2009 Week 2 Game Recap: Bears 17 Steelers 14

Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould hit a 44-yard field goal with just 20 seconds left in the game to give the Bears a 17-14 win versus the Steelers on a rainy day at Soldier Field. The Bears final drive started on their own 33 yard line after Steelers kicker missed a 43-yard field goal with 3:23 remaining that would of taken the lead. The miss was Reed\’s second of the game as he also missed a 38-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter on the wet and recently re-sodded field.

The Steelers offense played fairly well on a wet day. The running game improved slightly on last weeks dismal performance as they totaled 105 yards on 22 runs, most of which came on a 39 yard run by second year running back Rashard Mendenhall. The offense line played better as well, but still failed to dominate another 4-3 defensive front. The passing game got off to a fast start on the Steelers opening drive that went 92 yards on 13 plays. The drive culminated with a Matt Spaeth 1 yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger. On the day, Roethlisberger was 23 for 35 for 221 yards passing. He also had one interception in Bears territory as his arm was hit while in the passing motion. Wide receiver Santonio Holmes lead all receivers with 83 yards on 5 receptions, but he also had to easy balls go right through his hands on well thrown passes. Hines Ward chipped in 6 catches for 57 yards, but was never a huge factor in the game. The receiving core was also without second year wide receiver Limas Sweed, who missed the game with a mid-foot sprain. Shaun McDonald took his place on the roster, but was not thrown to all day.

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Defensively, the Steelers were clearly missing safety Troy Polamalu. Tyrone Carter started in his place and other than a huge hit on Bears tight end Greg Olsen, Carter was not the play maker on defense that Polamalu normally is. The defense however still held the Bears to 43 yards rushing and starter Matt Forte to just 62 total yards. Olsen was also held in check to just 3 catches for 41 yards, but it was rookie receiver Johnny Knox who the Steelers did not have an answer for. Knox had six receptions for 70 yards and the game tying touchdown with 5:16 left in the game. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler had a quiet 236 yards passing behind the strong pass blocking of his offensive line. The Steelers defense only recorded one sack by Aaron Smith and very few quarterback pressures on the day. Also the Steelers defense failed to record a turnover and allowed touchdowns on both Bear trips to the redzone.

In the end it came down to the Steelers special teams that under performed. Coupled with the 2 misses by Reed, cornerback Ike Taylor had 2 of 3 penalties on punt returns. The one bright spot once again was punter Daniel Sepulveda who punted 3 times for a 54.3 average.

The Steelers drop to 1-1 on the season and are now one game back of division leader Baltimore. The Steelers now travel to Cincinnati next week to take on the 1-1 Bengals who knocked off the Green Bay Packers earlier in the day.

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