What a difference a week makes. The Steelers looked like the defending Super Bowl champions on Saturday night as they shut out the Buffalo Bills 17-0. Starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger showed no ill effects of the bruised ACL that kept him out of last Saturday\’s game versus the Washington Redskins. Roethlisberger was 15 for 19 passing for 168 yards and showed a great arm and better decision making. Second year running back Rashard Mendenhall looks better ever game as he carried 16 times for 48 yards and one touchdown. The one black mark on his performance was a fumble on the second Steelers drive of the game. Second year receiver Limas Sweed also made a strong statement starting in the place of receiver Santonio Holmes who was held out with a sore back. Sweed had 4 catches for 34 yards. Veteran Hines Ward led all receivers with 5 catches for 74 yards. The starting offensive line looked much improved as well. The protection was more than adequate most of the night.
Defensively it was typical Steeler football against a struggling Bills offense. The defense only allowed 49 yards rushing and 86 yards passing. Linebacker James Farrior starred with 3 tackles, one assist, one sack and a 22 yard interception for a touchdown. The defensive front three also applied great pressure throughout the night.
Special teams wise, free agent return man Stefan Logan continues to impress. Logan averaged 15 yards on 4 punt returns with a long of 27 yards. Logan showed excellent decision making, great hands and good vision.
Injury wise, fullback Carey Davis suffered an ankle injury, but returned to the game after getting x-rays. Linebacker Lawrence Timmons also suffered an ankle injury, but it is not considered serious. Both players will be reevaluted on Sunday. Players held out on Saturday night in addition to Holmes, were Willie Parker (hamstring), Frank Summers (hamstring), Nick Eason (calf), Sean McHugh (knee), Darnell Stapleton (knee), Dennis Dixon (shoulder), Jeff Reed (ankle) and Steve McLendon (elbow).
The Steelers work on a short week now as they travel to Charlotte to face the Carolina Panthers on Thursday.