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SteelerSal
10-12-2009, 08:11 AM
Steelers Continue Winning Ways Against Lions
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The Pittsburgh Steelers were victorious in their Week Five matchup against the Detroit Lions by a score of 28-20. It is the second-straight win for the Steelers in as many weeks, and improves the defending Super Bowl champions’ record to 3-2. The Steelers now find themselves in the thick of things in the AFC North, trailing the Cincinnati Bengals by one game for the division lead.

For the past three weeks, it can be argued that the Achilles heel of the Pittsburgh Steelers has been their defense. After allowing two game-winning drives against the Chicago Bears and Cincinnati Bengals in Weeks Two and Three, and nearly blowing a substantial fourth quarter lead against the San Diego Chargers last week, there were very few praising this year’s version of the “Steel Curtain”. On Sunday, the Steelers’ defense showed that they are still a force to be reckoned with in the NFL. The defense forced Lions’ quarterback, Dante Culpepper, to have a nightmarish game. Culpepper was sacked a total of seven times, including three consecutive sacks on Detroit’s final offensive possession. Culpepper also fumbled three times and threw an interception to Pittsburgh’s hard-hitting safety, Ryan Clark. Sunday’s performance showed that the Steelers’ defense is improving from game-to-game, and with Troy Polamalu expected to return next week, this defense will only get better as the season continues.

Halfback, Willie Parker, was inactive for the second-straight week with a turf toe. This meant that again, the spotlight would shine upon Rashard Mendenhall, and for the second week in a row, the second-year halfback would not disappoint. Mendenhall found the end zone for the third time this season and rushed for 77 yards on 15 carries, averaging just over five yards a carry. Steelers’ quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, had yet another superb game in this young NFL season. Roethlisberger threw for over 275 yards and three touchdowns, including a magnificent 47-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver, Mike Wallace, in the third quarter. Roethlisberger’s favorite target on the day was Hines Ward. Ward had seven receptions for 85 yards, and caught his first touchdown of the season.

The Steelers will welcome one of their oldest rivals to town next week, as the Cleveland Browns will come to Heinz Field is search of their second win of the season. The Browns have had a dreadful season thus far, but despite the records, when these two teams meet up it always seems to be hard fought and physical. With a probable return in the lineup by Troy Polamalu, to go along with all the bad blood that these two teams have shared over the years, next Sunday’s game should be an entertaining to watch to say the least.

Michael C. Smith
SteelerSal.com