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The San Francisco 49ers had an embarrassing night when the power at Candlestick went out twice during Monday Night Football causing a 20-minute delay starting the game and another 16-minute delay in the second quarter.
The 49ers nor stadium officials are giving any real details on exactly what happened but Pittsburgh Steelers S Ryan Clark has a theory -- this was a strategic move by San Francisco to get a new stadium.
"I just feel like San Francisco took a big stage to show the NFL and to show the state of California that they needed a new stadium. I think it was a very strategic move and Candlestick may be no more very soon," Clark said.
The 49ers of course are trying to get a new stadium (as are other California teams) so that's where this theory is coming from. Does it make any sense? No. The power going out at the stadium doesn't have an effect on the powers-that-be getting a new stadium.
But it is a nice conspiracy theory.
For non-power outage news, check out Niners Nation's recap of the 49ers 20-3 victory over Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger tossed three interceptions against the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night, including two in or near the 49ers' end zone, as the Steelers fell to the 49ers, 20-3.
Roethlisberger suffered a Grade 1 sprain of his left ankle 11 days earlier and was considered a game-time decision after being limited throughout the week's practices. A similar injury had Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey ruled out for last night's game, but Roethlisberger was able to play, without the assistance of a pain-killing injection, Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
"We heard that (ESPN analyst) Steve Young and those guys say that before pre-game, 'Oh, he'll go shoot it up.' No we don't do that," Roethlisberger said. "They would never put me out there and endanger me or anybody on this team. There was no injection there was two Tylenols and two Advil."
The Steelers had already clinched an AFC Playoff berth when the Tennessee Titans lost to the Indianapolis Colts in the 1pm ET slate of games on Sunday, but had an opportunity Monday night to take a one-game lead over the Baltimore Ravens, who lost to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday night, in the AFC North race and lay claim to the No. 1 seed in the AFC Playoffs with a win over the 49ers.
With the Ravens and Steelers both losing in Week 15, both enter Week 16 with identical 10-4 records, but the Ravens hold the tiebreaker in the AFC North standings after sweeping the regular season series. At 11-3, the New England Patriots currently hold the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The Steelers are currently the fifth-seed.
The Pittsburgh Steelers did more than lose the game on Monday night -- they also lost the chance to move ahead of the Baltimore Ravens into first place in the AFC North. The San Francisco 49ers, meanwhile, remain in the driver's seat to securing a first-round bye in the NFC.
• The Steelers and Ravens hold identical 10-4 records, but the Ravens hold the tiebreaker advantage by virtue of their two wins in head-to-head play. On the heels of Baltimore's 34-14 loss to the Chargers on Sunday, the Steelers had a perfect opportunity to render Baltimore's tiebreaker moot by gaining a one-game advantage with two left to play. Instead, they're back to where they started, needing Baltimore to lose a game instead of controlling their own destiny.
If the Steelers somehow manage to finish ahead of the Ravens but post the same record as the Houston Texans, the Texans will get the first-round bye thanks to their Week 4 win over Pittsburgh. The Ravens, on the other hand, beat the Texans in Week 6, giving Baltimore the tiebreaker over Houston.
• As for the 49ers, they've long since clinched the NFC West. They're technically still in the running for the No. 1 seed, but that would require winning out with the Green Bay Packers losing their final two games.
Even so, the 49ers can still clinch a first-round bye and home-field advantage in the Divisional Round if they win their last two games. Like San Francisco, the Saints have a 11-3 record, but the 49ers currently hold the tiebreaker thanks to a one-game advantage in conference play (8-2 vs. 7-3).
The 49ers finish the season with two road games, at the St. Louis Rams in Week 16 and at the Seattle Seahawks in Week 17. The Saints have two home games against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 16 and Carolina Panthers in Week 17.
The San Francisco 49ers have been taking advantage of hobbled Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger all night long on Monday Night Football. Big Ben turned the ball over twice in the first half, throwing two interceptions. In the fourth quarter however, it looked like Roethlisberger was starting to heat up after he made an excellent 20-yard pass to Jerricho Cotchery when the Steelers were backed up on their own goal. On the next play however, rookie outside linebacker Aldon Smith once again got into the face of Roethlisberger, bringing him down for the sack while Justin Smith (no relation) knocked the ball out of Ben's hands and recovered the fumble.
The Steelers quick forced the 49ers to have to settle for a field goal, but thanks to a leaping penalty on linebacker Lawrence Timmons, the 49ers got a new set of downs. Two plays later running back Frank Gore took the ball off the left side into the endzone to essentially put the game away, 20-3.
The Pittsburgh Steelers were finally able to get on the scoreboard against the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football. The field goal was setup by a long catch and run by tight end Heath Miller.
After the Steelers were able to cut the lead 6-3, something woke up the 49ers offense. Quarterback Alex Smith got the Niners down the field quickly, hitting on a long 31-yard catch by tight end Vernon Davis. A few plays later, Smith hit running back Kendall Hunter on a short pass that the rookie took 27-yards. On the very next play, Alex Smith dropped in a beautiful touch pass right into Davis' hands as he nearly took the ball in the endzone.
The play was reviewed and up held, as Vernon Davis' toe just barely touched the sideline. On the very next play however, Smith went right next to Davis who was wide open in the endzone for the easy touchdown.
To start the second half of the Monday Night Football match up between the San Francisco 49ers and Pittsburgh Steelers, the 49ers opened up with a quick three-and-out. After a punt, the 49ers defense then quickly forced the Steelers to a three-and-out of their own and a punt. The punt was almost a disaster for the 49ers however as wide receiver Kyle Williams looked like he muffed the punt.
The Steelers recovered the fumble, but the 49ers were bailed out by the referees. The referees ruled that Kendrick Lewis interfered with the catch, so instead of Steelers ball within striking distance it was 49ers ball near mid-field. The 49ers couldn't capitalize on the drive however, quickly going three-and-out to give the ball back to the Steelers.
The Monday Night Football match up between the San Francisco 49ers and Pittsburgh Steelers was delayed for 20 minutes due to a power failure from a blown transformer. The officials were able to get some back up power going so the game could get started. A little ways through the second quarter however, the power went out again.
The players are still out on the field keeping loose as it looks like power is slowly being restored to the lights, but there is no word on how long they will allow a delay before a game is called. NFL commissioner Rodger Goodell is the only person with the authority to suspend the game.
Prime suspect? Suspended Steelers linebacker James Harrison...
If I cant play then can't nobody play... Lights out!— James Harrison (@jharrison9292) December 20, 2011
Thanks to Ben Roethlisberger's second interception of the day, the San Francisco 49ers have been able to add to their lead against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football. Quarterback Alex Smith was able to hit on a couple of throws to wide receiver Michael Crabtree as well as a few runs by Frank Gore.
David Akers lined up for his record breaking 38-yard field goal and drilled it to put the 49ers up 6-0. With the field goal, Akers moved into sole possession of first place in the 49ers all-time single season scoring record. Akers previously tied the record at 138 earlier in the game. Akers now has 141 points in a season.
Again, of all people to break Jerry Rice's single season record... it's a kicker.
The San Francisco 49ers hold an early 3-0 lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football. On the Steelers first drive of the game, Ben Roethlisberger ended it with a pick in the endzone. On the Steelers second drive of the game, Ben had all day to throw the ball but air mailed it to the middle of the field and it was picked off by safety Dashon Goldson.
Once again Roethlisberger couldn't plant his feet and step into the throw because of his ankle. He threw the ball with all arm and it sailed right to a 49ers defender. The Steelers can't keep trotting Roethlisberger out there if he's injured and ineffective. At some point, you have to wonder if he will get pulled as the Steelers have all three of their quarterbacks active.
While most of the story of the Monday Night Football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers will be about quaterback Ben Roethlisberger and his busted ankle, 49ers kicker David Akers is out here tying team records with all-time great wide receiver Jerry Rice. With Akers latest 22-yard field goal to give the 49ers a 3-0 lead, he tied Rice's single season record for points of 138.
With the field goal, Akers leap frogged kicker Mike Cofer's 1989 season with the 49ers. With an extra point or another field goal, Akers will move into first place all time for single season scoring. Of all people to tie Jerry Rice for a scoring record, it's a kicker. Given how the 49ers opening drive went, Akers should have no problem getting a chance to break the record.
After a 20-minute delay due to a blown transformer and a power outage, Monday Night Football between the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers kicked off. The Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger got the football first, and Big Ben looked noticeably stiff coming out onto the field.
On Roethlisberger's first few passes, he clearly favored his left ankle and often held it in the air away from defenders. Big Ben also looked like he wasn't fully stepping into his throws, which have made a few of his passes off target. He hit wide receiver Mike Wallace on a short slant route, where Wallace broke a tackle and scampered on a 36-yard gain. Two plays later, Roethlisberger tried to go back to Wallace again in the endzone, but the ball was picked off by Carlos Rogers. Ben didn't plant and step through his throw, missing Wallace and letting Rogers to cut off the route in the endzone and return it to the 27-yard line.
If Ben's passing game continues to hamper his play, it may be beneficial for the Steelers to pull him and save him for the playoffs.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers game on Monday Night Football was supposed to kick off just a minute or so ago. But the game hasn't kicked off because the power has gone out in Candlestick Park. As you can see in the lower left corner of ESPN's aerial shot, it appears that a nearby transformer blew, taking out the power in and around the stadium:
Two light standards are producing enough light inside the stadium for limited visibility. But it might be a while before football is played.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) December 20, 2011
Other reporters on the scene report being informed by 49ers personnel that a backup generator is on it's way and power should be restored soon. When the game will actually kick off is another question, because they would need to make sure that the lights will not go out once again.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers are getting ready to square off on Monday Night Football and we now know who won't be playing for each team tonight. There was some uncertainty on Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger tonight, but he is active and is expected to start. The Steelers will be without linebacker James Harrison, who's serving a 1-game suspension and center Maurkice Pouncey. Here are the inactives for the Steelers:
For the 49ers, they'll be without wide receiver Braylon Edwards and without star inside linebacker Patrick Willis tonight, who could have really taken advantage of a hobbled Roethlisberger. Here are the inactives for the 49ers:
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is active for Monday Night Football against the San Francisco 49ers. Ben's status was up in the air for much of the weekend, but Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin had said all week he was optimistic Roethlisberger would play with his ankle injury he suffered last week.
It took all the way until the last minute to decide if Roethlisberger would be active, and according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Tribune-Review, it looked rather iffy if Big Ben was going to play in the game.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, still uncertain to play for the Steelers tonight, looked to be in significant discomfort during a five-minute warmup at Candlestick Park at 6:15 p.m.
The Steelers will carry three active quarterbacks for the game tonight, leaving the door open to pull Roethlisberger in favor of either back ups Charlie Batch or Dennis Dixon if Roethlisberger's ankle turns out to hinder him too much. The Steelers may have a short leash with Ben, as to not want to aggravate his ankle further with the playoffs just three weeks away.
The status of Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is more of a question mark than previously thought. A report out of Pittsburgh over the weekend indicated that Roethlisberger was expected to start for the Steelers on Monday Night Football against the San Francisco 49ers.
But now ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that his status is still unknown. Instead, he'll be a true game-time decision. The Steelers play the 49ers at 8:30 p.m. (ET).
Roethisberger is dealing with an ankle injury suffered 11 days ago against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football. He's known as one of the toughest players that often plays through injury so many are assuming he'll be available, but that may not be the case.
Complicating matters is that the Ravens lost on Sunday night which means the Steelers have a chance to take a one-game lead in the AFC North if they can beat San Francisco. How that factors in the decision to play Roethlisberger or not is unknown.
So stay tuned for the latest on on Roethlisberger. If he's out, there are going to be some nervous fans at SB Nation's Behind The Steel Curtain.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will meet the 49ers in San Francisco in what should be one of the better Monday night matchups of the season. The Niners will look to rebound from an upset loss to the Cardinals.
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