Steelers notes and stats

The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the St. Louis Rams 41-24 at St. Louis to improve to 10-5. The Steelers still need a Tennessee loss to make the playoffs.

Pittsburgh Steelers Team Notes:

• Pittsburgh improved to 10-5 on the year, including 3-4 on the road.

• The Steelers won their first game on the road against the Rams (1-11-1) and upped their record against the Rams to 7-17-2. It marked the first meeting between the teams in St. Louis.

• Pittsburgh has won six of the past nine games against the Rams and has scored over 30 points in four of those contests.

• The Steelers improved to 4-4 all-time on Thursday night games and have won three such games in a row. Pittsburgh is 2-3 on the road on Thursday night.

• Pittsburgh has won 15 of its past 17 games versus teams from the NFC, dating back to 2003. The Steelers are 87-54-1 all-time against NFC foes, including a 3-1 mark this year.

• Pittsburgh went ahead 7-0 on its first drive of the game as QB Ben Roethlisberger hit WR Nate Washington for a 17-yard touchdown pass after a four-play, 96-yard drive. On the Steelers first offensive play of the game, Roethlisberger hit WR Santonio Holmes for an 83-yard pass from the four-yard line, which was Roethlisberger's second-longest pass of his career (85 vs. New England, Sept. 25, 2005) and the longest reception for Holmes in his two-year career. On the drive, Roethlisberger was 2-for-2 for 100 yards passing and the touchdown, which was his career-best 30th of the season.

• St. Louis responded with a six-play, 59-yard drive that resulted in a 12-yard touchdown pass from QB Marc Bulger to RB Steven Jackson that tied the game at 7-7 midway through the first quarter.

• The Steelers regained the lead, 10-7, as K Jeff Reed booted a 21-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter. The drive was highlighted by a fake punt in which P Daniel Sepulveda hit RB Najeh Davenport for a 32-yard reception.

• The Rams took their first lead of the game as Bulger hit WR Isaac Bruce for a 12-yard touchdown pass on the ensuing drive.

• Pittsburgh came back with a five-play, 64-yard drive to take a 17-14 lead as Roethlisberger tossed his career-high 31st touchdown of the season, a 33-yard pass to Washington. It marked Washington's second career multi-touchdown game as he also had two touchdown catches against Baltimore earlier this year on Nov. 5 at Heinz Field.

• Roethlisberger tossed his third touchdown pass of the first half as he hit Davenport for a 12-yard touchdown with just under two minutes remaining in the second quarter. It marked Roethlisberger's 32nd touchdown pass of the game and it was Davenport second touchdown catch of the season (third of his career).

• K Jeff Wilkins booted a 52-yard field goal with one minute left in the first half to make it 24-17 at halftime.

• In the second half, Davenport scored from one yard out on the Steelers first drive of the third quarter to make it 31-17. It was Davenport's team-best fourth rushing touchdown of the season.

• St. Louis trimmed the lead to 31-24 with three minutes left in the third quarter as Bulger tossed a 23-yard touchdown strike to WR Drew Bennett.

• Reed added a 29-yard field goal at the 4:38 mark of the fourth quarter to stretch the lead to 10 points, 34-24.

• CB Ike Taylor sealed the Steelers' victory as he picked off a Bulger pass and returned it 51 yards for a touchdown one minute later to cap the scoring at 41-24. It was Taylor's team-leading third interception of the season and his first for a touchdown in his career. It was also Pittsburgh's second interception for a touchdown on the year (CB Bryant McFadden).

• Pittsburgh had two interceptions in the game (Taylor, LB James Farrior) for the first time since Week 7 at Denver.

• The Steelers finished with a season-high 425 yards of total offense, including 166 rushing and 259 passing. St. Louis had 316 yards of total offense (90 rushing, 226 passing).

• Pittsburgh had 24 first downs to the Rams' 17.

• The Steelers were 4 of 10 on third downs (40%) while St. Louis converted 50 percent (7 of 14).

• Pittsburgh was penalized just twice for 36 yards. The Rams were flagged three times for 20 yards.

• For the 14th time in 15 games this year, Pittsburgh led in time of possession (36:16-23:44).

• Pittsburgh posted one sack in the game (DT Casey Hampton) to up its season total to 34. The Rams had four sacks.

• QB Brian St. Pierre (3rd QB), RB Gary Russell, LB Andre Frazier, LB Clint Kriewaldt, C Darnell Stapleton, OT Marvel Smith, TE Jon Dekker and DE Ryan McBean were inactive.

Pittsburgh Individual Notes:

QB Ben Roethlisberger

• Finished 16-of-20 passing for 261 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a perfect passer rating of 158.3. It marked his third career perfect passer rating and the second one this season (Week 9 versus Baltimore). His three perfect passer rating games ties QB Peyton Manning for the most in league history.

• Marked the fifth time this year he has thrown at least three touchdown passes.

• Eclipsed the 3,000-yard passing mark for the second straight season, which ties the team record for consecutive 3,000-yard seasons set by Terry Bradshaw in 1979-80.

• Hit WR Santonio Holmes for an 83-yard pass on the first offensive play for the Steelers, which resulted in a 17-yard touchdown pass to WR Nate Washington three plays later. It was Roethlisberger's second-longest pass of his career, just shy of an 85-yard touchdown pass to WR Hines Ward on Sept. 25, 2005, versus the New England Patriots. On the drive, Roethlisberger was 2-for-2 for 100 yards passing with the touchdown, his career-best 30th on the season.

• Tossed a 33-yard touchdown pass to Washington to give Pittsburgh a 17-14 lead in the second quarter.

• Had a 12-yard touchdown pass to RB Najeh Davenport late in the first half, marking his 32nd touchdown pass of the season.

• Finished 10-for-12 for 204 yards passing with three touchdowns and no interceptions in the first half for a perfect passer rating of 158.3.

• Ran two times for 11 yards (5.5 avg.).

RB Willie Parker

• Left the game after two plays with an ankle injury and did not return. He finished with one rush for minus-one (-1) yards.

RB Najeh Davenport

• Finished with 123 yards rushing on 24 carries (5.1 avg.) with one touchdown. It marked his first 100-yard rushing game of the season and the second of his career. His only other 100-yard rushing game was a career-high 178 yards rushing against the St. Louis Rams on Nov. 29, 2004, while playing for the Green Bay Packers.

• Had a career-long (tied) 32-yard reception from P Daniel Sepulveda on a fake punt in the first quarter. The 32-yard catch tied his career long that he set against New England on Dec. 9.

• Caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger late in the first half, marking his second receiving touchdown of the season and third of his career.

• Had a one-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter, giving him a team-best four rushing touchdowns on the year.

• Finished with two catches for 44 yards (22.0 avg.) with one touchdown.

• Marked his second multi-touchdown game of the season as he rushed for two touchdowns in Week 5 versus the Seattle Seahawks.

RB Carey Davis

• Rushed six times for 28 yards (4.7 avg.).

WR Hines Ward

• Finished with six receptions for 59 yards (9.8 avg.) and became the team's all-time leader in receiving yards with 8,737 career yards as he surpassed Hall of Famer John Stallworth on the team's list. He is now the team's all-time leader in receiving yards, receptions (718) and receiving touchdowns (65).

• Had a 19-yard reception late in the first quarter that resulted in a first down.

WR Santonio Holmes

• Finished with four catches for 133 yards (33.3 avg.). His 133 yards receiving are a new career high, breaking his previous best of 128 yards he had earlier this season in Week 4 at Arizona.

• It marked his third 100-yard receiving game of the season and the fourth of his career.

• Surpassed his career high for receiving yards in a season as he now has 844, passing last year's total of 824 yards.

• Hauled in an 83-yard pass from Roethlisberger on the first offensive play of the game for the Steelers, marking a career long for Holmes.

• Had a seven-yard rush in the second quarter.

WR Nate Washington

• Finished with two catches for 50 yards with two touchdowns. It marked his second career multi-touchdown game as he also hauled in two touchdown catches earlier this year against Baltimore on Nov. 5 at Heinz Field.

• Had a 17-yard touchdown reception on the Steelers first drive of the game, marking his fourth touchdown of the season.

• Added a 33-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter to give Pittsburgh a 17-14 lead. It was his career-best fifth touchdown of the season.

DT Casey Hampton

• Posted his first sack of the season for nine yards and finished with two tackles.

LB James Farrior

• Posted his first interception of the season and the 10th of his career, including his seventh with Pittsburgh (three for N.Y. Jets).

• Finished with three tackles (two solo).

CB Deshea Townsend

• Had four tackles (all solo) and a game-high four passes defensed.

CB Ike Taylor

• Picked off his team-best third interception of the season and returned it 51 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. It marked his first career interception return for a touchdown.

• Finished with five tackles (all solo) and three passes defensed.

S Troy Polamalu

• Had a team-high six tackles (five solo) and one pass defensed.

• Forced his third fumble of the season.

S Tyrone Carter

• Made three tackles (all solo).

P Daniel Sepulveda

• Punted two times for 105 yards (52.5 avg.) with a net of 42.5 avg.

• On a fake punt, threw a 32-yard completion to Davenport for a first down to the Rams' 22-yard line.

• Had a 52-yard punt late in the first half and a 53-yard punt late in the third quarter.

K Jeff Reed

• Finished a perfect 2-for-2 in field goals and 5-for-5 in PATs for 11 points. He now has 110 points on the year, marking the fifth straight season he has eclipsed the 100-point mark. He finished with a career-high 124 points in 2004.

• Booted a 21-yard field goal in the second quarter and a 29-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

PR/KR/CB Allen Rossum

• Had five kickoff returns for 146 yards (29.2 avg.) with a long of 34.

• Added two punt returns for three yards (1.5 avg.).


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