Texans 3

(1-1, 0-1 away)

Steelers 38

(1-1, 1-0 home)

7:30 PM ET, August 21, 2004


1 2 3 4 T
HOU 0 3 0 03
PIT 14 10 7 738

Bettis rushes for 48 yards, TD

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Jerome Bettis showed that his 32-year-old legs can still deliver for the Steelers.

The running back had 10 carries for 48 yards and a touchdown in Pittsburgh's 38-3 preseason win over the Houston Texans on Saturday night.

The Steelers were able to dominate the clock in the first half with Bettis in the backfield.

After a 26-yard pass from Tommy Maddox to Plaxico Burress, Bettis took over at Houston's 42-yard-line with runs of 14, 10 and 5 yards on the Steelers' second possession. He then scored from 1-yard out.

The 12-year veteran is making his case not just to get the 387 yards he needs to bypass Tony Dorsett and move into fifth place on the NFL career rushing list, but for a healthy chunk of playing time that he'll have to share with new arrival Duce Staley.

Staley, lured to Pittsburgh with a $4 million signing bonus in the offseason, carried the ball twice for five yards.

Bettis said he's picking up where he left off last year.

"I don't know why everybody expects to see a six-month change and expects me to look like I'm historic or something," he said after the game.

Texans quarterback David Carr completed seven of 10 passes for 67 yards, though he did so under constant pressure from linebacker Larry Foote, filling in for the injured Kendrell Bell.

The Texans were trying for the first time to put together two straight wins after beating the Cowboys 18-0 last week.

"The disappointing thing to me is that we played really well last week," Texans coach Dom Capers said. "I was very disappointed in the way we played in the first half. The Steelers were more ready to play."

Pittsburgh controlled the ball for 18:15 during the first half and made good on six of eight third-down conversions.

Houston began is first two drives on its own 13-yard line and lost two yards on the combined possessions.

"The first two drives we had bad field position and we made some mental mistakes," Carr said. "These are things we can fix -- that's what the preseason is for."

Houston was able to put together a 78-yard drive during a third possession, but was stopped at Pittsburgh's 5-yard line, forcing Kris Brown to kick a 23-yard field goal for the Texans' only score.

Even without right guard Kendall Simmons, lost for the year with a knee injury, the Pittsburgh offensive line gave Maddox and Ben Roethlisberger plenty of time to find receivers.

Maddox, the starter, went 4-for-7 for 80 yards that included a 4-yard TD pass to Hines Ward in the first quarter. Roethlisberger was 8-for-14 for 102 yards.

Keydrick Vincent stepped in for the injured Simmons and the offensive line played like a cohesive unit, guard Alan Faneca said.

"We did good moving the ball up and down the field," he said. "Early on we had a couple third-and-longs, which is not typical of us, but we were converting them and that's exciting to see."

The Steelers also got rushing touchdowns from reserves Verron Haynes, Dante Brown and Willie Parker.

Steelers kicker Jeff Reed added a 28-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.

Game notes

Houston's Tony Hollings was pulled from the game in the third quarter with sore ribs. Hollings was filling in for tailback Domanick Davis, been sidelined for the last two weeks with a sore left ankle. ... Pittsburgh wide receiver Zamir Cobb was sidelined with a sore ankle Saturday.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


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