Meadville Tribune

Breaking News

Sports

November 18, 2013

NFL: Steelers soar with Big Ben in control

PITTSBURGH — The referee spotted the ball and Ben Roethlisberger waved his hands, urging his teammates to get to their spots.

No looking at the sideline. No pressing his helmet against his ear. No glancing at the call sheet on his wrist.

Instead, the Steelers’ quarterback looked at the Detroit Lions defense before barking out a play. He took the snap and handed off to Le’Veon Bell for a 12-yard gain.

Bell hopped up and flipped the ball to an official. Seconds later, Roethlisberger was lined up in the shotgun waiting for the snap.

This is what Roethlisberger’s vision of freedom looks like, a vision that could become a fixture of the Pittsburgh offense over the final six weeks of the season.

Empowered by offensive coordinator Todd Haley to speed things up and energize an offense that has sputtered most of the season, Roethlisberger put together 60 of the finest minutes of his career while helping the Steelers (4-6) rally past the Lions  37-27 to keep alive whatever slim chance they have of making a playoff run.

“It definitely facilitated the game,” wide receiver Antonio Brown said. “It allowed us to get the other team off balance. It helps us start fast.”

One that set up an even faster finish.

Roethlisberger passed for 367 yards and four touchdowns, two of them coming on plays Roethlisberger called at the line, including a 20-yard lob to Jerricho Cotchery with 2:35 left that provided the final margin.

It was vintage Roethlisberger, who avoided the mistakes that contributed greatly to Pittsburgh’s early-season struggles. He didn’t throw an interception, was sacked just once in 46 drop backs and for the moment silenced speculation the franchise wants him to take a more cerebral approach to the game in hopes of protecting his body as he heads into the second half of his career.

Roethlisberger is done talking about his future. His teammates, however, have no such problems doing their best to protect him.

“I feel like I’m in one of those Terrell Owens moments, that’s my quarterback,” Cotchery said with a laugh.

One who sounded magnanimous when pressed on how much of Pittsburgh’s highest point production since Oct. 9, 2011 was the result of his own input.

“It’s a combination when we come to the sidelines, it’s me calling (those plays) out there,” Roethlisberger said. “On the sidelines I’m talking to all the wide receivers, tight ends and running backs, coach Haley, coach Randy Fichtner, all the coaches. We’re trying to brainstorm and see what is best so they can best prepare me when I am on the field.”

Roethlisberger certainly looked prepared while leading the Steelers to a quick lead. He completed 7 of 8 passes to start the game, twice finding Brown for catch-and-run scores.

Pittsburgh’s 14 first-quarter points nearly matched the team’s 19 total points it had put up in the first quarter all season. Two field goals by Shaun Suisham helped the Steelers survive a second-quarter burst by the Lions that put Detroit ahead 27-20 at halftime.

As effective as it looked, it wasn’t perfect. The first three times Pittsburgh drove inside the Detroit 20, the Steelers had to settle for three points. Hardly a step forward for the 28th-ranked team in red zone efficiency.

Trailing by seven midway through the third quarter, the Steelers had first-and-goal at the 1. Roethlisberger overthrew a wide-open David Paulson on second down and Bell lost two yards on third. Instead of tying the game, Pittsburgh trailed.

“I put it a little too high for him,” Roethlisberger said. “I think he slipped a little. We all did. The conditions were crazy out there. That’s on me. I have to make that play.”

The Steelers earned a reprieve when the Lions couldn’t convert a fake field goal early in the fourth quarter that would have restored the lead to a touchdown. Pittsburgh responded by going 97 yards in 16 plays, eight of them coming out of the no huddle.

After missing twice at the Detroit 1, he floated a pass to fullback Will Johnson that put the Steelers in front to stay. Pittsburgh’s defense followed by producing its third turnover of the day. Rather than play it conservatively, Roethlisberger “dusted off” an old play that freed Cotchery down the left sideline. The throw was perfect and Pittsburgh inched closer to the fringe of postseason picture in the murky and mediocre AFC.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Trevor Smith St. Marys tops METS to win title

    When it’s two good teams going head-to-head in the game of baseball, sometimes a simple bad bounce can mean the difference between a win and a loss.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • McIlroy builds 6-shot lead at British Open

    Rory McIlroy looks as if he has just thrown a knockout punch at the British Open, and it was only Saturday.

    July 19, 2014

  • osborne.jpg District 1 rolls in state opener

    Evidently, Jenkins Township wasn’t aware of Mark McKissock’s exceptional coaching skills.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Andrew Mook Meadville rallies in seventh for victory

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Union City wins thriller

    Down to its last out of the seventh inning, the Union City Junior League softball team recorded three base hits, including a walk-off game-winner by Bree Kinney, while defeating McLane/Meadville/Vernon 3-2 in a thrilling loser’s bracket final of the Pennsylvania Section 1 All-Star tournament on Thursday at Cochranton.

    July 17, 2014

  • Lake/Linesville dealt heartbreaker

    Throughout the District 1 and Section 1 tournaments, Fred Garvey watched as his Lake/Linesville all-star baseball team battled time and time again.

    July 17, 2014

  • Celebration at the plate Richardson’s arm, bat help Lake/Linesville stay alive

    Baseball is a team sport. Win as a team. Lose as a team.
    But it doesn’t mean that one player on that team can’t have a really, really great game.
    That brings us to Conneaut Lake/Linesville’s Ryan Richardson.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DuBois too much for MV

    DuBois’ defense hasn’t been as tight as coach Justin Bundy would like throughout its all-star run.
    And on Wednesday evening the miscues continued, allowing McLane/Vernon to jump on top early in the winner’s bracket final of the Section 1 Junior League softball tournament at Cochranton High School.

    July 16, 2014

  • Garvey scores Lake/Linesville keeps Section 1 title hopes alive

    The Conneaut Lake/Linesville 9 & 10 Year Old All-Stars watched one lead slip away from them on Monday night during a loss to Franklin.
    On Tuesday, they were not going to let it happen again.
    Relief pitcher Alex Nottingham got a called strike three with the bases-loaded and two outs in the top of the sixth, ending a back-and-forth battle with LeBoeuf for an 8-7 victory during loser’s bracket action at the Pennsylvania Section 1 Tournament yesterday at the Crawford County Fairgrounds Fields.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cochranton wins CVAL title

    Prior to the start of the American Legion season, Cochranton coach Randy Staudt went knocking on doors in four different townships trying to recruit players for his squad.
    He didn’t have much luck. However, a slender ballplayer from Guys Mills signed on the dotted line and is the reason why Staudt hoisted the Crawford-Venango American Legion championship trophy on Monday night.

    July 14, 2014

Sports Scoreboard
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Business Marquee
AP Video
Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror'
Poll

The latest proposed expansion plan for the Crawford County Courthouse potentially would eliminate the former Tarr Mansion on Diamond Park to make room for a county administrative building. Should the 1860 mansion be demolished?

Leave it alone because it’s historic.
Try to incorporate it into the proposed expansion.
It’s too far gone to save, but it’s memory may be preserved with an artifacts and photo display within the proposed courthouse complex.
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks