Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Report Card

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Report Card

Article excerpt


Ben Roethlisberger was sensational early, throwing for a career- high 278 yards and completing four passes of 30 yards or longer in the first half alone. The 35-yard touchdown to Antonio Brown was vintage Roethlisberger, escaping from pressure and lofting a perfect pass in the right corner of the end zone. After a sloppy second half, he managed two big completions to Markus Wheaton to set up the winning field goal.


Le'Veon Bell picked up where he left off at the end of the last season, getting 27 touches for 197 yards and scoring on a nifty 38- yard run. Bell finished with 109 yards rushing, a 5.2-yard average and caught six passes for 88 yards, including a 30-yarder that set up the touchdown pass to Brown. LeGarrette Blount's first carry with his new team was a 7-yard touchdown, but he was stopped for a 4- yard loss on a key third-and-1 in the fourth quarter.


Big plays came easy in the first half but disappeared after halftime. Antonio Brown had a big first half with five catches for 116 yards, including a 41-yard catch-and-run to set up a field goal and a 35-yard touchdown. But he was targeted just once and didn't have a catch in the second half. Markus Wheaton made big plays in his first game as the No. 2 receiver, none bigger than the back-to- back catches for 32 yards on the winning field-goal drive.


It was a mixed performance for the line under new coach Mike Munchak. The running game produced two rushing touchdowns and averaged 4.5 yards rushing, but Roethlisberger was sacked four times -- three in the second half. Marcus Gilbert allowed two sacks, but sealed the edge on Blount's 7-yard touchdown. And Kelvin Beachum's holding penalty wiped out a 4-yard touchdown run by Bell on the opening drive, forcing the Steelers to settle for a field goal.


Stopping the run has become a lost art for the front seven and something opposing teams will continue to exploit. The Steelers allowed the Browns to rush for 183 yards, including 122 in the second half, and average 6. …

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