PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — After defeating the New York Jets 27-10 Sunday, the Steelers (1-1) have now won ten consecutive home openers, and this one ended the way many Steeler victories have in the Heinz Field era.
Since Mike Tomlin took over as head coach in 2007, his team has now won 38 of 39 regular-season games in which it led by 11 or more points. Yesterday, in particular, it almost felt as though Bill Cowher never left.
The Steelers built a double-digit lead in the third quarter, and while the defense slammed the door in the face of Mark Sanchez, the offense ate the majority of the fourth-quarter clock with a game-clinching touchdown drive spanning 14 plays, 75 yards, and ten minutes, and featuring several key plays by Ben Roethlisberger. They held the ball for 36:36 total in Week 2.
Roethlisberger completed five passes for 47 yards on that drive, ending the day 24-of-31 for 275 and two scores, and his scrambling on third-and-4 from midfield allowed tight end Heath Miller to extended it by drawing a holding call on Yeremiah Bell.
“I feel like that can be a weapon for us–taking short passes, and getting our playmakers the ball,” said Roethlisberger, who finished with a passer efficiency rating over 125.0 for the 19th time in his career. “I thought the line did a good job giving me time, and guys get open. They can make defenders miss and make cuts. There’s a lot of options, and I like it.”
Check out the rest of what Big Ben had to say:
He became the 52nd quarterback in league history to amass 27,000 career passing yards.
Miller, through two games, has remained a viable option. He got on the board in Week 1, narrowly missing a multi-touchdown game, and he and Ben hooked up again Sunday with the Steelers down by four, putting Pittsburgh ahead to stay at halftime.
“We’ve got the tools to be able to put drives together like that, give our defense a break, and stay off the field,” said Miller, whose reception on third-and-3 from the New York 23 with time ticking down paved the way for Isaac Redman’s eventual TD. “Fortunately we were able to finish it off.”
Check out the rest of what Miller had to say:
Redman’s rugged, second-effort, two-yard burst that provided the final margin epitomized the balance the Steelers were able to find on offense. He finished with 25 carries on 12 yards in lieu of Rashard Mendenhall, most of them coming on the final drive, and caught a 14-yard pass from Big Ben for a first down within Jets territory.
“Ben said, ‘It’s time to suck it up, it’s time to put the nail in the coffin,’” Redman said on the field afterward. “We just wanted to get more physical. Everything was hitting on all cylinders in the second half.”
Check out what Redman told 93.7 The Fan in the Steelers’ locker room:
The Steelers will try to enter their bye week 2-1 when they visit the winless Oakland Raiders this approaching Sunday for another 4:25 game that can be seen on KDKA-TV.