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fordfixer
09-26-2011, 01:17 AM
Tomlin on win over the Colts
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Mike Tomlin: It was nice to get a road win. We werenít able to do that until tonight. Weíre thankful for that. It wasnít easy by any stretch, but we didnít anticipate it being. They have quality people of course. They have great fans in a hostile environment. Fortunately for us we were able to make enough plays to get out. From an injury standpoint (Doug) Legursky has a shoulder; weíll see where he is. Marcus Gilbert, the same thing, shoulder. Arnaz Battle wasnít able to finish, he had a hamstring. Other injuries are bumps and bruises along the way. We tip our caps to the Indianapolis Colts. They fought us tooth and nail, we expected them to. Itís good to get a win.

Can you talk about the lack of the running game tonight?
We take responsibility for what we put on tape. We acknowledge that they played extremely well in that regard. We could do better. They are a unique front; theyíre very quick; they get off on things. They disrupt the run with their quickness, particularly when you are using the silent count. I thought they did a nice job to utilize the home field advantage. We didnít do a good enough job of neutralizing in terms of play-making. It was tough sledding all night for the most part in that area. We have to do better.

Was there anything wrong with Rashard Mendenhall late?
No. We were just in two-minute football. We have a great deal of comfort in what Mewelde (Moore) is capable of doing. You saw what he is capable of doing.

Was there anything wrong with Jonathan Scott?
I didnít get that update. I am sorry. Iíll have to let you know on that.

Was it a knee?
I donít know what it is. I am not going to speculate. I apologize for that. I was kind of running over here.

Can you talk about how hard it is going against a guy like Dwight Freeney?
Itís difficult, donít get me wrong. Itís doubly difficult when heís got another quality man on the other side in (Terrence) Mathis. When there are two, you have big problems. I am sure people have been going through that the last nine or 10 years versus that tandem. One guy is tough when you are talking about the caliber of guys that they are. Two guys are extremely difficult.

Why the time out with eight seconds left? Why with that much time left?
Just in case we had a ball-handling issue or anything of that nature. We wanted to preserve enough time to do it again if necessary. It wasnít going to go down on one play. If we had a low snap or something we could afford to lose the four or five yards or whatever and re-kick the ball if necessary.

James Harrison has had the back problem. He looked pretty good tonight. Is he 100%?
He has been fine. Weíre not going to make excuses for how we played. That guy is on the field, he is capable of playing.

What did you think of his performance?
Obviously the big play was pivotal for us. I thought he was solid all night. I thought he was tough against the run. We had a lot of guys put forth quality efforts.

After last weekís shutout, was that a return to winning ugly?
We donít care how it looks. We just want to try to get out of stadiums with wins, particularly road stadiums and AFC ones.

In such a close game, what made the difference tonight?
We probably made one or two more plays than they did. That is usually always the case in games such as that, close games. We made the necessary plays on offense, defense and special teams.

Did you play them differently without Peyton Manning in there?
Yes.

Were you ready to throw a tight end in there at tackle?
Thankfully it didnít come to that.

Who does go in there at tackle if needed, one of the tight ends?
Yes.

hawaiiansteel
09-26-2011, 01:23 AM
Steelers able to limp past Colts on the road

By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, September 26, 2011


INDIANAPOLIS ó The ball traced a sublime arc inside of Lucas Oil Stadium, and Ben Roethlisberger put just enough air under it for Mike Wallace to catch it in stride.

After gathering in what would turn into the third-longest pass of Roethlisberger's career, Wallace was off and running.

Unfortunately for the Steelers, not everyone followed that lead.

The Steelers squandered an early 10-point lead and a late seven-point advantage, but Roethlisberger bailed them out at the end by engineering a 10-play, 60-yard drive that Shaun Suisham capped with a 38-yard field goal with 4 seconds left in the game.

A 23-20 win Sunday in front of an announced crowd of 66,309 proved to be more drama-filled than Steelers coach Mike Tomlin would have liked ó or that it needed to be.

Of course, what mattered most after the Steelers' overcame three first-half turnovers that gifted 13 points to the winless Colts is they are 2-1 and tied for first in the AFC North.

Roethlisberger threw for 364 yards and conjured up more late-game magic behind a patchwork offensive line. The defense, meanwhile, parlayed a late turnover into what looked like the game-winning touchdown only to have Colts quarterback Curtis Painter, subbing for the injured Kerry Collins, march them 80 yards on 10 plays for the game-tying touchdown.

What is troubling for the Steelers, with a trip to Houston looming next Sunday, is they have committed 10 turnovers, and their miscues last night included a missed field goal and several penalties that short-circuited drives.

In addition, the offensive line got handled by a defense that rarely finds itself in the same sentence with "physical" and the Steelers couldn't finish off the Colts despite having several opportunities to do so.

The line is also beat up; tackles, Jonathan Scott and Marcus Gilbert, as well as right guard Doug Legursky, left last night's game with injuries.

Gilbert, in fact, had to return late in the game to play left tackle after Scott was helped off the field.

The Steelers appeared to be in firm control after Wallace made the longest catch of his young career, an 81-yarder that gave them a 10-0 lead late in the first quarter.

The Steelers later seemed primed to deliver the staggering blow that might finish a reeling team, but a turnover pumped oxygen into the Colts and their fans.

Roethlisberger, who threw for 231 yards in the first half, made a mistake after a near-flawless start when he held onto the ball too long and got sacked from behind by defensive end Robert Mathis.

The hit caused a fumble that the Colts recovered, and Collins proceeded to march them inside the Steelers' 5-yard line.

The defense held ó Troy Polamalu made a key third-down pass deflection in the end zone ó forcing the Colts to settle for a 21-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri.

They weren't as lucky the next time Roethlisberger got drilled from behind, as the Freeney hit sent the Colts going the other way on his sack.

After Jamaal Anderson's fumble return tied the score, Roethlisberger overshot Emmanuel Sanders and safety Joe Lefeged picked off the pass. That set up a 25-yard Vinatieri field goal and allowed the Colts to take a 13-10 lead into halftime.

The Steelers put together an extended drive on their first possession, but it stalled at the Colts' 19-yard line. Suisham's 36-yard field goal attempt bounced off the left upright.

Suisham redeemed himself three minutes into the fourth quarter when he split the uprights on a 44-yard field goal attempt, tying the game at 13 and setting the stage for his game-winning kick.

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fordfixer
09-26-2011, 01:27 AM
Suisham's late FG sends Steelers past Colts 23-20
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- During the final moments of a tight game Sunday night, Pittsburgh relied on its old standbys.

Troy Polamalu and Ben Roethlisberger .

Polamalu returned a fumble 16 yards to give Pittsburgh the lead, and Roethlisberger drove the Steelers 60 yards to set up Shaun Suisham for a 38-yard field goal with 4 seconds left that sent the Steelers to a 23-20 victory at Indianapolis.

Just like old times.

"Our defense, they're fun to watch," Roethlisberger said. "They make exciting plays when they need to, and they're on my side."

One strong final burst was enough after the Steelers looked out of sorts for the first 54 minutes.

Roethlisberger lost two fumbles and threw an interception during an 11-minute first-half stretch. Pittsburgh (2-1) managed just 67 yards rushing all night, and the vaunted Steelers defense produced just one sack.

Polamalu, Roethlisberger and James Harrison bailed them out. Again.

Harrison's crunching sack of Curtis Painter with 5:13 left knocked the ball out and the opportunistic Polamalu scooped it up and jogged into the end zone to make it 20-13. After the Colts tied it with 2:09 left, Roethlisberger delivered another one of his patented late drives, setting up Suisham for the winning kick.

Roethlisberger was 25 of 37 for 364 yards with one touchdown. Mike Wallace caught five passes for 144 yards and an 81-yard score, the longest of his career.

And they won ugly.

"We don't care how it looks," coach Mike Tomlin said. "We just want to get out of stadiums with wins, particularly road stadiums and AFC ones."

Sunday's game wasn't supposed to be so difficult for the defending AFC champs.

But Indianapolis (0-3), which has won 16 Sunday night games since 2000 - more than any other team, used the national stage to send a message. They're not going away quickly or quietly, even with Peyton Manning out.

The Colts defense had three sacks, forced three turnovers, delivered a plethora of big hits and even scored Indy's first first-half touchdown of the season.

It just wasn't enough.

"We don't care about second-place prizes or playing good for a half or three quarters," said Dwight Freeney , who had two sacks and forced a fumble that was returned for a TD. "We didn't play good enough to win."

Indy's effort was complicated by injuries.

Five Colts starters, including Manning, were inactive. Indianapolis then lost backup quarterback Kerry Collins to a possible concussion that could keep him out of next Monday's game at Tampa Bay.

Collins' exit early in the fourth quarter pinned the Colts' hopes on Painter, who entered with a career quarterback rating of 9.8. But he nearly pulled it off.

Collins was 13 of 29 for 93 yards but just 3 of 9 in the second half. Painter was 5 of 11 for 60 yards with a 62.7 rating and led Indy to the most meaningful offensive touchdown of the season. Joseph Addai carried 17 times for 86 yards and a 6-yard TD run that tied it at 20 with 2:09 to go.

"We still are measured around here by wins," coach Jim Caldwell said. "That's what counts. But the guys played tough, played hard, and you certainly can see evidence that we're getting a little bit better, but the key is, you've got to win."

Initially, it looked like the Steelers would win easily.

They got a 48-yard field goal from Suisham on the opening possession and took advantage of a terrible mismatch - linebacker Pat Angerer on Wallace - for the 81-yard pass that made it 10-0.

Then Indy's defense did its best Pittsburgh impersonation.

Robert Mathis stripped Roethlisberger and recovered the ball, which led to a field goal. Dwight Freeney followed that with a strip sack from the opposite side. Jamaal Anderson scooped up the ball, cut to the middle of the field and used a brilliant block from Kavell Conner to free himself for a 47-yard score.

On the next play from scrimmage, Roethlisberger's deep pass for Emmanuel Sanders was picked off by rookie Joe Lefeged . Adam Vinatieri then hit a 25-yard field goal to make it 13-10 at the half.

Suddenly, the Steelers were in trouble.

"We just couldn't get things going with the turnovers," receiver Hines Ward said. "It looked like it was going to be a blowout, but we let that team back in."

Suisham tied it with a 44-yard field goal with 12:10 to go, and the Steelers were in a good position when Harrison smacked Painter in the back and Polamalu scored.

But Painter answered with an 80-yard drive, getting the tying score on Addai's run with 2:09 left.

"We walked out of here with a win. Did we play well? No, we know we didn't play well," Ward said. "Do we got to get better? Yes, and we will get better."

NOTES: Manning made his first appearance at Lucas Oil Stadium since an Aug. 26 preseason game but spent the night in the coaches' booth trying to help his team. ... Wallace had his sixth straight 100-yard game. ... Reggie Wayne became the second Colts receiver with 800 career catches with 10:22 left in the first half. ... The 81-yard TD pass was the third longest of Roethlisberger's career. ... Steelers tackles Marcus Gilbert and Doug Legursky both left in the second half with shoulder injuries. ... Colts cornerback Justin Tryon also left in the third quarter with a hamstring injury.

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fordfixer
09-26-2011, 01:29 AM
Steelers overcome turnovers, edge Colts on late FG
CBSSports.com wire reports
Sep. 25, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS -- Pittsburgh's defense and Ben Roethlisberger's late-game mastery did it again.

James Harrison's late sack of Curtis Painter and Troy Polamalu's 16-yard fumble return for a touchdown finally gave the Steelers a second-half lead. Roethlisberger set up Shaun Suisham for a 38-yard field goal with four seconds left to give Pittsburgh a 23-20 victory at Indianapolis on Sunday night.
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It looked nothing like the Steelers' trademark pattern until the closing minutes.

Roethlisberger turned over the ball three times during an 11-minute span in the first half, Pittsburgh (2-1) rushed for only 67 yards and the vaunted Steelers defense produced only one sack -- the one Polamalu scored on.

But Roethlisberger took the Steelers on a 60-yard scoring march that ended with Suisham's kick.

Roethlisberger was 25 of 37 for 364 yards with one touchdown. Mike Wallace caught five passes for 144 yards and an 81-yard score, the longest of his career.

But the feisty Colts (0-3) rallied from a 10-point first-half deficit, took a 13-10 halftime lead and didn't fall behind again until Polamalu scored with 5:13 left in the game.

Joseph Addai ran 17 times for 86 yards and scored on a 6-yard run that tied it at 20 with 2:09 to go.

Indy's defense just couldn't hold it.

Pittsburgh took advantage quickly.
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It got a 48-yard field goal from Suisham on the opening possession and took advantage of a terrible mismatch -- linebacker Pat Angerer on Wallace -- for the 81-yard pass to make it 10-0 in the first quarter.

Then Indy's defense did its best Pittsburgh impersonation.

Robert Mathis stripped Roethlisberger on a sack near midfield and recovered the ball, too, setting up Adam Vinatieri's 21-yard field goal midway through the second quarter.

On the next series, Dwight Freeney, coming from the opposite side, stripped Roethlisberger on another sack. Jamaal Anderson scooped up the ball, cut to the middle of the field and used a brilliant block from Kavell Conner to free himself for a 47-yard score. That made it 10-10.

The defense wasn't finished.

On the next play, Roethlisberger's deep pass for Emmanuel Sanders was picked off by rookie Joe Lefeged. Four plays later, Vinatieri hit a 25-yard field goal to make it 13-10 at the half -- Indy's first halftime lead of the season.

"Getting those turnovers is key," coach Jim Caldwell said at halftime. "Now we've got to do a little bit more with the offense. We got field goals in a couple of situations where we needed touchdowns."

Even when the Steelers finally got into position to tie the score, they struggled. Suisham hit the left upright on a 36-yard field goal in the third quarter.

Suisham tied it with a 44-yard field goal with 12:10 to play, then things looked like they might return to normal when Harrison smacked Painter in the back and Polamalu scored.

But Painter didn't waste his second chance.

He methodically took the Colts 80 yards, getting the most meaningful offensive TD of the season when Addai shook off the blitzing Polamalu and powered in from 6 yards to tie the score with 2:09 left.

hawaiiansteel
09-26-2011, 01:36 AM
Steelers defeat Colts, 23-20

Monday, September 26, 2011
By Ed Bouchette , Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/images/201109/20110925_pd_steelers4_330.jpg

Mike Wallace hauls in an 81-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger in the first quarter against the Colts Sunday in Indianapolis.

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Steelers could not run, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could not hide and the Indianapolis Colts, heavy underdogs, kept things close Sunday night right up to the end.

In the very end, though, the Steelers pulled it out, 23-20, when Shaun Suisham kicked a 38-yard field goal with four seconds left to end a 60-yard drive that began at their 20, and a wild finish over the final five minutes.

The game never should have been that close -- the Colts scored three times in the second quarter on three Steelers turnovers, two fumbles and an interception by Roethlisberger.

Turnovers kept the Colts in the game until the Steelers finally turned one of their own, their first of the season, and it came in classic fashion for them for a 20-13 lead in the fourth quarter.

With the score tied, 13-13, James Harrison sacked Indianapolis third-string quarterback, Curtis Painter, on second down at the Colts 25. The ball popped loose and Troy Polamalu in all-to-familiar style swooped in to pick it up and ran it 16 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 5:13 left.

But the Colts weren't done. With no offensive touchdowns and all 13 previous points coming off Steelers turnovers in the second quarter, Indianapolis mounted an 80-yard drive behind Painter to score the tying touchdown with 2:09 left on Joseph Addai's 6-yard run, 20-20.

The Steelers were fortunate that Indianapolis first did not have Peyton Manning available at quarterback and then lost backup quarterback Kerry Collins to a possible concussion in the third quarter.

The Steelers crushed the Colts in total yards, 408-241, but the turnovers kept Indianapolis in the game.

Roethlisberger played a game part brilliant, part under siege. He threw for 364 yards, including 171 in the first quarter when the Steelers ran out to a 10-0 lead. But he also threw an interception and lost two fumbles, all in the second quarter that led to 13 Indianapolis points.

The Steelers again could not count on their ground game. Rashard Mendenhall carried 18 times for just 37 yards, and was replaced on the final drive by Mewelde Moore and Isaac Redman. The Steelers had just 67 yards rushing.

Suisham, who earlier missed a 36-yard field goal, kicked one from 44 yards to tie the score, 13-13, with 12:10 left, and then added his winner. He made 3 of 4.

The Steelers turned what looked like the makings of an easy victory into a 13-10 halftime deficit when the Colts turned things around with three scores off turnovers of Roethlisberger in the second quarter.

Two lost fumbles after sacks and a late interception produced all 13 points by the Colts, who erased the Steelers' 10-0 lead and domination of the first quarter.

The first sack, by defensive end Robert Mathis, started a long Colts drive that ended in a field goal. The second sack, by defensive end Dwight Freeney, turned into a touchdown, when defensive end Jamaal Anderson ran the fumble back 47 yards.

On the next series, Roethlisberger overthrew Emmanuel Sanders on a deep pass. Rookie Joe Lefeged made a diving interception at the Indianapolis 48 and could have been downed by Sanders, who instead jumped over the defensive back without touching him.

Lefeged jumped up and returned the interception 25 yards before he was brought down. A personal foul against Antonio Brown gave the Colts a first down at the 12. They took the lead on Adam Vinatieri's 25-yard field goal with 1:19 to go in the first half.

While the interception was all on him, Roethlisberger could do little about the sack/fumbles. The first happened when Mathis beat rookie right tackle Marcus Gilbert. The second came when Freeney ran around left tackle Jonathan Scott and slammed into Roethlisberger's back from the blind side.

The Colts recovered the first one at the 50 and drove 47 yards on 12 plays to settle for Vinatieri's first field goal, of 21 yards.

The Steelers were fortunate the Colts managed only another Vinatieri field goal after the interception. Indianapolis had a first down at the 12 but could get no closer than the 7 on two runs and an incomplete pass.

The two sack/fumbles made it four by Roethlisberger this season; he also had two in Baltimore.

The Steelers took a 10-0 lead after the first quarter, in which they dominated the Colts.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/images/201109/20110925pdsteelers3_500.jpg

Roethlisberger uncorked a deep pass that Mike Wallace caught in stride at the Colts 35 and completed an 81-yard touchdown reception with 3:29 left in the opening quarter.

It was the third catch of the quarter for Wallace for 129 yards, giving him six consecutive 100-yard regular-season games, extending his own team record.

Wallace got behind what appeared to be a zone defense and blew past David Caldwell by several yards before catching the perfectly thrown ball.

The Steelers scored on two of their first three drives. They looked sharp on the game's first drive as Roethlisberger opened by throwing. He completed two of his first three passes to Wallace for gains of 19 and 29. The drive, though, ended when Emmanuel Sanders, on third down from the 30, dropped a perfect pass that hit him in both hands over the middle at the 10.

Suisham gave the Steelers a 3-0 lead when he kicked a 48-yard field goal. But Suisham missed a field goal from 36 yards that would have tied the game with 4:18 to go in the quarter. It was his second miss from medium-range distances in the past two games. He also missed one from 41 yards against Seattle. This time, the ball hit the top of the left upright and bounced left.

Suisham then made his next, from 44 yards to tie the score at 13-13 with 12:10 left, setting up the dramatic finish.

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fordfixer
09-26-2011, 02:09 AM
Steelers highs and lows
September 26, 2011
By Buck Frank
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The following are the highlights and lowlights from the Steelers' 23-20 victory over the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Sunday night:

Play of the game: With 5:21 left in the game and the score tied, 13-13, Steelers linebacker James Harrison swiped the ball away from Colts backup quarterback Curtis Painter, and Pittsburgh's Troy Polamalu recovered the ball and scored from 16 yards out.

Offensive player of the game: Steelers receiver Mike Wallace caught five passes for 144 yards and a touchdown.

Defensive player of the game: Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney was a force all night with two sacks and a forced fumble. It is also worth noting Colts linebacker Pat Angerer was credited with 20 tackles.

Most telling statistic: The Steelers had nearly 200 more passing yards than the Colts (341-144).

Hidden statistic: Wallace, who said he'd like to get 2,000 receiving yards this season, is currently on pace for 2,010.

Best pass: Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger fired a perfect deep ball to Wallace in the first quarter for an 81-yard touchdown.

Worst pass: Roethlisberger overthrew Emmanuel Sanders in the second quarter and was picked off by Joe Lefeged.

Best run: The Colts' Joseph Addai followed Dallas Clark and Anthony Castonzo for an 11-yard gain before LaMarr Woodley came across the field for the tackle in the second quarter.

Best catch: Pittsburgh tight end Heath Miller caught a deep pass for 30 yards in the third quarter that led to a game-tying field goal.

Dropped pass: Sanders missed a throw over the middle early in the game that would have set the Steelers up for a possible touchdown.

Best block: Pittsburgh right guard Doug Legursky sprung Rashard Mendenhall for a 15-yard third-quarter run by taking out Angerer.

Missed block: Steelers left tackle Jonathan Scott was beaten by Freeney on a second-quarter play in which Freeney knocked the ball away from Roethlisberger, and Jamaal Anderson returned it 47 yards for a touchdown.

Best tackle: Pittsburgh cornerback William Gay had a textbook tackle of Addai on a third-and-11 pass in the first quarter that went for just 2 yards.

Best hit: Colts cornerback Terrence Johnson leveled Roethlisberger on a 4-yard run in the third quarter.

Missed tackle: Steelers right tackle Marcus Gilbert could have stopped Anderson on his 47-yard fumble return.

Best coverage: Polamalu was all over Clark on a second-quarter throw by Kerry Collins into the end zone.

Worst coverage: Colts defensive back Jerraud Powers gambled on a short pass to Wallace and lost - he gave up a 29-yard gain.

Best kick: Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham nailed the game-winner, a 38-yard field goal, but earlier had made a 48-yard field goal.

Worst kick: Suisham hit the left upright on a 36-yard, third-quarter field-goal attempt.

Best return: Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown brought back a punt 37 yards to the Colts' 33-yard line early in the fourth quarter.

Best decision: The Steelers kept the ball out of Mendenhall's slippery hands on their final drive.

Worst decision: The Colts should not have had Painter back to pass on a second-and-3 play at his own 25 in a tie game with 5:21 remaining.

Best effort: Roethlisberger was pressured all night, yet completed 25-of-37 for 364 yards. At least three of his incompletions were drops.

Worst effort: Sanders didn't try to touch Lefeged while he was on the ground after his interception.

Unsung hero: Steelers running back Mewelde Moore was superb on the Steelers' final drive, catching a pass out of the backfield for 22 yards and then adding runs of 5 and 4 yards.

Missed opportunity: Painter had Pierre Garcon wide open down the right sideline in the fourth quarter for what most likely would have been a 64-yard touchdown but badly overthrew him.

Worst penalty: An illegal formation call against Scott took the Steelers out of field-goal range in the fourth quarter.

Replays: Only touchdowns were reviewed, and all were upheld.