Steelers win 41-24, lose Parker for season
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ST. LOUIS, MO. -- The Steelers finally won a crucial game on the road, but their 41-24 victory over St. Louis last night also was a costly one for them.
Willie Parker left the game after his first carry with a broken right fibula, ending his season. He was the NFL's leading rusher entering the next-to-last game of the season, and was named to his second Pro Bowl on Tuesday.
Najeh Davenport replaced Parker and had his best game in his two seasons with the Steelers. He ran for more than 100 yards and scored two touchdowns, one running and one receiving.
Ben Roethlisberger threw three touchdown passes, his other two going to Nate Washington. The Steelers quarterback compiled the second perfect passer rating of his career, a 158.3. He completed 16 of 20 for 261 yards and threw no interceptions.
The victory lifted the Steelers record to 10-6 but did not clinch a playoff berth. That would come if Tennessee loses to the New York Jets Sunday, or if Cleveland loses at Cincinnati. If the Browns lose, the Steelers also would clinch the AFC North Division championship.
St. Louis quarterback Marc Bulger tossed twin 12-yard touchdown passes, one to Steven Jackson and one to Isaac Bruce. He followed with a third scoring toss, 23 yards to Drew Bennettt in the third quarter. Jeff Wilkins kicked a 52-yard field goal for the Rams.
Jeff Reed kicked field goals of 21 and 29 yards for the Steelers.
Bulger completed 18 of 35 passes for 208 yards and two interceptions.
Nearly half of the 65,705 fans in the Edward Jones dome were towel-twirling Steelers fans, who erupted when Ike Taylor put the game away with 3:41 left. Down by 10, the Rams went for it on fourth down at their 34. Bulger threw to his right. Taylor intercepted the ball and ran it back 51 yards for the game's final touchdown.
More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
First Published December 20, 2007 8:16 pm