‘Minkah Magic’: Fitzpatrick Comes Through Again with Another Game-Sealing INT
BALTIMORE — When the Pittsburgh Steelers took a 16-13 lead over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night and Tyler Huntley took to the huddle to lead a last-gasp Ravens drive, my Steelers Now colleague Nick Farabaugh turned to me and asked how I thought the game would end. I said I thought it would end on a turnover, specifically a Minkah Fitzpatrick interception.
I say that not so that I can sound smart — though I’m not above that — but because it HAD to be Minkah. It’s always Minkah. When there is a big play to be made that can change the course of a game.
Well @ASaunders_PGH called the Minkah Fitzpatrick pick. The oracle strikes again.
— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) January 2, 2023
Fitzpatrick scored a touchdown to set the tone in the Steelers’ season opener against Cincinnati and then turned around and blocked an extra point to save that game. He sealed the win over the Atlanta Falcons with an interception on the final drive in nearly the same circumstances. He also had a game-winning pass break-up in Indianapolis.
So when Nick wanted to know who was going to make the play to seal this Steelers victory, my choice was clear. Of course, that was my perspective from the press box. On the field, there may have been a dissenter.
“He stole that shit from me,” Steelers cornerback Levi Wallace shouted from two locker room stalls down as I was interviewing Terrell Edmunds about the play. “Go watch the tape!”
Wallace probably has a point. A check of the tape does, in fact, show him in position to make the play. I joked that Fitzpatrick is such a good defensive back he doesn’t even let his teammates catch it around him.
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Minkah seals it with the interception! Kenny with a nice game winning drive to keep the Steelers playoff hopes alive. Type of AFC North game that reminds me why I love football. Cash those tickets 👊pic.twitter.com/1YPxT4i8yK
— Bobo (@DaddyBobo11) January 2, 2023
But it had to be Minkah, because that’s just who he is.
“We be calling it that Minkah magic,” Terrell Edmunds said. “We say that. He’s very blessed, highly favored, but we’re happy for him. It’s a great time of the game. Levi was there. I’m going to give it to him. Whoever caught it, I was going to be happy.”
Which is why at one point in the third quarter, a frustrating game with the Steelers trailing against the Ravens, turned even darker, when Fitzpatrick went down on the field with an apparent ankle injury.
Fitzpatrick trashed on the ground. His teammates took a knee in a semicircle. It looked bleak, both because of the obvious immediate concern for the health of the player, but because it was also nearly impossible to imagine the Steelers coming back against the Ravens without him.
Fitzpatrick came back. Hope was restored. And then he came through in the clutch, just like he always does.