Steelers-Buccaneers Preview: Pittsburgh Holds Tampa At Bay

Jeffrey BoswellAnalyst ISeptember 24, 2010

PITTSBURGH - JANUARY 18:  Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers returns an interception 40 yards for a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the fourth quarter of the AFC championship game on January 18, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.

Pittsburgh @ Tampa Bay (plus-3)

After wins over Cleveland and Carolina, the Bucs are riding high atop the NFC South, confident after their first 2-0 start since 2005. The task to remain undefeated gets considerably tougher when the 2-0 Steelers visit Raymond James Stadium.

"I like our chances," Raheem Morris said. "But I'd like our chances even more if Jake Delhomme had some connection to the Steelers. We're 2-0 against teams currently or formerly quarterbacked by Delhomme."

Not so fast, Raheem. There is a connection between Delhomme and the Steelers. Word out of Cleveland is that Delhomme is currently locked in a bathroom, not by his own doing, but by that of his teammates.

The Steelers rode their rock-solid defense to a 19-11 win in Tennessee, improving to 2-0. In their two wins, Pittsburgh has leaned heavily on its defense while awaiting the return of Ben Roethlisberger, who will bring big-play capability to the passing game, something that has been lacking with Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch filling in.

"Dixon was put in a difficult situation," said Ben Roethlisberger, "and despite everything, he's performed admirably. Although I'm partial to Beavers, I've still got a soft spot for Oregon Ducks.

"Now, with a 2-0 record, there's a good chance we'll be 4-0 when I return from my suspension. It's just another instance of special treatment for a superstar."

Charlie Batch gets the start, but suffers an ankle injury when his foot gets tangled in Troy Polamalu's hair at halftime. Byron Leftwich gets the save, tossing only eight pitches, and the Pittsburgh defense dominates again.

Steelers win, 22-13.


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