Steelers bounce back, blank Seahawks 24-0
PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Steelers bounced back in a big way.
Ben Roethlisberger threw for 298 yards and a touchdown as the Steelers rebounded from a horrific opening week loss with a 24-0 rout over Seattle on Sunday.
Mike Wallace caught eight passes for 126 yards and a score and Rashard Mendenhall ran for 67 yards and a touchdown for the Steelers (1-1), who limited the listless Seahawks (0-2) to 164 total yards.
A week after committing seven turnovers while getting whipped by rival Baltimore, the Steelers worked with relentless efficiency against Seattle.
Roethlisberger shook off a gimpy right knee to complete 22 of 30 passes as Pittsburgh had little trouble doing whatever it wanted on either side of the ball.
The Seahawks put up little resistance and didn't take an offensive snap on Pittsburgh's side of the field until midway through the fourth quarter.
By then, the Steelers were well on their way to putting their debacle against the Ravens in the rearview mirror, though not without a brief scare late in the second quarter when their franchise quarterback crumpled to the ground after taking a shot to the right knee from Seattle's Raheem Brock.
Roethlisberger stepped up to complete a pass to Heath Miller when Brock dived at his legs, drawing a flag for roughing the passer and a gasp from the Heinz Field crowd.
The quarterback laid on the ground for several minutes before gingerly making his way to the sideline. He sat out two plays while reserve Charlie Batch executed a couple of go-nowhere handoffs to Mendenhall and Ike Redman before returning and throwing incomplete on his first play back as the Steelers settled for a Shaun Suisham field goal and a 17-0 halftime lead.
Roethlisberger wore a baseball cap onto the field for the start of the second half while Batch warmed up, but it was all a ruse. He took every Pittsburgh snap the rest of the way and added a nifty 2-yard touchdown pass to Wallace that put the Steelers up 24-0.
The Steelers looked shell-shocked while letting the Ravens run away early on the road last week, but had no issues in their home-opener.
Pittsburgh wasted little time attacking, quickly moving deep inside Seattle territory before encountering a case of deja vu.
The Steelers went for it on fourth-and-goal at the Seattle 1 when the Seahawks stuffed Mendenhall just before the goal line. The Steelers challenged the play, sending referee Bill Leavy under the hood for a second look.
Leavy called Pittsburgh's 21-10 win over the Seahawks in the 2006 Super Bowl, a game marred by what Leavy has admitted were a couple of bad calls against Seattle, including a dubious touchdown awarded to Roethlisberger on a quarterback sneak in which it appeared he might not have crossed the goal line.
This time, there was no controversy. Mendenhall was stopped short of the end zone, but it was a brief reprieve.
The Steelers just kept coming, marching 60 yards on nine plays the second time they had the ball with Mendenhall bulling in from a yard out to put Pittsburgh on the board.
Reserve running back Ike Redman made it 14-0 with an impressive 20-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter and it was more than enough for Pittsburgh.
The Steelers stressed they didn't panic after getting mauled by the Ravens, a game in which they looked slow on defense and sloppy on offense.
There were no such issues this time against a Seattle team still searching for an identity now that longtime quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has moved on to Tennessee.
The Seahawks played without wide receiver Sidney Rice, inactive for the second straight game with a shoulder injury. He might have helped, but likely not enough to keep Seattle from getting shutout for the first time since their last visit to the Steel City in 2007.