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Pittsburgh Steelers

Stadium: Heinz Field | Coach: Mike Tomlin
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense19th86.4 (26th)251.1 (10th)
Defense13th115.6 (18th)221.6 (10th)

Steelers report: Strategy and personnel

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

PLAYER NOTES

--LB James Harrison got his 10th sack Sunday, on pace to equal the club-record 16 he had last season. He also recovered a fumble by the Chiefs that set up a score.

--RB Willie Parker finally got into the game plan. After carrying only twice in the previous three games, he had six carries for 24 yards playing every third series Sunday.

--SS Troy Polamalu missed Sunday's game with a sprained PCL in his left knee and is likely to miss this week's game in Baltimore.

--QB Ben Roethlisberger's 398 yards passing vs. the Chiefs are the third-most in his career.

--WR Hines Ward caught a season-high 10 passes for 128 yards and one touchdown Sunday to give him 63 for 798 yards and five touchdowns.

REPORT CARD VS. CHIEFS

PASSING OFFENSE
B -- Ben Roethlisberger had one of his better days, completing 32 of 42 passes for 398 yards and three touchdowns. While his two interceptions were not his fault, they were the fault of the passing game. Heath Miller allowed one to go through his hands that was picked off, and the other occurred when the QB was hit as he was throwing into the end zone. Also, Mike Wallace fumbled after catching one for 33 yards. Roethlisberger was sacked three times.

RUSHING OFFENSE
C-minus -- The Steelers at least tried this time, rushing 31 times -- but for only 114 yards and no touchdowns. Rashard Mendenhall led with 80 yards on 21 carries. Pittsburgh also could not get an important 2 yards in overtime on third down at the Kansas City 35-yard line. Mewelde Moore ran wide and lost 3, forcing a punt that led to the Chiefs' winning drive.

PASS DEFENSE
D -- Matt Cassel completed only 15 passes but for 248 yards, including a 61-yarder in overtime that set up the winning field goal. He also had consecutive completions of 30 and 47 yards. He threw two touchdown passes and no interceptions; Steelers defensive backs dropped two right in their hands. The secondary also said it was confused on the 61-yard pass because it did not get the play call. Cassel, who was sacked five times, had a 100.4 passer rating.

RUSH DEFENSE
B-plus -- The Chiefs managed only 68 yards on 20 carries with Jamaal Charles leading the way with 58 yards on 17 tries. They did not score a touchdown, and their long run was 8 yards.

SPECIAL TEAMS
F -- The comedy of errors continued as the Steelers' kickoff team allowed an opening touchdown, the fourth TD against them in the past five games. Stefan Logan did a little better job returning both punts (10.7-yard average) and kickoffs (28.8 average), and Jeff Reed made his only field-goal try, but it wasn't enough to offset that opening gaffe.

COACHING
F -- Mike Tomlin, for the first time as Pittsburgh's coach, publicly took the blame for the loss. It's apparent the Steelers cannot coach the kickoff coverage team no matter what they do. The call for a pitch wide to Moore in overtime when they needed 2 yards to keep what might have been the game-winning drive was highly questionable. The secondary was confused on the last play, a 61-yard pass to the 4.

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

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