Steelers Shutout Rams 27-0 Behind Big Day For Defense and Run Game

Cameron Heyward #97 of the Pittsburgh Steelers gets up after sacking Kellen Clemens

If the Steelers defense plays like they did Saturday in the postseason, maybe they don’t need QB Ben Roethlisberger.

Ok, let’s not get crazy.

With that said, it was good Saturday for the Black and Gold to be able to take advantage of a 2-win Rams team that was already looking to clean out their lockers. The defense laid out the Rams all day, and while Steven Jackson had some yards against the Steelers D, it was mostly a solid effort by the defense in the Steelers 27-0 Christmas Eve win.

The victory puts the Steelers at 11-4, and while they are already in the postseason, they still have things to play for next week when they head to Cleveland to play the now 4-11 Browns.

First off, the Ravens have a tough road game at Cincy, and with the Bengals still thinking about the 6th playoff spot, they will play that game 100 percent, meaning if the Ravens lay yet another road egg and the Steelers win, they take home the AFC North and likely the #2 seed in the AFC.

If the above happens and the Patriots happen to lose at home to the Bills, which is unlikely but you never know, the Steelers would actually take home the #1 seed.

In the end, they have a lot to play for, and it was good to see them just five days after the breakdown in San Fran that without Big Ben they could do just about anything they wanted against the awful Rams.

John Clay ran for his first career touchdown, and Charlie Batch was solid on offense, and the run game, was very good with Rashard Mendenhall, all sparking the run away win.

It didn’t start so easy, as the Steelers led just 3-0 after one quarter, and 10-0 at the half. They put the game away in the second half though, as they got a 49-yard field goal from Shaun Suisham, and then Batch hit Mike Wallace with a long pass setting up a Mendenhall one-yard run.

Issac Redmen closed out the scoring with a 2-yard TD with 3:14 left to wrap up the scoring at 27-0.

The Rams had a couple shots to at least get three, but kicker Josh Brown missed two field goals, one from 50 and the other from 33. Jackson led the Rams on the ground with 103 yards, but Clemens was terrible in replace of Sam Bradford, going just 9-for-24 for 91 yards. He was sacked 3 times.

Mendenhall ran for 116 yards and a touchdown and backup quarterback Charlie Batch played efficiently in place of an injured Ben Roethlisberger as the Pittsburgh Steelers pummeled lifeless St. Louis 27-0 on Sunday.

St. Louis managed just 232 yards while getting shut out for the second time this month. It was the 6th straight loss for St.Louis.

Mendenhall ran for 116 yards, and Batch was 15-for-22 for 208 yards with a pick. He wasn’t sacked in the win. Another highlight was Hines Ward, who many felt could have been playing in his final game at Heinz Field. He had 4 grabs for 32 yards.

The Steelers will be in Cleveland on Sunday, January 1st, to close out the regular season with the Browns at 1pm.

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  • Peter

    Go Bengals. Merry Christmas everyone….

  • DrGeorge

    This was a team victory, and it was good to see. But…

    Let’s acknowledge the obvious: The 2-13 Rams came to Heinz Field without their starting QB and the replacement QB Clemens, to use Mr. Loede’s word, was ‘terrible.’ Shut down their running game (Jackson) and they have no offense. That’s what the Steelers’ Defense did. The Rams had no chance. Only Sunday’s lackluster game against the 49ers made Steelers’ fans wonder if the Rams would make a game of it. Well, they didn’t.

    On offense, the Steelers adopted the game plan we have recommended here for months: they ran the football (at last!), threw short often and threw deep just enough to keep the Rams off balance, and avoided turnovers. (Batch’s one interception was due to Brown’s slipping on the turf, not Batch’s throw.) In brief, the Steelers dominated in all phases of the game — as they should have, and the run-pass ratio was nearly balanced. This approach is so different from the game plan against the 49ers, one is forced to think Tomlin demanded the change. And rightly so.

    Note particularly how much better the O-line looked today… and how much better our rested defense played because the running game chewed up the clock and moved the chains. All of these parts are integral and must work together, as they did today.

    But the question remains: Can the Steelers execute this game plan against playoff quality teams? Are Arians and Ben R. sufficiently disciplined to follow this more conservative route to victory… or will the aerial circus return? Next week’s game against Cleveland, a rapidly improving team, gives the Steelers an opportunity to fine tune this approach for the playoffs — and prove to fans and themselves that this was not just a one time fling.

  • Ralph

    Was it me or when John Clay scored, did anyone else have flashbacks of The Bus rumbling into the endzone?

    • George H

      Clay looked great on his run… I was hoping to see him more towards the end of the game, but oh well. Another player who is going to be an absolute beast is Hayward. Every time he gets in the game he is making plays and getting pressure on the qb. He reminds me of Aaron Smith with his length and ability to get pressure.

      • DrGeorge

        Yes, Heyward is beginning to show his first round credentials. I wish Hood would do the same. We need to get more pressure on the QB when we play teams better than the Rams. Keisel is carrying more than his share of the load in that regard; he’s having a great year. But he needs and deserves a better supporting cast.

        John Clay looks promising, but he ran through arm tackles on his way to the end zone. I’d like to see him take on a linebacker or two before anointing him the next Jerome. I too can’t fathom why Arians didn’t run Redman and Clay more in the second half, if only to rest Mendy. For that matter, why Arians didn’t give Redman more carries all season long, especially in the red zone? All three of these RBs are good enough to start elsewhere. Something other than talent is affecting Arians’ judgment in so obviously favoring Mendenhall. With this kind of talent, Hank Stramm and Vince Lombardi would have opted for a two-back set. Whereas Arians doesn’t seem to know what a two-back set is.

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