Steelers-Jaguars: Pittsburgh Leaves Last Year Behind, Wins in Jacksonville
Jacksonville, FL—Coming off a season of dropping two games at home to the Jaguars, both of which were come-from-behind victories, the Pittsburgh Steelers came away victorious 26-21 in a sea of terrible towels in the home of the Jaguars.
From the start, Ben appeared just wanting to get the interception out of the way, throwing one to Jaguar defensive back Rashean Mathis, who has intercepted Roethlisberger in every meeting since 2005 and has had three touchdowns.
What looked to be a rough start for the Steelers turned out to be a defensive wear down. The Steelers maintained offensive possession for nearly 22 minutes of the first half, fatiguing the Jaguars' defensive unit.
The Steelers put together six offensive drives in the first half, using three running backs and putting a 20 spot on the scoreboard. Roethlisberger quickly forgot about the pick-six and put up his best numbers since November of 2006.
He found Heath Miller and Nate Washington, who had a career high in catches and yards, for six first downs and two touchdowns, allowing a halftime lead of 17-14.
John Madden said it best when he told Al Michaels, "It's like the Steelers are winning 40-14," illustrating how much the Steelers were in control; however, David Garrard led the Jags down the field in the blink of an eye to take a 21-20 lead after an 18-yard pass to Marcedes Lewis, the big tight end.
The Steelers weren't going to drop another one to the Jaguars, marching downfield for Ben Roethlisberger's third touchdown of the night, this one to Hines Ward, for the go-ahead score, which would stay intact after the Steelers' defensive unit, who allowed 1.9 yards a carry, stopped the Jaguars on fourth and long.
Roethlisberger was 26-for-41 for 309 yards and three touchdowns after not having thrown a ball in practice all week, landing the Horse Trailer award. Roethlisberger was only sacked three times, yet he suffered what appeared to be an aggravation late in the game to his shoulder.
The bye week couldn't come at a better time, as the Steelers will rest up to go to Cincinnati for Week Seven to take on the winless Bengals. Willie Parker will be back, and Ben should have enough time to nurse his hurt hand and shoulder.
Also, Mewelde Moore, the free-agent acquisition from Minnesota somehow managed to sneak under everyone's noses with an unnoticed 99 yards on the ground, contributing to the 139 combined rushing yards for the night.
Najeh Davenport was used on special teams but was only limited to one carry (three yards). With Willie Parker and Carey Davis expected to be back, Davenport's time with the Steelers could be very short.
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