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
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
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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