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Pittsburgh Steelers

Stadium: Heinz Field | Coach: Mike Tomlin
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense1st118.2 (10th)306.7 (2nd)
Defense18th103.6 (11th)252.9 (25th)

Steelers report: Strategy and personnel

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

PLAYER NOTES

--RB Rashard Mendenhall, adding third-down duties, had more yards receiving Sunday (73 on six catches) than rushing (38 on 11 carries). He looks like a good fit in that role.

--QB Dennis Dixon again served as Ben Roethlisberger's backup with Charlie Batch as the No. 3 quarterback. It should remain that way for the rest of the season.

--LB LaMarr Woodley was credited with half a sack, but that could be changed to a full sack by the Elias Sports Bureau. If so, he and James Harrison would be tied for the team lead with 10 each.

--QB Ben Roethlisberger engineered his 19th career game-winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime.

--WR Mike Wallace caught touchdown passes on the Steelers' first and last play Sunday, his first two-score game.

REPORT CARD VS. PACKERS

PASSING OFFENSE
A -- Ben Roethlisberger became the third quarterback in NFL history to throw for 500 yards, three TDs and no interceptions. His 503 yards rank 10th in NFL history, tops in Steelers history, and they needed every one of them. The only negative came in his five sacks. He completed 29 of 46, and his passer rating was 121.9.

RUSHING OFFENSE
D -- Pittsburgh did not run much against one of the NFL's best run defenses, trying 19 times for 65 yards. Rashard Mendenhall ran 11 times for 38 yards, but he did have one important run, a 2-yard touchdown. Mendenhall also caught six passes for 73 yards, and Mewelde Moore took a short pass 10 yards for a touchdown.

PASS DEFENSE
F -- There was little to like once again for a pass defense that has crumbled. Aaron Rodgers completed 26 of 48 for three touchdowns. He wasn't intercepted, and the most-sacked QB in the league remained relatively upright, sacked just once. His rating was 101.3.

RUSH DEFENSE
D -- It's hard to imagine a defense playing more poorly when the opponent managed only 60 yards rushing, but the Packers ran just 12 times and scored on two of those -- a 24-yard run by Ryan Grant (who was never touched) and a 14-yard scramble by Rodgers.

SPECIAL TEAMS
C --- An onside kick failed when Ike Taylor touched the ball too early, and a pooch kick came up short. There were no returns of note on either side, and the Packers did miss their only field-goal try, from 34 yards, although due to no particular credit of the Steelers. The Packers converted a two-point try. K Jeff Reed was 3-for-3 on field-goal attempts.

COACHING
C -- Bruce Arians, under fire as the offensive coordinator, put all his faith in Roethlisberger, and the quarterback came through. He added some screen passes, and those worked well to Mendenhall and Moore. Mike Tomlin made a bold move with an onside kick, his team up by two with four minutes left. It failed, but it might have worked. He did not want the Packers to chew up clock on a long field and kick a winning field goal with little time left. Green Bay instead scored quickly, and the Steelers had just enough time to pull it out. Something's seriously wrong on defense, but the Steelers continue to go with the same personnel.

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

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