Sunday, September 26, 2010
Rapid Reaction: Steelers 38, Buccaneers 13
By James Walker
TAMPA, Fla. -- Here are some thoughts on the Pittsburgh Steelers' victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
What it means: The Steelers impressively improved to 3-0 without suspended quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. It's been a total team effort, as every week different players step up to make big plays. On Sunday, quarterback Charlie Batch got the start and threw three touchdown passes in the first half to quickly put the game out of reach. Overall, it was the most dominant showing for the Steelers so far this season.
What I liked: Pittsburgh's offense was solid with Batch under center. Batch was in control, decisive and accurate with his throws. The Steelers scored 38 points Sunday after scoring just 34 points in their first two games. Receiver Mike Wallace caught two deep bombs (41 and 46 yards) in the first half to get Pittsburgh's offense going.
What I didn't like: There wasn't much not to like for Pittsburgh. If you really want to nitpick, the Steelers were not sharp very early in the game. Batch threw an interception on his first pass of the game, and the defense allowed more yards than usual to set up Tampa Bay's two early field goals. Batch also threw a second pick in garbage time during the fourth quarter.
Key injuries: Backup defensive lineman Chris Hoke hurt his knee late, and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he may have sprained his MCL. Quarterback Byron Leftwich (knee) also dressed for the game and wore a brace on his knee. He was there in case of an emergency.
What's next: The Steelers have a huge rivalry game against the Baltimore Ravens in what will be Pittsburgh's final game without Roethlisberger. The Steelers have a chance to be 4-0 without their franchise quarterback, which would be a tremendous accomplishment. At worst, Pittsburgh will be 3-1 without Roethlisberger.