Defense sparks Steelers to easy win, now face Manningless Colts

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The Steelers defense was spectacular while the offense struggled in a lopsided 24-0 victory over the lowly Seattle Seahawks, 0-2. Now they must prepare themselves for another struggling team, the Indianapolis Colts 0-2.

This seemed to be one of those games where the visiting team would need some help early in the form of mistakes to grow some confidence if it was to pull off the upset. The Steelers’ failure on an early goal-to-go situation could have been the start of allowing that to happen, but the defense forced a three-and-out and the offense responded with a 9-play, 60-yard drive ending with a 1-yard touchdown run by Rashard Mendenhall. That prevented the Seahawks from building any kind of momentum early and allowed the Steelers to remain in control throughout.

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WIDE OPEN— Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace sores on a pass from Ben Roethlisberger in the game between the Steelers and the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 18. Wallace caught eight passes for 126 yards and a score. (Courier Photo/Thomas Sabol)

The defense didn’t allow the Seahawks to cross midfield until late in the fourth quarter. Even though they gave Seattle quarterback Tavaris Jackson plenty of time to throw the ball they shut the run down and the long passing game, thus keeping everything in front of them. Just like the loss to the Ravens was a team effort so was the shutout of the Seahawks.

Ike Taylor once again shut down the opposing team’s best wide receiver, allowing Mike Williams just one catch for 9-yards. The defense dominated from start to finish, starting with the line to the secondary looking very impressive for the second week.

On offense the stats looked great but after a 17-0 first half the offense was only able to put up 7 points in the second half against one of the weakest defenses in the league, despite multiple opportunities set up by the defense, holding the Seahawks three and out on almost every position.

Ben Roethlisberger was 22 of 30 for 298 yards and two touchdown passes for a quarterback rating of 115.7. Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman combined for 109 yards on 19 carries, while all the receivers stood out, with Mike Wallace once again having a great game with 8 receptions for 129 yards. This was his second straight game of 100 or more yards.

“I just told my team in there that we are the same team that got blasted in Baltimore last week,” Coach Mike Tomlin said after the game. “We came in better prepared. That’s on me. Ultimately we performed better than we did a week ago and that’s on the guys that played.”

He said rookie lineman Marcus Gilbert’s play was above-the-line, a winning effort. “I thought we had some movement there in the first half, running the football on his side. I thought we could have run the ball better in the second half. We all bear the responsibility for that,” he said.

The Colts, without Peyton Manning are like a car without an engine. They aren’t going anywhere. They lost their second game to the Cleveland Browns last weekend 27-19.

For some reason NFL management has been impressed with Kerry Collins, who is a statue at the quarterback position, and his best years are way, way behind him. Yet he was selected as Manning’s backup, even though the Colts knew Manning was going to miss several games this year. Well, they have paid the price.

They moved away from the pass to the run game against the Browns. Joseph Addai and Delone Carter combined for 110 yards on 25 carries but it wasn’t enough as the Browns handed them their second defeat.

The Colts have never been strong defensively so the Steelers offense should be able to get untracked against them. And the Steelers defense should have another field day, possibly another shutout, because Collins is not going to be able to hurt them. They may double the 6 sacks they got against the Seahawks. And even though Ray Rice got over 100 yards against them, Addai and Carter will not, because the Colts have no passing game to take the pressure off. So all the Steelers have to do is go after the passer while doing what they do best, clogging up the middle to stop the run. It should be another long day for the Colts.

Apparently the Ravens played their Super Bowl last week against the Steelers, because they looked terrible in their 26-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans. The loss dropped them into a four way, 1-1, tie with the Steelers, Browns and Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals lost to the Denver Broncos, 24-22.

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