Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Running Game Fails to Make an Impact

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Running Game Fails to Make an Impact

Article excerpt

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The 2012 season is three games old and the Steelers are still in search of their first 100-yard rushing game by a running back. Actually, the Steelers are still searching for their first 50-yard game by a back.

The passing game soared in a 34-31 loss to the Raiders Sunday at O.co Coliseum, but the running game sputtered yet again.

The leading rusher for the Steelers was Isaac Redman, but he could only manage 27 yards on nine carries. As a team, the Steelers rushed for 54 yards on 20 carries.

The rushing statistics have decreased with each game. They had 75 yards against the Denver Broncos and 66 yards a week ago against the New York Jets.

The highest total for a back in any of the first three games is Jonathan Dwyer, who had 43 yards on nine carries against the Broncos.

"I thought it was spotty at times, but I thought when we had a chance we were efficient," guard Willie Colon said. "We have to be cleaner. The more we run the ball the better we'll get."

The Steelers attempted 20 rushes against the Raiders. They had 26 against Denver and 28 against New York.

The lone bright spot for the running game came when the Steelers went for it on fourth-and-1 from their 29 on their final drive. Redman burst through the line for a 5-yard gain.

"I intended to go for it all along," coach Mike Tomlin said. "I wasn't going to punt the football to them. We hadn't stopped them enough in the second half to do that. I was inside of 1 [yard], and if you can't get inside of 1 [yard], you deserve to lose the game. I won't hesitate to do that."

HEYWARD-BEY HOSPITALIZED

Raiders receiver Darius Heyward-Bey was knocked unconscious and was attended to on the field for 20 minutes before being carted off early in the fourth quarter. Heyward-Bey was struck by safety Ryan Mundy as he attempted to make a catch in the end zone. He appeared to be knocked unconscious before he hit the turf. He was taken to Eden Medical Center with a neck injury and was listed in stable condition Sunday night. He was to stay in the hospitalized overnight.

"I just went in to try to make a play," Mundy said. "It's a split- second thing. You never want to see anyone on a stretcher like that. You never try to intentionally hurt anyone. But if I don't hit him there, it's a touchdown.

"I thought I went in low with my shoulder. But then he ducked down ... I hope he's not hurt bad. I definitely will reach out to him."

On the possibility of being fined, Mundy acknowledged it's a possibility in the NFL climate and said, "We'll see what happens."

CLARK GETS PICK

Ryan Clark was able to intercept Carson Palmer's first pass of the game with help from second base. At least near where the Oakland Athletics second baseman lines up when they play baseball at O.co Coliseum.

Targeted receiver Denarius Moore slipped on the only dirt baseball infield left in the NFL. …

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