Gerry Dulac's Two-Minute Drill: Game 5 vs. Titans
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Game Ball goes to: QB Ben Roethlisberger
It doesn't seem to matter what the injury is or how restrictive it might be, but Roethlisberger was not bothered by a sprained left foot that limited his practice time last week and made it difficult to get on his toes and push off. He tied his career high with five touchdown passes, including one on each of the first three possessions, as the offense generated 431 yards. "I don't see him slow down ever once he gets in a game," said WR Mike Wallace. "When he suits up, he's going 100 percent, even if he's 50 percent."
X's AND O's
When Titans RB Chris Johnson ran 21 yards on the first play from scrimmage, it looked as though it might be another long day of trying to stop the stretch play for the Steelers defense. After that, though, Johnson never had a run longer than 5 yards and was stopped twice for losses on the same play. "Our defense did a better job," said ILB James Farrior, who had a team-high 13 tackles. "Everybody did their responsibility and did what they were supposed to be doing. We had guys hustling to the ball."THE COUNTDOWN
A quick look at the top performances from Sunday's game:
1. FIRST PICK: The Titans momentarily threatened to get back in the game when RB Chris Johnson scored on a 1-yard run to make it 28-10 and CB Alterraun Verner recovered an onside kick. But, on the next play, DE Brett Keisel tipped a Matt Hasselbeck pass, and OLB LaMarr Woodley came up with the team's first interception of the season, resulting in a field goal. "That was a great play by Brett Keisel," Woodley said. "That play doesn't happen without Brett Keisel getting his hands up."
2. TITAN-IC RETURN: After the Titans took a 3-0 lead on the opening possession, Antonio Brown returned the ensuing kickoff 52 yards to the 50 to jump-start the offense to the first of three consecutive TD drives. "That was the juice we needed," said special teams coach Al Everest.
3. WHAT A FAKE: Two plays after a fake punt gave the Steelers possession at the Titans 17, Roethlisberger made a great play fake and found Hines Ward wide open for a 7-yard TD to give the Steelers a 14-3 lead.
4. DWYER FLYER: Dressing for the first time this season because of an injury to Mewelde Moore, RB Jonathan Dwyer followed guard Doug Legursky on a counter play and ran 76 yards to the Titans 14, setting up Roethlisberger's third TD pass to make it 21-3.
5. DOUBLE DANCE: Ward caught two touchdowns for the first time in 27 games, the second coming when he caught a quick 5-yard pass and leaped over S Michael Griffin into the end zone to make it 28-3.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
10 Number of touchdown passes of 40 yards or longer from Ben Roethlisberger to Mike Wallace after they combined for a 40-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Wallace also has TD catches of 46 and 41 yards from Charlie Batch.
WHAT WAS HE THINKING?
It was coach Mike Tomlin who called for the fake punt on fourth-and-5 at the 50, with the Steelers leading, 7-3. And the play worked to perfection when P Daniel Sepulveda threw a 33-yard pass to S Ryan Mundy that, two plays later, resulted in Roethlisberger's 7-yard TD to Hines Ward on a great play-fake. "It was big, it really sparked us," said special teams coach Al Everest. "The big thing is we capitalized on it. You create a spark and see if it catches fire or just blows out."
"No, never. I don't tell him that. I tell him play football the way you play because nobody in the league plays it better than you the first eight years. ... Why would you change how you play just because other people think you get sacked too much?"
-- Bruce Arians, offensive coordinator, on whether he told Ben Roethlisberger to change his style
vs. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS, 1 P.M.: The Steelers (3-2) take on their fourth consecutive AFC South team when they play Jacksonville (1-4) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Heinz Field. The Jaguars are 3-0 at Heinz Field, having won four of the past five in Pittsburgh.
Return swung momentum
First Published October 10, 2011 12:00 am