Steelers shut out Seahawks
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Isaac Redman gets past Seattle Seahawks defensive end Anthony Hargrove for a touchdown on Sunday. (AP photo)
Turns out, the searing pain was only temporary.
Just like his team’s slow start.
Roethlisberger overcame a questionable shot to the knees to throw for 298 yards and a touchdown as the Pittsburgh Steelers rebounded from a horrific opening week loss with a 24-0 rout over Seattle on Sunday.
“We made improvements, but there’s still a long way to go for us,” Roethlisberger said.
The road, however, is a little bit shorter after the Steelers (1-1) toyed with listless Seattle (0-2).
The Seahawks managed 164 yards and didn’t take a snap on Pittsburgh’s side of the field until the fourth quarter while getting shut out for the second straight time in the Steel City.
“We’d didn’t score a point, period, and that is just embarrassing,” said Seattle quarterback Tarvaris Jackson.
An emotion the Steelers could identify with after getting rocked by rival Baltimore 35-7 a week ago. The loss sparked criticism that the defending AFC champions looked old on defense and undisciplined on offense while absorbing the franchise’s worst opening-day loss in 14 years.
Though the veteran-laden club insisted it was too early to panic, it wasn’t too early for a reality check, one which coach Mike Tomlin was only too happy to provide even after pushing the Seahawks around for 60 minutes.
“I am still chewing on last week,” Tomlin said. “I am sure we all are. That’s just the nature of this thing. It’s not going to take one performance to take that stench off of us.”
Maybe, but the Steelers were eager to get back to business after what wide receiver Mike Wallace described as the longest six days of his career. He did his part, catching eight passes for 126 yards and a score to post his fifth consecutive 100-yard regular season game.
The touchdown — a perfectly thrown 2-yard fade by Roethlisberger — and his 53-yard bomb both came in the third quarter not long after the franchise quarterback was face down on the turf after getting decked by Seattle’s Raheem Brock.
The Steelers were driving late in the second quarter when Roethlisberger stepped up to complete a pass to Heath Miller. Brock dived at Roethlisberger’s legs just as he let go of the ball, drawing a flag for roughing the passer and a gasp from the crowd.
Roethlisberger, surrounded by his teammates, remained still while the trainers checked him out. He made it to his feet then gingerly walked to the sideline while backup Charlie Batch warmed up.
Three players later Roethlisberger was back in the game, throwing an incompletion that forced the Steelers settle for a Shaun Suisham field goal and a 17-0 halftime lead. Though Roethlisberger wasn’t 100 percent, there wasn’t much of an argument when he told Tomlin he was ready to go.
“It’s not anything mystical,” Tomlin said. “We lean on the expertise of our medical staff. They were comfortable with where he was. He was comfortable.”
Or at least comfortable enough to pick apart a Seattle defense that spent way too much time on the field. Pittsburgh controlled the ball for nearly 39 minutes, ran 66 plays and would have made it even more lopsided if not for a missed field goal and an early goal line stand by the Seahawks.
“I felt like we could have scored a lot more points than we did, but we won the game and that’s what’s most important right now,” Roethlisberger said.