I'm more concerned about Troy not playing.
I'm more concerned about Troy not playing.
why didnt harrison take care of the knee after the denver playoff loss instead of waiting until the start of this season?
No Harrison? No Polamalu? No problems for Steelers
BY F. DALE LOLLEY
PITTSBURGH – Missing former NFL defensive players of the year Troy Polamalu and James Harrison for their game against the New York Jets, the Steelers felt their best defense was a good offense.
That proved to be the case as Pittsburgh played keep away throughout the second half of Sunday’s game at Heinz Field, grounding the Jets in a 27-10 victory.
Ben Roethlisberger completed 24 of 31 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns, and his counterpart, Mark Sanchez, was just 10 of 27 for 138 yards and a score. The Steelers won their 10th consecutive home opener, the longest current streak in the NFL.
“It was an appropriate response to last week’s performance,” said head coach Mike Tomlin, referring to the Steelers’ 31-19 loss at Denver to open the regular season.
“We talked openly about it this week. That’s what good football teams do in the National Football League. They might not always be perfect, but they respond.”
With the win, the Steelers (1-1), who outgained the Jets, 331-219, find themselves tied with Baltimore and Cincinnati atop the AFC North standings. Baltimore lost at Philadelphia, while Cincinnati slipped past Cleveland at home.
“You don’t want to have back-to-back losses in this league, especially with Baltimore losing,” said Steelers linebacker Larry Foote. “Things are banged up in our division. You always want to win at home, and we did that.” Not that the Jets (1-1) made it easy – at least early on.
Sanchez threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to former Steelers star Santonio Holmes on New York’s opening possession, then led the Jets on a 12-play field goal drive the second time they had the ball to put New York ahead, 10-6, midway through the second quarter.
But the Steelers, who had settled for a pair of 45-yard field goals by Shaun Suisham to that point, didn’t allow another score after that and controlled the game with their offense taking large chunks of time off the clock.
“We couldn’t get off the field on third down and we couldn’t stay on the field on third down,” said Jets head coach Rex Ryan. “(Roethlisberger) had a 125 (passer) rating and over 36 minutes with time of possession. ... I thought the game started off well; I knew it was going to be a tough game, but the thirdand- 16 killed us. That was a back-breaker.”
That play came early in the third quarter with the Steelers leading 13-10 after Roethlisberger threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Heath Miller at the end of the first half.
Facing third-and-16 from the New York 37, Roethlisberger avoided the Jets blitz, stepped up in the pocket and lofted a high-arcing pass toward Mike Wallace in the front corner of the end zone.
Wallace, who was shadowed by cornerback Antonio Cromartie throughout the game, made an adjustment and came back for the ball, which was slightly underthrown. He leaped in the air and kept both feet in bounds as Cromartie pushed him to the ground.
“I knew Mike was streaking down the field one-onone,” said Roethlisberger. “I knew they were running next to each other. I wanted to throw it up and let my guy make a play. You figure if it is intercepted, it is going to be a touchback, or Mike tackles them and it ends up as good as a punt.”
Instead, the Steelers took a 20-10 lead.
The Steelers then put the Jets away in the fourth quarter with a 14-play, 75-yard drive that took 10:13 off the clock and ended with a 2-yard touchdown run by Issac Redman.
Pittsburgh’s rushing attack, which had been bottled up to that point, gained 36 yards on eight attempts as Redman and Jonathan Dwyer took turns battering New York’s defensive front.
“We thought going into the game that we could have some success on the edge, but that didn’t work out,” said Steelers offensive tackle Max Starks of the Steelers, who finished with 66 yards rushing. “But we adjusted at halftime and started running the ball right at them.”
That allowed a defense missing two of its biggest stars to stand and watch on the sideline.
“We’re at our best when we’re on our bench,” said Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel. “We’ll take that all day. They had some big drives in each quarter. I’m proud of those guys. They’re playing good, and I think we’re running the ball fairly effectively, and Ben made some magical things happen. He got out of some jams like only Ben does. He’s a great player, and it was a good team win.”
Odds and end zones
LaMarr Woodley and Cameron Heyward recorded sacks for the Steelers. ... Safety Ryan Clark, who sat out against Denver, led the Steelers with eight tackles. ... Holmes finished with three receptions for 28 yards, despite being thrown at 11 times. He did draw four penalties on Pittsburgh cornerbacks for defensive holding or pass interference. ... Roethlisberger joined Terry Bradshaw as the second Steelers player to surpass 27,000 yards passing on his TD pass to Wallace. Roethlisberger now has 27,099 career yards. ... Wallace finished with five receptions for 74 yards, while Antonio Brown had seven for 79.
I think I'd roll the dice this week against the Raiders and keep Harrison and Polamalu where they were against the Jets and that's on the bench. With the bye week following this game, Polamalu would in effect have a three week layoff to get better and another couple weeks for Harrison would be good as well. Palmer is playing poorly and I believe the offense can carry the show for another week.
1.22) Dante Fowler, OLB, UF
2.56) PJ Williams, CB, FSU
3.87) Ben Koyack, TE, ND
4.120) Kurtis Drummond, FS, MSU
5.152) David Johnson, RB, North Iowa
6.183) Sean Mannion, QB, Oregon St.
7.214) Lynden Trail, OLB, Norfolk St.
"Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it." -- Chuck Noll