This was more like it

That was the kind of effort people expected from the Steelers. <br><br> They played strong defense, forcing four turnovers and allowing just 169 total yards. They ran the ball relatively effectively, gaining 153 yards on 38 carries. Heck, they even made a couple of plays on special teams, blocking a punt and downing several inside the 20.

Now certainly the Dolphins are not a very good football team, at least offensively. But Miami's defense is as good as any in the league.

But the Steelers did everything they needed to do Sunday night in Miami to keep the pressure off of rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger's final numbers – 12 of 22 for 163 yards, one touchdown and one interception – weren't great, but they didn't need to be.

The Steelers needed Roethlisberger to take care of the ball, covert a few first downs and generally manage the game. He did all of those things far better than his Miami counterpart, A.J. Feeley.

But it's a little early to get too excited about Roethlisberger's play. He made some nice throws, but he made some poor ones as well. And he's going to continue to make mistakes this season.

If the Steelers can run the ball effectively and make a few plays on defense, however, they can overcome the rookies' mistakes.

  • Nice to see Ike Taylor get out of Bill Cowher's doghouse.

    Taylor partially blocked a punt in the third quarter showing no signs moping after being inactive for the first two games.

    The question now is, was Alonzo Jackson paying attention?

    That, Alonzo, is what you do when you get a chance to get back onto the field after being in the coach's doghouse.

  • Joey Porter, nice to see you're still with the team. Next up is Cincinnati's Levi Jones, a player the Steelers owned last season. You can bet Porter will have his boot ready to do again this week.

  • After watching Cincinnati's Carson Palmer struggle to throw the ball against the Ravens and looking at what he did against the Dolphins the week before, Roethlisberger might just be the most promising young quarterback in the division.

  • Hines Ward made more highlight-worthy plays against the Dolphins than most players make in a season.

    Nine catches for 96 yards and a touchdown prove Ward deserves to be mentioned among the top receivers in the game, even if only people in Pittsburgh think so. Sooner or later, everyone else will catch on as well.

  • Speaking of receivers, Plaxico Burress actually played a pretty good game. He had two big catches for 60 yards and also made some key blocks.

  • The Steelers committed 11 penalties for 103 yards, including several for illegal motion and false starts.

    We'll chalk that up to the new quarterback - this week. They can't keep having that many penalties and win.

  • Once again Dick LeBeau sent No. 26 on the corner blitz and once again, Deshea Townsend got there.

    I still think LeBeau believes No. 26 is Rod Woodson, though.

  • Don't underestimate Roethlisberger winning his first start. Of the 15 active quarterbacks who were first-round draft picks who started games during their rookie seasons, only four won their first starts.

    And Roethlisberger is the only one of those players who won their first start, who completed more than 50 percent of his passes.

    Those other QBs who won their first starts as a rookie? Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair, Michael Vick and David Carr.

    Peyton Manning and Drew Bledsoe were among the QBs who lost their first starts.

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