It’s not too often a quarterback who threw for over 350 yards and four touchdowns would be the first to give his defense a round of applause for a job well done.
Ben Roethlisberger knows it is well deserved praise. He made sure to note how important it was for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense to shut down the Indianapolis Colts’ offense on their first possession, Jarvis Jones picking off Matt Hasselbeck.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. What was it, three turnovers in a matter of minutes, that was crazy,” Roethlisberger told reporters after the game. “That’s what I told the guys today. That’s a team win, but the defense, way to bail us out early.”
Sunday’s eventual blowout got off to an ominous start after Jacoby Jones, as his Steelers’ career will be defined by, fumbled away the opening kickoff, setting up the Colts in prime field position to score. But on third and eight from just inside the ten, Jarvis Jones dropped into coverage and picked off an oblivious Hasselbeck to end their early scoring threat.
The defense was called on again, almost just as quickly. DeAngelo Williams lost a fumble at his own 26 on the following drive. But the defense forced a three and out, forcing the Colts to settle for a 35 yard field goal. Two drives with spectacular field position that ended in just three points is as good as you can ask from a defense.
“That’s what it’s about this time of year. You find ways to win football games, however it is. And all three phases got it done.”
Two interceptions, five sacks from the defense. Over 500 yards of offense. A 71 yard punt return. It’s hard to be more well-rounded in a game than that.
The Steelers face a much more daunting task next Sunday in a showdown with the Cincinnati Bengals, who blew out the hapless Cleveland Browns 37-3 yesterday. They were held to 16 points in their first meeting with Pittsburgh.