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hawaiiansteel
11-21-2010, 07:24 PM
Steelers rebound as defense returns to form in Raiders rout

Associated Press



PITTSBURGH -- The Raiders haven't seen a Steelers defense like this since the Steel Curtain of the 1970s.

James Harrison caused two turnovers that Ben Roethlisberger turned into touchdown passes and the Pittsburgh Steelers went on to rout the Oakland Raiders 35-3 on Sunday.
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Roethlisberger threw touchdown passes of 52 yards to Mike Wallace, 22 yards to rookie Emmanuel Sanders and 16 yards to Isaac Redman and scrambled 16 yards for a touchdown as the Steelers (7-3) bounced back in a big way after being rolled over by New England 39-26 at Heinz Field the week before.

Roethlisberger was 18 of 29 for 275 yards and also had 55 yards rushing. Wallace had his fifth 100-yard receiving game with 116 yards, and Rashard Mendenhall's 15-yard TD run put Pittsburgh ahead to stay 7-3 in the second quarter.

Pittsburgh remained tied for the AFC North lead with Baltimore (7-3). Oakland (5-5) fell out of a tie for the AFC West lead when the Chiefs beat Arizona.

Harrison, the former AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year, had five tackles, two sacks, an interception and a forced fumble, plus a penalty for slamming Campbell to the turf as the quarterback was throwing a pass.

Harrison, still unhappy with the 27-24 upset loss to Oakland in Pittsburgh last season that effectively ruined the Steelers' season, played his best game since drawing his $75,000 fine for hitting Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi that caused him to briefly weigh retiring.

The Raiders haven't been so dominated defensively by the Steelers since that Steel Curtain carried Pittsburgh to AFC championship game victories of 24-13 in Oakland during the 1974 season and 16-10 in Pittsburgh a season later.

Campbell had led Oakland to three consecutive victories, but was pulled for Bruce Gradkowski late in the third quarter after going 7 of 19 for 70 yards and an interception.

Campbell never had a chance against a Steelers defense that forced Oakland into becoming one-dimensional by limiting Darren McFadden to 14 yards on 10 carries.

McFadden was averaging a league-leading 108 yards per game, only to be shut down by a league-best rushing defense that has allowed only one 100-yard rusher in 44 games.
Gradkowski, who threw three touchdown passes during the final 8 1/2 minutes of Oakland's stunning win in Pittsburgh last season, was intercepted by Troy Polamalu on his first series, and the Steelers turned that into Wallace's touchdown.

The Steelers had 163 yards in penalties, including six personal fouls to break the club record of 154 yards set against Cincinnati in 1989. But the Steelers also had six sacks. The Harrison penalty so upset the crowd of 64,987 that it booed for the ensuing three plays, and fans began a derisive cheer aimed at referee Tony Corrente.

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No that all those penalty yards mattered. Oakland averaged 458 yards and 38.6 points during its three-game winning streak, but had only 52 yards -- 11 rushing -- as the Steelers opened a 21-3 halftime lead.

Pittsburgh took that lead after Louis Murphy's fumble led to Roethlisberger's scoring throw to Sanders with 1:26 left before halftime. As Roethlisberger celebrated, he apparently said something to defensive end Richard Seymour, who turned and struck him in the jaw with an open hand and was ejected.

That penalty summed up the Raiders' frustration on a day they hoped to win in Pittsburgh in successive seasons for the first time in club history and extend their winning streak to four games, their longest since 2002.

Instead, the Steelers manhandled them on both sides of the line of scrimmage during their most complete game since beating Tampa Bay 38-13 on Sept. 26, even while playing with a makeshift offensive line.

The Steelers, already without injured tackles Max Starks and Willie Colon, lost center Maurkice Pouncey to a thigh injury in the second half and tackle Jonathan Scott and guard Chris Kemoeatu went out briefly. Trai Essex, replaced at right guard by Ramon Foster in a previously unannounced move, played left tackle and left guard and Doug Legursky filled in at center.

Steelers receiver Hines Ward made three catches for 28 yards a week after a concussion sidelined him for the final three quarters against New England, ending his streak of 186 consecutive games with a reception.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=301121023

DukieBoy
11-21-2010, 09:07 PM
http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_ ... um=twitter (http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/20759/are-the-steelers-being-targeted?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter)

hawaiiansteel
11-21-2010, 10:44 PM
Even More Analysis: Steelers Overcome Penalties, Whip Raiders 35-3

Posted on November 21, 2010 by ryan


First things first: good teams overcome atrocious officiating. Iím always blathering on about how the refs donít matter Ö but good god, man. It started early with the silly roughing the passer penalty on LaMarr Woodley and by the end of the day the Steelers had been penalized 14 for 163 yards. And still won by 32 points.

The game was over by halftime. In fact, I thought Oaklandís best chance to compete involved Bruce Gradkowski under center but by the time Jason Campbell was pulled early in the third quarter the game had pretty much been decided.

Whatever, Iíll take the 35-3 beating, and like Pats fans last week, will happily announce that my team is back. Itís a nice feeling, especially since I was starting to think there was something to this Curse of 6-3. Instead, Big Ben got his first big lopsided win of 2010 and he did as much damage with his feet as he did with his arm.

And with that, onto some other random observations:

* Weíve been talking about this since preseason and today, for the first time, Manny Sanders and Antonio Brown got a hat. Sanders dropped a nice Big Ben pass on the second possession but hauled in a nifty touchdown in the second quarter. Brown also had a big catch for 21 yards and a punt return for touchdown that was (rightly) called back for two blocks in the back. But more than that, Brown gives the Steelers something they havenít had since Randle Elís first stint in Pittsburgh: a punt returner who can do more than fair catch. Itís refreshing to think that the Steelers are actively trying to improve the special teams instead of hiding it. (By the way, how far has Tony Hills fallen on the depth chart that heís inactive on game day when the Steelers have the motliest offensive line in tackle football? Answer: the next move will involve him cleaning out his locker and getting a part-time job with Skippy at the Monroeville Sheetz.)

* Despite the rotating door that has become the Steelers o-line, they collectively did a swell job of keeping Ben upright. Richard Seymour saying ďEff it, Iím going to the locker room for some hot wings, Iíll see you guys in a couple hoursĒ right before halftime certainly helped, and the Raiders rushing four most of the afternoon did too. But weíve seen the fat five guys in front of Roethlisberger struggle in similar situations in the past.

* I hesitate to even write this because injuries are obviously random. Either way, here goes: the Steelers have to stop getting hurt. Thatís all there is to it. Weíre at the point where Pittsburgh will be signing o-linemen off the street. Of course, as JJ points out on a weekly basis, having a roster full of C- linemen isnít a bug, itís a feature.

* As happens every Sunday, my buddy texted me during the game. He made a good point after Ikeís pick-six was called back because Deebo tackled Jason Campbell in an intimidating manner: that interception and touchdown could cost Taylor a trip to the Pro Bowl. Not only has he earned it, heís quietly having one of his best seasons in the NFL. But more than that, I wouldnít be surprised if the Steelers, half joking, put an incentive clause in Taylorís last deal that paid him $10 million dollars for a interception returned for a touchdown. So thanks, Tony Corrente. You just cost Ike his eight-figure bonus.

* More special teams love: Anthony Madison was downfield and in the punt returnerís face on every punt that I can remember. And if he wasnít in on the play he did his part, maintained his lane, and let his teammates clean up. Iím beginning to think that Bob Ligashesky was basically the Steelersí version of Creed Bratton.

* Random on top of random: congrats to Brian St. Pierre for throwing a touchdown against the Ravens Sunday. Pretty sure that was the highlight of his day.

* Every week I marvel at the fact that Rashard Mendenhall hasnít fumbled and today that streak finally ended. Thing is, I canít complain because if youíre going to put the ball on the turf you might as well do it late in the fourth quarter against a team that had already given up.

* Santonio Holmes had another game-winning catch for the luckiest team on Earth, but Mike Wallace continues to get better every week, particularly when it comes to making plays in the middle of the field. And while ó to paraphrase Rick Pitino ó Holmes ainít walkiní through that door, Wallace, Sanders and Brown can go a long way to fill that void.

Related: that was the most complete performance by Roethlisberger that I can remember. A lot of that has to do with that patchwork o-line holding steady (and, for the life of me, I have no idea why the Raiders didnít blitz Big Ben silly given what happened last Sunday night), but you have to credit him for making sometimes tough throws (and, perhaps more importantly, pulling the ball down and running for a first down or touchdown).

* The Steelers head to Buffalo at 7-3. Like a year ago, the schedule is there friend. Hopefully, this time around weíre not forced to endure a give-game losing streak. So far so good on that front.

http://www.steelerslounge.com/2010/11/s ... iders-353/ (http://www.steelerslounge.com/2010/11/steelers-overcome-penalties-whip-raiders-353/)