American Football: Roethlisberger the rookie has nerves of steel

Last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers made a claim for a Super Bowl challenge by ending the perfect record of the New England Patriots. On Sunday, to prove it was no fluke, they repeated the trick by destroying the previously unbeaten Philadelphia Eagles 27-3.

The Eagles, the last team in the NFL to taste defeat, were simply overwhelmed by their Pennsylvania rivals, who dominated all aspects of the contest. Without their running back, the former Eagle Duce Staley, Pittsburgh turned instead to the veteran Jerome Bettis, and he enjoyed his best performance in three years with 149 rushing yards.

Bettis represents the old, but it is the new that is causing the bigger stir in the steel city. The rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was again outstanding, making all the right reads as he guided his side to an early 21-point lead with the poise of a veteran.

Since replacing the injured Tommy Maddox, the youngster has won all six of his starts, demonstrating the command and experience that has led many to liken him to a young Dan Marino.

"He's remarkable," the Philadelphia linebacker Mark Simoneau admitted. "He doesn't look like a rookie, he looks like a guy who's been around four or five years. He made plays all day long."

Having been bewitched by Roethlisberger last week, the Patriots returned to health by thrashing St Louis 40-22 in Missouri. The defending Super Bowl champions bewildered their opponents, with even the kicker Adam Vinatieri throwing a touchdown pass on a fake field goal attempt.

Both New York teams were undone by unfancied rivals. The Jets were brought down to earth in Buffalo, where the powerful running of Willis McGahee ensured a 22-17 Bills win, while the Giants were surprisingly toppled at home by the injury-plagued Chicago Bears, 28-21.

The big play of the weekend came in Baltimore, where the Ravens' Ed Reed set a record with a 106-yard interception return for a touchdown in the home side's 27-13 triumph over the Cleveland Browns.

The play came at a crucial time, with the Browns threatening to tie the scores late on. Reed, however, correctly read the intentions of the Cleveland quarterback, Jeff Garcia, and his record-setting return made matters safe.

"He seems to always be around when you need it," said Reed's head coach Brian Billick.

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect