Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Two 0-3 Teams Up Next on Schedule

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Two 0-3 Teams Up Next on Schedule

Article excerpt

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- There aren't many easy games in the NFL, especially for the Steelers in recent years, but if the Steelers want to contend for a playoff berth this season, taking advantage of two downtrodden teams in the next two weeks would enhance their chances. The Steelers' next two opponents are Tampa Bay and Jacksonville, both 0-3 and coming off blowout losses.

The Steelers play host to the Buccaneers at 1 p.m. Sunday at Heinz Field. The Buccaneers are coming off a 56-14 loss Thursday night in Atlanta. Jacksonville is coming off a 44-17 home loss to the Colts and has been outscored, 119-44, in its first three games.

The Buccaneers are playing the second of three consecutive road games after opening the season with home losses to the Carolina Panthers and St. Louis Rams.

It looks like a path to a winning record, but the Steelers haven't always taken care of business against losing teams in recent years. In 2013 they lost to Oakland (4-12), Minnesota (5-10-1) and Tennessee (7-9). In 2012, the Steelers lost to the Browns (5-11), Titans (6-10) and Raiders (4-12).

The Steelers finished 8-8 both years.

Rooney supports Goodell

Steelers president Art Rooney II made his first public comments about embattled NFL commissioner Roger Goodell since he has come under fire for his handling of the Ray Rice case. NBC interviewed Rooney before the game and he was asked if Goodell still had the support of the league's 32 owners.

"I don't sense that," Rooney said. "People want answers, but people also understand that one mistake doesn't ruin a great career, and Roger has had a great career."

Rooney and Giants co-owner John Mara are overseeing the investigation into the league's handling of the case. Robert Mueller, former director of the FBI, is leading the investigation.

Brown ties NFL record

Antonio Brown tied an NFL record Sunday night. Brown recorded at least five receptions for 50 yards or more in his 19th consecutive contest, tying Laveranues Coles, who did it with the Jets and Redskins spanning the 2002 and 2003 seasons.

Wallace starts

Cody Wallace got his first career start at guard in place of Ramon Foster, who injured an ankle in practice last week. …

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