Steelers' Quick Start Bodes Well

Article excerpt

Inside the game

Quick start

The Steelers are 3-0 for the first time in 15 years - Bill Cowher's first season - and only the sixth time in a non-strike season in the team's history. The Steelers reached the playoffs each of those times, except for 1936, when they were known as the Pirates, and finished 6-6. The Steelers, who play Sunday at Arizona, haven't started 4-0 since 1979. Here is what happens when the Steelers get a good start.

Year

Start

Finish

Result

2007

3-0

???

???

1992

3-0

11-5

Playoffs,

first-round loss

1979

4-0

12-4

Super

Bowl champ

1978

7-0

14-2

Super

Bowl champ

1973

4-0

10-4

Playoffs,

first-round loss

1936

3-0

6-6

Missed

playoffs

Spread it around

Ben Roethlisberger completed 13 passes, but only four of them went to a wide receiver. With Hines Ward (bone bruise) out for most of the second half, Roethlisberger completed five passes to tight ends and four to running backs. It's still early, but this season the Steelers' wide receivers have accounted for only 45.6 percent of the team's completions (21 of 46). Over the previous four seasons, wide receivers accounted for two-thirds (66.9) of all the team's receptions.

Year

Team

rec.

WR.

rec.

RB/TE

rec.

Percent

by WRs

2007

46

21

25

45.6

2006

312

198

114

63.5

2005

228

139

89

61.0

2004

228

169

59

74.1

2003

306

212

94

69.8

Parker place

Willie Parker rushed for more than 100 yards for the fourth consecutive game, dating to last season. The fourth-year pro passed John Henry Johnson to move into fourth place all-time with 16 100- yard games. The Steelers are 15-1 when Parker reaches that plateau.

Rushes

Yards

TDs

Opp.,

result

24

133

0

49ers, W

27

109

0

Browns,

W

23

126

1

Bills, W

37

134

1

Bengals,

W

Staunch defense

Until the 49ers scored a garbage-time touchdown with 4:01 to play, the Steelers had allowed their opponents one touchdown in their first 32 possessions of the season. …