Pittsburgh 23 – Miami 22
The bounces keep going the Pittsburgh Steelers way in 2010 as the Steelers improved to 5-1 on the season, defeating the Miami Dolphins 23-22 on Sunday afternoon.
Ben Roethlisberger threw for 302 yards and 2 touchdowns in the win but the game was filled with controversy as the Steelers trailed 22-20 late in the 4th quarter.
On a third and goal play at Miami’s 2 yard line, Roethlisberger ran up the middle on a designed run out of the shotgun formation and as Roethlisberger dived across the goalline for the score, the ball was punched out and Roethlisberger fumbled on the play.
The ruiling on the field was a touchdown but was reversed after a replay review and referee Gene Steratore announced that Roethlisberger fumbled before scoring.
However, on the play it was inconclusive as who recovered the ball in the endzone as Steratore announced that there was no clear evidence as to which team recovered the ball.
Therefore, the Steelers were awarded possession at the half-yard line and on fourth and goal, Jeff Reed kicked an 18 yard field goal to give the Steelers a 1 point lead with 2:26 remaining in the game.
The Steelers defense closed out the game with a four-and-out as rookie Jason Worilds provided pressure to Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne causing an incomplete pass on a 4th and 6 play. Pittsburgh took over downs claiming their 5th victory of the year.
With the running game mostly non-existent, the Steelers relied heavily on Roethlisberger in his second game back into action.
Overall, Roethlisberger was 19 of 27 for 302 yards and 3 touchdowns and came up with big plays in big situations. Roethlisberger connected with Hines Ward for a 21 yard score in the 2nd quarter and hooked up with Mike Wallace for a 53 yard strike to give Pittsburgh a 17-9 lead in the 2nd quarter.
A crucial play in the game was 29 yard pass to Mewelde Moore on a 3rd and 5 from Miami’s 43 yard line that moved the ball to the 14 yard line on Pittsburgh’s game winning drive.
The only downfall of Roethlisberger’s performance was three fumbles, two that were recovered by the Steelers.
Running back Rashard Mendenhall was limited to 37 yards on 15 carries in the game. There were few running lanes for the Steelers rushing attack.
Pittsburgh overcame costly turnovers early in the game as Emmanuel Sanders fumbled on the Steelers opening kickoff return and Roethlisberger fumbled on the Steelers 1st offensive drive.
The Steelers defense held the Dolphins to two field goals as the Dolphins inability to turn turnovers into touchdowns was their downfall.
A bright spot for the Steelers was Emmanuel Sanders ability to rebound. Sanders had 148 kick return yards and set up the Steelers game winning drive with a 48 yard kick return. He also came up with an 18 yard reception on third down, finding the soft spot in the zone.
Hines Ward had a strong game, leading the Steelers with 7 receptions for 131 yards and 1 touchdown. Ward made a number of tough grabs and continues to find ways to make plays after the catch.
The Steelers defense gave up their most points of the season and lost LaMarr Woodley and Aaron Smith for the game.
The loss of both players affected the Steelers due to their lack of depth on the D-line with Keisel out and Woodley’s injury altered the Steelers linebacking corps.
Lawrence Timmons moved over to left outside linebacker, which took him away from being a force in the middle of the field. Timmons rotated from LOLB to MLB as rookie Jason Worilds saw his first action of the season in place of Woodley.
Worilds did some good things on the pass rush getting pressure to Chad Henne and creating an incomplete pass on the Dolphins last offensive play of the game.
Henne was efficient in the game, throwing for 257 yards and 1 touchdown. The Steelers limited the Dolphins rushing attack to 64 yards but Ricky Williams had success against the Steelers once Aaron Smith left the game, rushing for 48 yards on 11 carries.
The Steelers are off to a 1-0 start on their current three game road trip and travel to New Orleans next weekend for a Sunday night showdown against the defending Super Bowl champs who were stunned at home by the Cleveland Browns today who defeated New Orleans 30-17.