Pittsburgh Steelers

Stadium: Heinz Field | Coach: Mike Tomlin
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense2nd109.5 (16th)301.6 (2nd)
Defense18th100.3 (6th)253.1 (27th)

Steelers report: Strategy and personnel

The Sports Xchange
 
Strategy and personnel · Inside slant · Notes, quotes
 

PLAYER NOTES

--DE Travis Kirschke, starting for injured Aaron Smith, left the game with what appeared to be a serious left calf injury Sunday.

--LB Lawrence Timmons left Sunday's game with a sprained right ankle. A high sprain to his left ankle kept him out of the opening game.

--WR Mike Wallace, who caught a 40-yard touchdown pass Sunday, leads all rookie receivers with 368 yards. He has a 17.5-yard average on 21 catches.

--RB Rashard Mendenhall lost his second fumble in two games in scoring territory, yet his 418 yards (5.4 average per carry) and four TDs rushing lead the team.

--LB James Farrior led the Steelers vs. the Vikings with 15 tackles and continues to lead them in tackles at age 34.

REPORT CARD VS. VIKINGS

PASSING OFFENSE
C -- Ben Roethlisberger completed 14 of 26 passes for 175 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions, three sacks and an 87.8 passer rating. The Vikings played the Tampa 2 defense to take away the big play, particularly against Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward, who combined for just three receptions. Holmes did catch one for 45 yards, and rookie Mike Wallace caught a 40-yard touchdown pass, but the rest of the day featured dink-and-dunk passes.

RUSHING OFFENSE
B-minus -- The Steelers averaged 5.3 yards per carry but ran only 20 times, three of those on end-arounds by receivers. Rashard Mendenhall had 69 yards and a 6.9-yard average but lost a fumble at the Minnesota 4. The Steelers did not score on the ground.

PASS DEFENSE
B -- Brett Favre accumulated a lot of yards on a lot of passes. He was 34-for-51 for 334 yards. But he was sacked four times, one resulting in a 77-yard fumble return for a touchdown. He also threw incomplete into the end zone twice from the 1. His only interception became an 82-yard TD return that sealed the victory with one minute left. Favre did not throw a TD pass and had a 76.8 passer rating.

RUSH DEFENSE
B-plus -- Adrian Peterson, the NFL's leading rusher last year and this one, managed only 69 yards on 18 carries (3.8 average) and had one touchdown. The Vikings ran only 23 times for 89 yards and the one score.

SPECIAL TEAMS
C-minus -- One late kickoff return by Percy Harvin of 88 yards for a touchdown nearly ruined an otherwise decent game. Jeff Reed made both of his field-goal attempts, and the Steelers made some good tackles for most of the game. Stefan Logan continues to be so-so as a punt return man.

COACHING
B -- The Steelers did not seem to have an answer to the Tampa 2 defense the Vikings used, preferring to dink and dunk it downfield to little success. They abandoned a running game that was working. Defensively, they did what they do -- stopped the run -- and had a bend-but-don't-break mentality against the pass.

Copyright (C) 2009 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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