary
15 December 15 Carolina Panthers W 30-14 8-5-1 Heinz Field 58,586 Summary
16 December 23 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 17-7 9-5-1 Raymond James Stadium 65,684 Summary
17 December 29 Baltimore Ravens W 34-31 10-5-1 Heinz Field 61,961 Summary

Game summaries

Week 1: at New England Patriots

Week 2: vs. Oakland Raiders

1 2 3 4 Total
Raiders 10 7 3 10 30
Steelers 7 3 7 0 17

at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

With the loss, the Steelers went 0-2 heading into their bye week.

Week 4: vs. Cleveland Browns

1 2 3 4OT Total
Browns 3 3 0 70 13
Steelers 0 6 0 73 16

at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EDT
  • Game weather: 71 °F (Sunny)
  • Game attendance: 62,864
  • Referee: Bernie Kukar
  • TV announcers: (CBS) Gus Johnson (play by play), Brent Jones (color commentator)

Kordell Stewart began the game, going 15-25 for 143 yards, but was intercepted by Robert Griffith of the Browns. At this point his Pittsburgh career all but ended when he was benched and replaced by backup Tommy Maddox, who hadn't thrown a pass in the NFL since 1995 with the Giants but had resurrected his career with stints with the New Jersey Red Dogs in the Arena Football League and a championship season in the ill-fated XFL. With the Steelers down 13-6, Maddox found Plaxico Burress for the tying touchdown just before the two-minute warning. The game went to overtime, but Maddox was picked off on his first throw of the extra quarter. The Browns, however, gagged when Phil Dawson missed a 45-yard field goal try. With new life the Steelers led by Maddox marched in range for Todd Peterson's 31-yarder and the 16-13 final.

Week 5: at New Orleans Saints

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 0 14 7 8 29
Saints 10 9 10 3 32

at Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana

Tommy Maddox made his first start replacing an ineffective Kordell Stewart

Week 6: at Cincinnati Bengals

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 7 17 7 3 34
Bengals 0 0 7 0 7

at Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio

Week 7: vs. Indianapolis Colts

1 2 3 4 Total
Colts 0 3 7 0 10
Steelers 14 7 7 0 28

at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Week 8: at Baltimore Ravens

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 14 14 3 0 31
Ravens 0 3 8 7 18

at Ravens Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland

Week 9: at Cleveland Browns

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 3 14 0 6 23
Browns 7 7 0 6 20

at Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio

Week 10: vs. Atlanta Falcons

1 2 3 4OT Total
Falcons 0 7 10 170 34
Steelers 3 14 14 30 34

at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EST
  • Game weather: 66 °F (Cloudy)
  • Game attendance: 62,779
  • Referee: Terry McAulay
  • TV announcers: (FOX) Sam Rosen (play by play), Bill Maas (color commentator), Alby Oxenreiter (sideline reporter)

In the first NFL tie since 1997, Tommy Maddox erupted with 473 passing yards (a club record that stood until Ben Roethlisberger broke it in 2009) and connected on four touchdown throws in his first matchup against the coach who drafted him in Denver, Dan Reeves. Reeves' Falcons, however, were surging behind the running of sophomore quarterback Michael Vick. A 34-17 Steelers lead in the fourth could not be held as Warrick Dunn and Vick rushed the Falcons in range for a one-yard Bob Christian rushing touchdown, a Jay Feely field goal, and finally the tying Vick rushing score with 32 seconds remaining in regulation. In overtime the Steelers drove to range of a 48-yard field goal try by Todd Peterson, this after he'd missed a 40-yarder in regulation. The Falcons' Brian Finneran had caught six passes for 72 yards, but in his career debut on special teams he pulled off the play of the game by blocking the kick. Late in the extra quarter Maddox was picked off by Kevin Mathis, but the subsequent 56-yad Feely try was blocked, with one second left on the clock. Maddox launched a desperation heave and Burress caught it, but was ruled down at the one-foot line with the game declared over. This would be the last time the Steelers would tie until Week 1 of the 2018 season.

Week 11: at Tennessee Titans

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 7 0 0 16 23
Titans 7 7 14 3 31

at Adelphia Coliseum, Nashville, Tennessee

Maddox's career nearly ended in tragedy as he threw a pass that Hines Ward turned into a 72-yard touchdown, but after completing just 14 of 28 throws for 194 yards and three picks he was sacked; the hit left him briefly paralyzed and he was taken to the hospital on a stretcher. He recovered from the hit but Kordell Stewart had to come off the bench for what turned out to be his final three games with the Steelers. He completed 13 of 17 throws for two touchdowns and the Steelers also completed two two-point tries. It wasn't enough as the Titans behind 257 passing yards (with two touchdowns) by Steve McNair and 121 rushing yards (McNair and Eddie George accounted for 103 of them) won 31-23.

Week 12: vs. Cincinnati Bengals

1 2 3 4 Total
Bengals 0 14 0 7 21
Steelers 14 3 3 9 29

at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EST
  • Game weather: 48 °F (Partly Cloudy)
  • Game attendance: 60,473
  • Referee: Ed Hochuli
  • TV announcers: (CBS) Craig Bolerjack (play by play), Craig James (color commentator)

Week 13: at Jacksonville Jaguars

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 6 10 3 6 25
Jaguars 7 3 0 13 23

at Alltel Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida

Kordell Stewart made his last start as a Steelers quarterback, running for a touchdown. Jeff reed kicked six field goals. Maddox regained his starting position the following week despite Stewart performing well.

Week 14: vs. Houston Texans

1 2 3 4 Total
Texans 14 0 0 10 24
Steelers 0 3 3 0 6

at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EST
  • Game weather: 35 °F (Cloudy)
  • Game attendance: 58,551
  • Referee: Bob McElwee
  • TV announcers: (CBS) Ian Eagle (play by play), Solomon Wilcots (color commentator)

The Steelers were stunned at home against the expansion Houston Texans, failing to find any offensive footing at all. With the embarrassing loss, the Steelers fell to 7-5-1.

Week 15: vs. Carolina Panthers

1 2 3 4 Total
Panthers 7 0 0 7 14
Steelers 7 6 7 16 36

at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EST
  • Game weather: 40 °F (Cloudy)
  • Game attendance: 58,586
  • Referee: Dick Hantak
  • TV announcers: (FOX) Sam Rosen (play by play), Bill Maas (color commentator)

Week 16: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 17 0 0 0 17
Buccaneers 0 0 0 7 7

at Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida

Week 17: vs. Baltimore Ravens

1 2 3 4 Total
Ravens 7 7 10 7 31
Steelers 7 13 0 14 34

at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Standings

AFC North
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
(3)Pittsburgh Steelers 10 5 1 .656 6-0 8-4 390 345 W3
(6)Cleveland Browns 9 7 0 .563 3-3 7-5 344 320 W2
Baltimore Ravens 7 9 0 .438 3-3 7-5 316 354 L2
Cincinnati Bengals 2 14 0 .125 0-6 1-11 279 456 L1

Playoffs

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance Recap
Wild Card January 5 Cleveland Browns W 36-33 1-0 Heinz Field 62,595 Summary
Divisional January 11 at Tennessee Titans L 34-31 (OT) 1-1 Adelphia Coliseum 68,809 Summary

Game summaries

AFC Wild Card Playoff: vs. Cleveland Browns

1 2 3 4 Total
Browns 7 10 7 9 33
Steelers 0 7 7 22 36

at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

AFC Divisional Playoff: at Tennessee Titans

1 2 3 4OT Total
Steelers 0 13 7 110 31
Titans 14 0 14 33 34

at Adelphia Coliseum, Nashville, Tennessee

Honors and awards

Pro Bowl representatives

See: 2003 Pro Bowl

References

  1. ^ a b 2002 Pittsburgh Steelers Media Guide.
  2. ^ 2003 Pittsburgh Steelers Media Guide.
  3. ^ "2002 Pittsburgh Steelers". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014.

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