Steelers survive Roethlisberger injury, beat Rams 12-6

Ben Roethlisberger left Sunday's game with a left knee injury in the third quarter, but the Steelers still survived for a 12-6 win in St. Louis. Here's what we learned:

  1. Michael Vick gave the Rams chances to win when he entered with just over five minutes left in the third quarter. He fumbled the ball and nearly threw a bad interception, but the Rams didn't come up with the ball either time. The Steelers' defense and an inept Rams offense did the rest.
  1. The Rams' defense did a nice job limiting damage all day whether Roethlisberger was in or not. This loss is on the Rams' offense. They were far too conservative, often throwing third-and-long passes short of the sticks. Lance Kendricks killed two drives with drops, including a potential long touchdown. Todd Gurley and Tre Masoncombined for 25 yards on 15 rushes. And Nick Foles threw an ugly interception when the Rams had a chance to tie the game late in the fourth quarter.
  1. The return of Le'Veon Bell made a huge difference. He helped kill the clock with a 23-yard run late. And his ability as a receiver changes the Steelers' offense. He lined up wide on the first play for a 10-yard catch, a fitting start to a day when he had seven grabs for 70 yards. Antonio Brown also continually made plays on his own after the catch, extending drives.
  1. Gurley looked unremarkable in his first action as a pro. Mason started the game, but the two young backs appeared to rotate drives throughout the game. It's hard to evaluate either player when the young Rams' offensive line is struggling to run block.
  1. The Steelers will sorely miss Roethlisberger, who will be out four to six weeks with an MCL sprain and a bone bruise, NFL Media's Albert Breer reported. Pittsburgh has a poorly timed Thursday Night Football game against Baltimore coming up. That makes this win, putting them at 2-1 for the season, even more important. While the Rams' offense certainly helped out the Steelers' defense, it's a great sign the Steelers can win different types of games.
  1. The Rams struggled to get consistent pressure with their front four for much of the game, which is a sign of how good the Steelers' offensive line is.
  1. This is the type of loss that Jeff Fisher will rue if his team goes 7-9 again. Now 1-2, they blew chances before and after Roethlisberger's injury. Nick Foles was solid if unspectacular most of the day, but he hasn't put life into the offense around him.
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