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Hines Ward's NFL Career Timeline

Hines Ward Career Timeline - 2008 - 11th Year

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Game Recap


9/7/08 Vs. Houston Texans 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. W 38-17
9/14/08 @ 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. W 10-6
9/21/08 @ 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 yards. L 6-15
9/29/08 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
10/5/08 @ 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. W 26-21
10/19/08 @ 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.   W 38-10
10/26/08 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. L 14-21
11/3/08 @ 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. W 23-6
11/9/08 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.   L 20-24
11/16/08 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 games. W 11-10
11/20/08 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. W 27-10
11/30/08 @ 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. W 33-10
12/7/08 Vs. Dallas Cowboys The Steelers win their fourth in a row and end Dallas' three-game winning streak. W 20-13
12/14/08 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. W 13-9
12/21/08 @ 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. L 14-31
12/28/08 Cleveland Browns 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. W 31-0
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. W 35-24
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. W 23-14
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. W 27-23
RECAP   Hines Ward is named Steelers' Walter Payton Man of the Year.

He finished the season with 81 receptions for 1,043 yards with seven touchdowns.

Ward finishes the season with 1,043 receiving yards, marking his fifth career 1,000-yard receiving season and his first since 2004.

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 history.

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.
12-4 Season

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