Ward makes his 136th career start in his 155th career game. Ward has two TDS among his six receptions
for 76 yards. Pro Bowl S Troy
Polamalu, coming off an injury-filled season, makes his first
interception in nearly two years. Ward's
two touchdown receptions increase his career total to 67, for his 15th career
multiple-touchdown performance. Pittsburgh
wins its season-opener for the sixth straight year, the longest Kickoff
Weekend winning streak in the NFL.
@ Cleveland Browns
Playing with a separated shoulder in 60 mph gusts, on third-and-9,
Ward gets loose in Cleveland's secondary, and with Browns' CB Terry Cousin unable to
catch him, Roethlisberger throws an 11-yard touchdown pass to Ward. Ward punctuates the touchdown by kicking
his feet behind him like a dog toward the Browns' vaunted Dawg Pound
section. Ward ties for the team lead
with five receptions for 59 yards.
@ Philadelphia Eagles
With Roethlisberger having a bad game with an injured hand and being
sacked 8 times, QB Byron Leftwich steps in at the end of the fourth
quarter. Ward has four catches for 34
Vs. Baltimore Ravens
Ward has two receptions for 57 yards with a long of 49. Ward is later fined $5,000 for unnecessary
roughness for stepping over Baltimore CB Corey Ivy, although a penalty was
not called during the game. Jeff Reed
kicks a 46-yard field goal in overtime for the win. The Ravens lose for the seventh time in
their last eight games in Pittsburgh, falling out of the AFC North lead. Pittsburgh wins its 14th consecutive Monday
night home game, a streak that dates to a 1991.
W 23-20 in OT
@ Jacksonville Jaguars
Ward has seven catches
for 90 yards. Ward scores the game
winning touchdown on an 8-yard pass from Roethlisberger with 1:53 remaining
in the game. This
is his team-leading fourth touchdown reception of the year and 69th of his
career, extending his team record. Ward has now surpassed 9,000 yards for his career (9,053), the most in
franchise history. What ends up
being a costly game moneywise for the Steelers, Ward is later fined $10,000 for
Ward slamming into Jaguars LB Mike Peterson. The play draws a penalty, but
it's against Jacksonville DE Paul Spicer for shoving Ward after the
play. Steelers LB James
Harrison is fined $20,000 for criticizing referee Brian Winter for
calling a roughing-the-passer penalty against him. Also S Ryan Clark
gets hit with $7,500 for unnecessary roughness on a late hit and WR Nate
Washington $7,500 for taunting. Among the four players, the
one-game fines totaled $45,000.
@ Cincinnati Bengals
Ward plays in his 160th career game in which he catches four passes
for 60 yards with his team-leading fifth touchdown reception of the season. In the opening drive, blocking for teammate
TE Matt Spaeth, Ward hits Bengals' LB Keith Rivers, breaking Rivers' jaw and putting
him out of the game (and what ends up being the remainder of the season). Ward's
16-yard touchdown reception from QB Byron Leftwich in the fourth quarter
extends his team record to 70 career touchdown receptions.
Vs. New York Giants
Ward has three receptions for 30 yards. He also makes the tackle on Giants'
CB Corey Webster after Webster makes an interception.
@ Washington Redskins
Ward ties for the team lead with three receptions for 39 yards. Steelers' WR Santonio Holmes seals the win with
his TD from Leftwich in the fourth quarter. The Steelers' defense dominates in this victory over the Redskins.
Vs. Indianapolis Colts
Ward has eight receptions for 112 yards, with his 41-yard reception
leading to RB Mewelde Moore's second TD run. He also has one rush for four yards. This is Ward's first 100-yard game of the
season, and the 17th of his career, giving him sole possession of second
place on the Steelers' all time list, moving him ahead of Louis Lipps.
Vs. San Diego Chargers
Ward has a season high 11 receptions for 124 yards. This is his 18th
career 100-yard receiving game and his second consecutive. K Reed gets a 42-yard FG with just 11
seconds left to take the game 11-10, the first such score in 12,837 NFL
Vs. Cincinnati Bengals
The Steelers honor defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau with a pregame
ceremony for his 50 years as an NFL coach and player. Playing in his 165th career game, Ward has
one reception for 37 yards.
@ New England Patriots
Ward finishes with a team-high five receptions for 37 yards with one
touchdown. In the third quarter,
Patriots WR Matthew
Slater fumbles away a kickoff, setting up Roethlisberger's 11-yard
scoring pass to Ward. Harrison, with
14 sacks, and LB LaMarr Woodley, with 11 1/2, set a club record for most
combined sacks by two players.
Vs. Dallas Cowboys
The Steelers win their fourth in a row and end Dallas' three-game
Vs. Baltimore Ravens
Even with rumors of a Baltimore bounty on Ward, Ward finishes with a
game-high 107 yards receiving on eight receptions. This is his 19th
career 100-yard receiving game and his third in 2008. Ward becomes the
first receiver in team history to reach 10,000 career total yards from
scrimmage (10,031). Ward has
three receptions for 36 yards on the team's game winning touchdown drive in
the fourth quarter. The Pittsburgh
Steelers take their first win in Baltimore since 2002.
@ Tennessee Titans
Ward has 109 yards receiving on seven receptions and one TD on a
four-play drive with a 21-yarder, his second straight 100-yard receiving game
and the 20th of his career.
Ward plays in his 170th career game and finishes with six catches for
70 yards. His
six catches give him 800 for his career, making him the only receiver in team
history to catch at least 800 passes. He extends his team record to 162 consecutive games with a reception. The Steelers dominate, winning their 11th in a row against the Browns and
now get ready for the divisional playoffs.
AFC Divisional Game 1/11/09
Vs. San Diego Chargers
With home field advantage, Ward makes his 12th consecutive postseason
start at WR and has four receptions for 70 yards. Ward's 41 yard reception leads to the
Steelers first offensive TD of the game. He moves into second place on the team's
all-time list for receiving yards in the postseason ahead of Lynn Swann, with
966 career postseason yards. Ward also
becomes the first receiver in team history to post at least 70 catches in the
postseason with 71. This is the
Steelers' seventh AFC title game, and sixth in Pittsburgh, in 15 seasons. Next up, the despised Baltimore Ravens.
AFC Championship Game 1/18/09
Vs. Baltimore Ravens
Ward makes his 13th consecutive postseason start at WR and has three
receptions for 55. He hauls in a
45-yard pass on third-and-12 on the first possession of the game leading to
the first of Jeff Reed's
field goals, a 34-yarder, in the first quarter. Ward keeps the ensuing Steelers drive going
with an 11-yard catch on third-and-10, leading to Reed's 42-yard field goal,
but injures his knee when landing and is forced to leave the game in the
fourth quarter. Ward becomes the second player in team history to post at
least 1,000 career postseason receiving yards (1,021). Polamalu gets a 40-yard interception
return with 4:39 left to play, helping to seal a Pittsburgh victory. Defense and big plays carry the Steelers on
to the Super Bowl, the second in just four years, and in Coach Tomlin's
second year as Coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Super Bowl XLIII 2/1/09
Vs. Arizona Cardinals
With Ward questionable to play due to his knee injury from the
previous week until just 2 hours before game time, he makes his 14th
consecutive postseason start at WR. He
has two receptions for 43 yards with a long of 38 yards on the Steelers'
second play from scrimmage. He has now caught a pass in 14 straight postseason games,
the second-longest streak in team history. In the first half, Steelers' Harrison
intercepts Cardinals QB Kurt Warner and returns the ball 100 yards to the
Steelers' end zone for the TD, the longest play in Super Bowl history. With just 43 seconds left in the game and
the Steelers trailing 20-23, Holmes catches a 6 yard pass from Roethlisberger
and just manages to get his toes down in the end zone for the TD before going
out of bounds. The Steelers take back the
lead. After Arizona gets the ball back,
Steelers' Woodley knocks the ball loose from Warner and Steelers' DE Brett
Keisel recovers with 5 seconds left. Roethlisberger kneels to end the
game. The Steelers become the first team to win 6 Lombardi trophies in one of
the most exciting finishes in Super Bowl history.
Hines Ward is named Steelers' Walter Payton
Man of the Year.
He finished the season with 81 receptions for 1,043 yards with seven
Ward finishes the season with 1,043 receiving
yards, marking his fifth career 1,000-yard receiving season and his first
Ward surpassed 9,000 receiving yards for his
career (9,780), his final reception of the year in the regular-season finale
against the Browns gave him 800 for his career, extending his team record.
Ward became the first receiver in team
history to surpass 10,000 career total yards from scrimmage (10,210)
His four 100-yard receiving performances gave
him 20 for his career, moving him past Louis Lipps (16) into sole possession
of second place on the team's all-time list.
Ward's 11 receptions on November 16 against the Chargers were a
season high and the second-highest single-game total (tied) of his career.
Extended his team record to 162 consecutive
games with a reception, started all three postseason games, and finished with
nine postseason receptions for 168 yards.
Became the second player in franchise history
(John Stallworth) to surpass 1,000 career postseason receiving yards (1,064).
Ward became the first player in team
postseason history to catch 70 passes in the postseason (76) and has caught a
pass in 14 straight postseason games, the second-longest streak in team
In March 2009, the NFL approved a new rule that focused on player
safety, including the so-called Hines Ward Rule that affects blocking
tactics. The blocking rule makes
illegal a blindside block if it comes from the blocker's helmet, forearm or
shoulder and lands to the head or neck area of the defender. One of the points the NFL committee used to
portray such a block was the one Ward threw that broke the jaw of Cincinnati
rookie LB Keith Rivers in the October 19, 2008 Steelers-Bengals
game. It's to be noted that the block
was not flagged, nor was Ward ever fined for it.