View Full Version : Roethlisberger sharp, defense dominating as Steelers beat Bills 17-0

08-29-2009, 09:37 PM
Roethlisberger sharp, defense dominating as Steelers beat Bills 17-0

AP Sports Writer

7:26 PM PDT, August 29, 2009

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ben Roethlisberger played a nearly flawless first half in his first game since injuring his right foot, James Farrior had a 22-yard interception for a touchdown and Buffalo's starting offense struggled yet again as the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Bills 17-0 in a preseason game Saturday night.

Roethlisberger led two scoring drives while going 15 of 19 for 168 yards and 103.5 passer rating before sitting out the second half — showing why coach Mike Tomlin didn't seem all that worried when his quarterback bruised his foot during the final training camp practice on Aug 20. Roethlisberger didn't play in a 17-13 loss to Washington two days later.

Rashard Mendenhall, getting most of the carries with the starting offense with Willie Parker (hamstring) out, fumbled inside the Bills 30 on the Steelers' opening possession. Mendenhall came back to score from the 4 on a 13-play, 87-yard drive in which Roethlisberger looked regular season ready, finding Limas Sweed for 16 yards, Hines Ward for 19 and Heath Miller for 18.

The Steelers' regulars are expected to play only a series or two Thursday against Carolina, so Tomlin called this a dress rehearsal for the regular season. He stayed with the same practice and meeting schedule as during the season, and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians opened up the playbook more than usual for the preseason.

For the Bills' offense, it was more of the same — no touchdowns, no sustained drives and little yardage, or much like it's been throughout a preseason in which a newly installed no-huddle offense has mostly been a no-go. With starters playing the first half for both teams, the Steelers outgained the Bills 209-50 and led 12-3 in first downs and nearly 3 to 1 in time of possession.

In three games, the Steelers' top-ranked defense from a season ago has yet to allow a touchdown.

Wide receiver Terrell Owens, missing a third consecutive game with a sprained toe, probably can't return soon enough to an offense that is becoming a big worry as the Sept. 14 opener against New England draws closer. In four preseason games — the Bills played in the Hall of Fame game — Buffalo's starters have only 303 yards, 15 first downs, a field goal and five turnovers.

Trent Edwards was 6 of 13 for 31 yards, and he threw the ball directly in Farrior's hands for the gamer's first touchdown and a 10-0 Steelers lead. Farrior probably wished he had gotten this score when the games count, as the inside linebacker has only one career interception return touchdown in 12 seasons.

Both Steelers quarterbacks were more effective than Edwards; backup Charlie Batch, who took over in the second half, was 7 of 9 for 79 yards as Pittsburgh outgained the Bills 359-135 and led 41:15 to 18:45 in time of possession. Buffalo moved past midfield only twice, both with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback in the second half, and no Bills running back gained more than 19 yards.

The Bills finally moved into scoring range with less than three minutes remaining, but rookie Joe Burnett blocked Rian Lindell's 33-yard field-goal attempt.

Mendenhall got 16 carries for 48 yards but fumbled again — just as he did three times in the preseason as a rookie last season. His fumbling became such a concern before an early season shoulder injury ended his season, Tomlin forced Mendenhall to carry a football with him an entire week at the team's practice complex.

(Mendenhall may be carrying the ball around the complex for the next two weeks this time. - mesa)

08-29-2009, 09:39 PM
In three games, the Steelers' top-ranked defense from a season ago has yet to allow a touchdown.


Fire Haley
08-29-2009, 09:43 PM
The perfect preseason game. 1st ream Offense and Defense are fired up and ready.

Logan better make this team. Fox looked good.

If it was up to me, I'd let Carey Davis go - and keep Redman - he has some fire.

08-29-2009, 10:05 PM
IIRC, when Davis originally made the team it was because of his special teams performance. We don't really need Redman as a playmaker for the offense if he can't match what Davis can do on special teams. I haven't been able to watch most of these preseason games so I don't know how Redman might be doing in that respect.

08-29-2009, 10:11 PM
Man Im going Crazy waiting for an update on Timmons's Ankle :eyecrazy:

08-29-2009, 11:09 PM
Steelers dominate Bills, 17-0
Saturday, August 29, 2009
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Peter Diana / Post-Gazette

Tonight, the Steelers looked Super again.

Playing extensively for the first time since they beat Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII, the Steelers' starting lineup thoroughly dominated the Buffalo Bills in their first half of play.

Their first-half lead stood up as the final score, 17-0, and their second victory in three preseason games came minus Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes and starting halfback Willie Parker, both out with minor injuries.

Of course, you cannot convince everyone.

"It's still August football out there in some ways,'' coach Mike Tomlin said, tempering the optimism. "We had a pre-snap penalty on offene, delay of game, false start . . . We put the ball on the ground . . . I see some good thing, but still see some things where the Steelers are still beating the Steelers.''

It was clearly evident last night that the Buffalo Bills could not do it.

No one looked better than quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Having played just five series in the first two games (total points, seven), Roethliberger and his offense had three good drive and scored 10 points. James Farrior added a touchdown to cap off the Steelers' smothering defensive display when he returned an interception 22 yards untouched.

Roethlisberger completed 15 of 19 passes for 168 yards. Did someone say distractions?

"Overall, really happy,'' Roethlisberger said of his feelings about the night's work at Heinz Field. "We made some mistakes early, but then drove down the field and scored.''

Old-hand Hines Ward looked to be in mid-career form, catching five passes for 74 yards, many of the tough-nails variety that Ward has made a living on. Newcomer Limas Sweed, who seems to have nailed down the No. 3 job, caught four passes for 34 yards, one stretching high over the middle, knowing he was about to get drilled.

Even Rashard Mendenhall had his moments after losing another fumble. Mendenhall scored his first professional touchdown in the United States when he ran uncontested four yards in the second quarter. He now has two scores, both in the preseason -- he ran for a six-yard touchdown against the Bills in Toronto last summer.

As well as the offense looked, the Steelers defense did them one better. Not only did they shut the Bills down, they scored a touchdown of their own on Farrior's return.

"I think we did pretty good,'' Farrior said.

The defense that has two new starters from the one that dominated the NFL in all categories last season, held the Bills to 50 yards in the first half on 19 plays. That defense's work night was extended by one series into the third quarter, when Buffalo's first offense gained six yards on three plays and then called it a night.

Even the special teams had a special night against Buffalo. Rookie Joe Burnett preserved their first shutout in 35 preseason game (since they beat Buffalo 20-0 in 2001) when he blocked Rian Lindell's 33-yard field goal try with 2:48 left in the game.

So, the real Steelers, the ones who will take the field against Tennessee the night of Sept. 10 to kick off the NFL season, look ready. "I think so,'' Roethlisberger said.

They will play little, if at all, next Thursday night in Charlotte, N.C. against the Carolina Panthers.

The Steelers scored twice in 13 seconds to take a 10-0 lead in the second quarter.

Their second drive deep into Buffalo territory yielded three points when Piotr Czech, kicking for slightly injured Jeff Reed, booted a 34-yard field goal.

Keyaron Fox, a dynamo again last night on coverage teams, nailed Leodis McKelvin at the 18 on the kickoff. Next play from there, Trent Edwards threw a pass toward Josh Reed on the right, except linebacker Farrior interrupted it at the 22. Farrior picked it off on the run and never stopped, sailing free into the end zone for a touchdown and a 10-0 Steelers lead with 12:34 to go in the half.

The lead ballooned to 17-0 by halftime when Mendenhall ended an up-and-down half on the up with a nice four-yard run off the right side for a touchdown with 31 seconds to go.

Early-on, Mendenhall had a rough go of it, harking back to his days last summer when he developed an intense fumbling problem, losing three in the final two exhibition games. It got so bad last year that Ward ordered him to carry a football around everywhere he went and offered $100 to any teammate who could knock it out of Mendenhall's hands.

Mendenhall had his best run of the preseason when he hit a hole on the right side quickly and picked up 12 yards. However, on the very next play at Buffalo's 21, defensive tackle Kyle William hit Mendenhall at the line of scrimmage and the ball popped free. Buffalo's Keith Ellison recovered.

Mendenhall, though, rebounded with a few nice runs in the second quarter, one for 13 yards and the other for the touchdown. Their 2008 first-round draft choice ran 16 times, all in the first half, for 48 yards. He caught another two passes for 16 yards.
More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09241/994291-100.stm#ixzz0PcktnpBe

08-29-2009, 11:15 PM

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Steelers' Roethlisberger shines in victory

By Scott Brown
Sunday, August 30, 2009

The foot tramping that had caused a considerable amount of angst among Steelers fans is no longer an issue.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger showed as much when he jogged out during pre-game player introductions without any sort of a limp. He further erased any lingering doubts about his health by picking apart the Buffalo Bills in the first two quarters of a game the Steelers dominated en route to a 17-0 win Saturday night in front of 57,942 at Heinz Field.

"It is great when you can pitch a shutout," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, "even in August. I like the vibe and the feel in the locker room."

He also liked what he saw from his quarterback.

Roethlisberger, playing in his first game since bruising his right Achilles heel on the final day of training camp, completed 15-of-19 passes for 168 yards in his only extended action of the preseason.

Roethlisberger, who was hurt when left tackle Max Starks stepped on the back of his foot, hit on eight of his first nine passes against the Bills. And the sixth-year veteran spread the ball around, completing passes for five different receivers before giving way to backup Charlie Batch at the beginning of the third quarter.

"Was it good for tonight? Yeah," Roethlisberger said of the offense. "But we have to keep improving and get ready for next week and get ready for the season."

The first-team defense may have actually outshined the offense.

The starters allowed a 16-yard run to Marshawn Lynch but little else to Buffalo's overmatched offense in the first half. The defense also produced the first touchdown of the game when James Farrior returned an interception 22 yards to give the Steelers a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter.

The defense made the night a miserable one for Buffalo quarterback Trent Edwards, who passed for just 31 yards, threw an interception and was sacked twice in two-plus quarters.

The Steelers visit the Carolina Panthers on Thursday for the final preseason game for both teams, but the starters aren't expected to play more than a series or two.

If last night is any indication, the Steelers are ready for the start of the season.

That is not to say they played an error-free game against a team that is widely picked to finish last in its division this season.

"We had some pre-snap penalties, things that are going to beat us," Tomlin said. "But (there were) a lot of good things in the football game."

Indeed, the positives far outweighed the negatives for the Steelers, who improved to 2-1.

Rashard Mendenhall started in place Willie Parker (hamstring) and ran effectively and with authority. He rushed for a game-high 48 yards and a touchdown, though he lost a fumble.

Hines Ward, who had a game-high 74 receiving yards on five receptions, and Limas Sweed made difficult catches in traffic.

The guy throwing them the ball also had a pretty fair evening.

Roethlisberger finished with a 103.5 passer rating, and his final drive of the game may have been the best one the Steelers have put together this preseason.

He marched the Steelers 87 yards in 13 plays and completed five-of-seven passes, including a 19-yarder to Ward on third-and-8.

An 18-yard hookup with tight end Heath Miller followed the Ward reception, and it was vintage Roethlisberger. After eluding the Bills' rush, Roethlisberger lobbed a pass to Miller, who charged inside the Buffalo 20-yard line before being taken down.

Five plays later, Mendenhall scored the touchdown that staked the Steelers to a 17-0 halftime lead, and they never looked back.

"We played alright," cornerback Ike Taylor said of a defense that held the Bills to 135 yards of total offense. "We played OK enough to win, but the goals we have on the defensive side that was not our standard."

Note: Starting inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons left the game with an ankle injury and didn't return. Tomlin said the injury isn't serious. "He's going to be fine," Tomlin said. "The X-ray is negative."

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

08-29-2009, 11:50 PM
Man Im going Crazy waiting for an update on Timmons's Ankle :eyecrazy:

thought I'd emphasize that latest blurb mesaSteeler posted seeing as he didn't highlight it:

Note: Starting inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons left the game with an ankle injury and didn't return. Tomlin said the injury isn't serious. "He's going to be fine," Tomlin said. "The X-ray is negative."

08-29-2009, 11:52 PM
thought I'd emphasize that latest blurb mesaSteeler posted seeing as he didn't highlight it:

Note: Starting inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons left the game with an ankle injury and didn't return. Tomlin said the injury isn't serious. "He's going to be fine," Tomlin said. "The X-ray is negative."

Whew. Sigh of relief. :sweating:

08-30-2009, 01:18 AM
Whew. Sigh of relief. :sweating:

big time:tt03:

I think Timmons is going to take that next step this year, and really shine

Just needs to be healthy to get his feel and hopefully it'll all be gravy after that

Fire Haley
08-30-2009, 10:39 AM
Our defense is stacked. I bet Arnold Harrison could start for half the teams around the league.

08-30-2009, 01:51 PM
Whew. Sigh of relief. :sweating:

You said it. I mean we can't trade the guy if he is hurt.:tomato::nervous:

08-30-2009, 02:15 PM
You said it. I mean we can't trade the guy if he is hurt.:tomato::nervous:


08-31-2009, 07:12 AM
so, his arm is fine now?


08-31-2009, 08:20 AM
I think Tomlin is already different from Cowher in that he'll relay the message that last year is over and this year, 32 teams are fighting for one prize. Tomlin has us clicking on all cylinders.