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Old 09-26-2010, 03:59 PM   #1
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Default Batch's 3 TD passes lead Steelers to 38-13 win

Batch's 3 TD passes lead Steelers to 38-13 win
Sunday, September 26, 2010
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
TAMPA, Fla. -- Charlie Batch had one of his best days in his 13 NFL seasons when he threw three touchdown passes and had the longest run of his career to lead the Steelers to a 38-13 victory over Tampa Bay today.

The victory elevated the Steelers record to 3-0 in a season that has started without suspended quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Batch, intercepted on his first pass of the day that led to a field goal and quick 3-0 deficit, rebounded with two long touchdown passes to Mike Wallace. He came back with a third touchdown pass to Hines Ward for a 28-6 Steelers halftime lead.

Defensive end Brett Keisel intercepted a pass from Josh Freeman that was deflected by receiver Sammie Stroughter and returned it 79 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter for the Steelers' fifth touchdown of the day.

It was the first touchdown of the season for the defense, and the first time the offense has scored a touchdown in regulation. Their only touchdowns in two games came in overtime and by rookie Antonio Brown on a kickoff return.

Both of Wallace's catches were made in the end zone after a Tampa Bay defender misplayed the ball. His first came in the first quarter when Batch heaved a long one into the end zone. Cody Grimm, son of Russ Grimm, had position on the play in the middle of the end zone but never saw the ball and Wallace came down with a 46-yard touchdown catch.

Batch's 24-yard scramble up the middle on third-and-6 kept their next scoring drive going and Rashard Mendenhall crashed through safety Sean Jones for a 3-yard touchdown run and a 14-6 Steelers lead in the second quarter.

It became 21-6 three minutes later when Batch threw another deep into the end zone to Wallace and another Bucs defensive back misplayed it. Cornerback Aqib Talib had position to make the interception; instead, the ball clanged off his hands and into those of Wallace for a 41-yard touchdown.

Batch threw his third touchdown pass just before the half ended, 9 yards to Hines Ward for a 28-6 halftime lead.

Jeff Reed extended the lead to 31-6 with a 24-yard field goal after Batch threw incomplete into the end zone from his six, trying for what would have been his fourth touchdown pass.

The Bucs finally scored a touchdown with 1:54 left in the game behind backup quarterback Josh Johnson, who directed a 68-yard drive. It ended when rookie halfback LeGarrette Blount punched into the end zone from the one on fourth down.

It was only the second touchdown scored against the Steelers this season.

Ed Bouchette: ebouchette@post-gazette.com.


Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10269...#ixzz10fhBb57r
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