The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Pro

August 25, 2013

Roethlisberger sharp, Steelers not in third straight preseason loss

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger and Kansas City’s Alex Smith fought to a first-half draw and the Chiefs beat the Steelers 26-20 in overtime on Saturday night.

Roethlisberger was 13 of 19 for 166 yards and a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jonathan Dwyer as the Steelers shook off two lethargic performances with easily their best 30 minutes of the preseason.

Smith struggled early but led Kansas City to a pair of scoring drives late in the first half and finished 17 of 24 for 158 yards and a touchdown. Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles ran seven times for 10 yards in his first game after spraining his right foot earlier this month.

Kansas City won it on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Chase Daniel to Rico Richardson on the first possession of overtime.

Following a pair of largely lifeless efforts, Roethlisberger stressed it was hardly time to panic. In the closest thing to the real thing the NFL provides in August, the Steelers responded with a decidedly more urgent tone against the Chiefs.

Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown for a 49-yard gain on Pittsburgh’s second offensive play, leading to a field goal. The Steelers followed it up with their first offensive touchdown since the 2012 regular season finale against Cleveland. Taking over at the Kansas City 21 after the Chiefs failed to convert a 4-and-1, Roethlisberger turned a broken play into six points when he scrambled around long enough to find Dwyer wide open in the flat. The running back trotted into the end zone to give the Steelers a 10-0.

Kansas City, which like Pittsburgh sleepwalked through the first half of the exhibition schedule, appeared headed to another dismal effort until Smith found a rhythm late in the half. The former No. 1 draft pick, sent to Kansas City to revitalize his career, raced 38 yards to set up a field goal.

Smith didn’t need to use his legs during a fabulous drive to end the half. He completed 6 of 7 passes while moving Kansas city 72 yards, the only incompletion coming on a spike to stop the clock. Smith covered the final five yards with a perfect strike to Junior Hemingway to tie the game with just 18 seconds remaining before the break.

The two starters took the rest of the night off and probably won’t be seen again until their respective season openers.

In the final game before the first round of cuts, however, a couple of third-round picks made a compelling case they plan to stick around.

Pittsburgh wide receiver Markus Wheaton – projected as the team’s new deep threat after the departure of Mike Wallace – hauled in a 34-yard rainbow from backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski early in the third quarter.

Moments later, Kansas City’s Knile Davis provided a compelling case to return kicks after taking an “only in the preseason” shot when he fielded the ensuing kickoff a yard from the endline then raced 109 yards for a touchdown. The score continued a miserable trend for the Steelers, who have hardly been sharp on special teams under new coordinator Danny Smith.

Pittsburgh running back Felix Jones, acquired in a trade with Philadelphia on Friday, saw extensive action with rookie Le’Veon Bell (foot), Isaac Redman (stinger), LaRod Stephens-Howling (knee) all sidelined by injury. Jones returned two kickoffs for 51 yards and carried eight times for 29 yards.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Pro
  • Dodgers Pirates Polanco, Walker lift Pirates over Dodgers

    Gregory Polanco broke out of a slump with a solo home run and a tiebreaking two-run single, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 12-7 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.
    Polanco, hitting just .133 in his previous 11 games, smacked a bases-loaded single with two outs in the sixth to put Pittsburgh in front for good.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pirates 0721 Rallying Dodgers snap Pirates’ win streak at 3 games

    Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched seven strong innings, Adrian Gonzalez reached base five times and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 on Monday night.
    Ryu (11-5) joined Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in making the Dodgers the first team in the majors with three 11-game winners.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0720 Pirates rally to keep sweep

    Taking the extra base was the key for the Pittsburgh Pirates in completing a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies.
    Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Rockies 5-3 Sunday.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • McIlroy 0720 McIlroy holds on to win British Open

    Walking off the 18th green as the British Open champion, Rory McIlroy kept gazing at all the greats on golf’s oldest trophy.
    On the claret jug, his name is etched in silver below Phil Mickelson.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0719 Pirates take second straight over Rockies, win in 11th inning

    Jordy Mercer doubled home Neil Walker with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night.
    Walker led off the inning with a single against Colorado’s Chad Bettis (0-2), moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, and scored one batter later when Mercer hit a drive deep into the gap in left-center.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • out at home Eighth-inning rally carries Pirates to victory over Rockies

    Travis Snider’s pinch-hit double in the eighth scored Neil Walker to spark the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night.
    Walker trotted home when Colorado right fielder Carlos Gonzalez couldn’t track down Snider’s sinking line drive off reliever Matt Belisle (2-5). All-Star Josh Harrison added a sacrifice fly one batter later.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • score Pirates in race, hope for late surge

    The Pittsburgh Pirates find themselves in an average, every day – if still heated – pennant race.
    A season after shedding the yoke of two decades of failure with a stirring run to a playoff berth, the Pirates are just another solid if not spectacular team trying to keep pace in the jam-packed NL Central.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Derby 0714 Cespedes wins again, beating Frazier in HR derby

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • All-Star Game 0714 Pitching matchup features two of game’s most dominant arms

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jeter 0714 Derek Jeter, an All-Star for the last time

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads