Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Steelers Rely on Defense for Back-to-Back Victories

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Steelers Rely on Defense for Back-to-Back Victories

Article excerpt

Who needs an offense?

The Steelers scored no touchdowns on offense for the second successive game, yet won their second successive game, smothering Buffalo 23-10 Monday night.

Cornerback Rod Woodson returned an interception 37 yards for one TD and created another when he sacked Buffalo quarterback Jim Kelly at the 1. Kelly fumbled and defensive end Gerald Williams recovered in the end zone for the score.

Those two TDs and three Gary Anderson field goals of 39, 39 and 30 yards were enough to deliver the Steelers another victory on Monday night. They are 6-0 on Mondays since Bill Cowher became coach in 1992.

The Steelers improved to 7-3 and are one game behind Cleveland in the American Football Conference Central Division.

Buffalo, the four-time AFC champion, may have run out of steam in its attempt to make it five in a row. The Bills slipped to 5-5 and remain two games behind Miami in the AFC East.

The Steelers savaged Kelly and his passing game. They had seven sacks (three by Kevin Greene, who leads the AFC with 10) to increase their NFL-leading total to 36. They also had two interceptions and banged Buffalo's receivers just as hard.

Kelly completed 22 of 43 passes for 212 yards and one TD of 19 yards to Andre Reed. Frank Reich replaced Kelly on the Bills' final possession.

"We're playing good defense right now and making big plays," Cowher said. "As long as we go out and find ways to win football games."

The Steelers' offense struggled early and often and has not scored a TD in the past 10 quarters, but Cowher tried to shrug it off.

"We've got to get some continuity, but we're going to get it done. Hey, we played a very good defense."

The Steelers' offense did manage a 39-yard field goal by Anderson, the 300th of his career, for a 3-0 lead with 8 minutes 1 second left. Then late in the first quarter, the Bills had a second down on their 33. Kelly threw toward Bill Brooks on the right sideline. Woodson timed it perfectly from about 3 yards back, stepped in front of Brooks, intercepted the pass and did not break stride 37 yards into the end zone.

It was Woodson's third interception of the season and his first TD on a pickoff since he returned one against New Orleans last season. …

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