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Old 09-19-2010, 06:54 PM   #1
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Default Defense magnificent in 19-11 win


Defense magnificent in 19-11 win

By Bob Smizik | Sunday 4:30 p.m.

Two games into the NFL season, the book on the Steelers is perfectly clear:

Awesome defense. Awful offense.

In normal circumstances that would not bode well for the full season, but the circumstances surrounding the Steelers offense is anything but normal. They played yesterday with their third and fourth-string quarterbacks. The No. 2 quarterback should be ready for game 3, the No. 1 quarterback for game 5.

All is well with Steelers, who stunned the Tennessee Titans in a 19-11 win by rendering great running back Chris Johnson obsolete and forcing quarterback Vince Young from the game with a barrage of turnovers.

The Titans scored a late touchdown as the defense played soft with time expiring.

It was a defensive performance reminiscent of 2008.

Johnson, who came in with 12 straight 100-yard rushing games and is regarded as the first or second-best running back in the world, gained 34 yards on 16 carries. He was never a factor as the Steelers swarmed to him on every touch. He also caught five passes but for only 19 yards.

Young lost the ball four times -- two interceptions, two fumbles -- and was replaced by Kerry Collins in the second half. The Steelers forced Collins into a lost fumble and an interception.

Starting quarterback Dennis Dixon completed four of six passes but only for 18 yards before leaving the game with a sprained knee in the first half. In relief, Charlie Batch was five for 11 for 25 yards but had a TD pass called back and might have had another if Hines Ward had held on to the ball in the end zone.

Batch displayed considerably more pocket poise than Dixon but theres no quarterback controversy in Pittsburgh. Providing hes healthy, and hes fully expected to be, Byron Leftwich will start next week against Tampa Bay.
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