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NFL Roundup

Roethlisberger is no pushover

In windy conditions, sore QB exemplifies Steelers' resolve

Rams quarterback Marc Bulger absorbed six sacks against the Giants, leaving him in a twisted state. Rams quarterback Marc Bulger absorbed six sacks against the Giants, leaving him in a twisted state. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Associated Press / September 15, 2008
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On a less-than-ideal night for football or any other outdoor activity, the Steelers made it a perfect 10 over the Browns.

Ignoring his sore right shoulder and wind gusts of 60 miles per hour in Cleveland, Ben Roethlisberger threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward as Pittsburgh made it 10 straight wins over its closest rival, beating the Browns, 10-6, last night to extend the NFL's longest current winning streak between two teams.

As is their way, the Steelers (2-0) wrecked Cleveland's return to prime time after a five-year hiatus. Pittsburgh has won eight in a row in Cleveland, 16 of 17 in the series, and 23 of 26 in a rivalry that has been one-sided since Roethlisberger was learning how to throw a football as a kid in Findlay, Ohio.

During the game, it was disclosed that Roethlisberger sustained a separated shoulder last week in a win over Houston. But Big Ben didn't seem bothered as he completed 12 of 19 for 186 yards and no interceptions. He improved to 10-0 in NFL games inside his home state against the Browns and Cincinnati Bengals.

Jeff Reed kicked a 48-yard field goal in tricky conditions and the Steelers held off a late rally by the Browns (0-2), who were hoping this would be the year they finally challenged Pittsburgh for supremacy in the AFC North.

Not yet.

Phil Dawson kicked field goals of 31 and 38 yards, the second one with 3:21 left to pull the Browns to 10-6.

Cleveland was counting on its defense to get the ball back, but Roethlisberger came up with the big play. He scrambled from pressure to buy some time and rifled a 19-yard pass to Heath Miller for a first down at midfield. Willie Parker broke free on a 19-yard run and the Steelers ran out all but the final 26 seconds.

Parker finished with 28 carries for 105 yards.

Giants 41, Rams 13
Eli Manning threw three touchdown passes and the Giants sacked Marc Bulger six times while limiting the St. Louis to 201 total yards in New York's 12th straight victory away from home.

Justin Tuck's 41-yard interception return in the fourth quarter sealed the victory, and he added a pair of sacks. Fred Robbins also had two sacks for the Giants, who have not lost a road game since their opener last season.

Manning (20 of 29, 260 yards) directed two lengthy TD drives. Amani Toomer's 10-yard grab capped a 97-yard march midway through the third quarter that put the Giants ahead, 20-6. After Torry Holt scored the Rams' only touchdown on a 45-yard catch, New York (2-0) went 82 yards and took a 27-13 lead on Ahmad Bradshaw's 16-yard swing pass with 7:18 to play.

Tuck's return came after he deflected Bulger's pass, and Bradshaw added a 31-yard run to cap a 21-point fourth quarter.

The Rams (0-2) retooled their offense under new coordinator Al Saunders, but have only one touchdown in two games. Bulger was 20 of 32 for 177 yards and a touchdown.

Redskins 29, Saints 24
Bouncing back from a miserable first game, Jason Campbell threw for 321 yards and completed his last eight passes, including a 67-yard touchdown to Santana Moss with 3:29 left that highlighted Washington's come-from-behind victory over visiting New Orleans.

Campbell appeared out of sorts with new coach Jim Zorn's West Coast attack in a 16-7 loss to the Giants in Week 1, but he went 24 of 36 with no interceptions against the Saints. The Redskins (1-1) overcame a 9-point deficit with two touchdowns in the final 6 1/2 minutes to give Zorn his first win.

Reggie Bush returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown that gave the Saints (1-1) a 24-15 lead at the end of the third quarter. New Orleans committed three turnovers (two interceptions and a fumble), and all landed in the hands of Redskins seventh-round draft pick Chris Horton.

Titans 24, Bengals 7
Thrust into a starting role after a troubling and confusing week for Tennessee, Kerry Collins threw his first touchdown pass in two years and guided the Titans (2-0) to a windy victory in Cincinnati.

Tennessee's starting quarterback, Vince Young, wasn't with the team after spraining his knee in last week's opener and having his mental state questioned in the aftermath. So the 35-year-old Collins was in charge of the offense and went 14 of 21 for 128 yards - impressive considering the 30-mile-per-hour winds swirling inside Paul Brown Stadium - with an 11-yard TD pass to Justin Gage.

The Bengals (0-2) are off to their worst start since Marvin Lewis became head coach in 2003. Carson Palmer was 16 of 27 for 134 yards with two interceptions, but it wasn't all the quarterback's fault. Cincinnati's defense had 12 men on the field for one play, sustaining a Tennessee touchdown drive, and its offense was flagged for having 12 men in the huddle.

Raiders 23, Chiefs 8
Rookie Darren McFadden ran for 164 yards and a touchdown and Sebastian Janikowski kicked a team-record 56-yard field goal, leading Oakland to a road win over an inept Kansas City team that tried three quarterbacks.

Lane Kiffin, amid reports that his job is in jeopardy, won for just the fifth time 18 games as coach of the Raiders (1-1). Oakland finished with 300 yards on the ground, including 90 by Michael Bush, who put this one out of reach with a 32-yard TD run with 51 seconds to play.

The Chiefs started 0-2 for the third time in three years under Herm Edwards and have lost 11 regular-season games in a row. Starting quarterback Damon Huard missed the final three quarters with a head injury, and along with backups Marques Hagans and Tyler Thigpen led Kansas City to just 65 net yards by halftime.

Panthers 20, Bears 17
Jonathan Stewart rushed for all but one of his 77 yards in the second half and scored two touchdowns, including the go-ahead TD late in the fourth quarter, and host Carolina stopped Chicago (1-1) on fourth and 1 with under two minutes left to preserve its 2-0 start.

The Panthers recovered from a mistake-prone first half and scored the game's final 17 points behind their improved defense. Chris Harris's forced fumble against his former team set up a touchdown, and Jake Delhomme engineered his second straight fourth-quarter comeback following his return from elbow surgery. Delhomme finished 12 of 21 for 128 yards and an interception.

Bills 20, Jaguars 16
Trent Edwards completed his first 10 attempts and threw a perfect 7-yard touchdown pass to James Hardy late in the fourth quarter as Buffalo won in Jacksonville, Fla., for its first 2-0 start in five years.

Edwards finished 20 of 25 for 239 yards, Marshawn Lynch ran for 59 yards and a score, and Buffalo's defense held Jacksonville (243 total yards) in check most of the day. At 0-2, the Jaguars are off to their worst start since 2003.

49ers 33, Seahawks 30
Joe Nedney shook off a missed field goal as time expired in regulation and kicked a 40-yarder 4:40 into overtime to lift San Francisco and send host Seattle to its first 0-2 start since 2002.

The 49ers (1-1) overcame eight sacks of J.T. O'Sullivan to beat the Seahawks for just the third time in 11 games. Seattle turned over the ball three times, twice on deflected interceptions of Matt Hasselbeck. Patrick Willis returned one of those 86 yards for a touchdown.

Buccaneers 24, Falcons 9
Atlanta rookie Matt Ryan was intercepted twice in the first half and Tampa Bay's Brian Griese turned the miscues into a touchdown and field goal that propelled the host Buccaneers.

A week after beating Detroit in his pro debut, Ryan threw incompletions on his first nine passes before settling down to keep Atlanta (1-1) in the game with three field goal drives that trimmed a 17-point deficit to 8 with five minutes to go. The Bucs (1-1) then finished off the victory when Earnest Graham broke off a 68-yard TD run.

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