Big Ben drives Bus over Eagles
Updated: November 9, 2004, 5:54 PM ETScouts, Inc.
Editor's note: Our scouts roll back the tape on Week 9 in the NFL:
QB Ben Roethlisberger (11-18, 183 yds, 2 TDs, 1 INT) and the Steelers' offense (420 total yds) continued rolling along by using their old mainstay at running back, Jerome Bettis (33 carries, 149 yds). The Steelers' ground game (252 yds) allowed them to control the clock and keep Eagles QB Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens on the sideline. The Steelers had the ball for an amazing 41 minutes, 49 seconds. They did it with Bettis looking like his old self and with great play from their offensive line. The Steelers are giving their rookie QB every weapon he needs to succeed, and Roethlisberger is taking full advantage.
Pittsburgh's defense embarrassed the Eagles with a very aggressive blitz package and a lot of overload principles. They either brought an outside linebacker and SS Troy Polamalu (7 tackles) on the same side, or they utilized "X" stunts and twists with their inside linebackers. They were able to flush McNabb (15-24, 109 yds, 1 INT) out of the pocket and cut off his throwing lanes. The Eagles' inability to pick up the varied blitzes was a bit shocking, and the vulnerability of the Steelers' cornerbacks in man-to-man situations was never tested.