Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0) vs. Atlanta Falcons (0-0)
Date: Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010
Kickoff: 1 p.m., ET
Site: Heinz Field (65,050) • Pittsburgh, Pa.
Playing Surface: Natural Grass
TV Coverage: FOX-TV (locally WPGH-TV, channel 53)
Announcers: Dick Stockton (play-by-play) Charles Davis (color analyst) Jim Mora (color analyst)
Local Radio: Steelers Radio Network WDVE-FM (102.5)/WBGG-AM (970)
Announcers: Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play) Tunch Ilkin (color analyst) Craig Wolfley (sideline)
Complete Game Release
A Look at the Coaches
Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin
Overall regular-season record: 31-17 (.646)/fourth season
Regular-season record at Pittsburgh: 31-17 (.646)/fourth season
Playoff Record/Years: 3-1/two years
Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith
Overall Regular-season Record: 20-12 (.625)/third season
Regular-season Record at Atlanta: 20-12 (.625)/third season
Playoff Record/Years: 0-1/one year
*Series History *
Series History: Series began in 1966
Overall: Pittsburgh leads 11-2-1
At Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh leads 5-0-1
At Atlanta: Pittsburgh leads 6-2
Neutral Sites: n/a
Last Meeting: Oct. 22, 2006 (in Atlanta)
Atlanta 41, Pittsburgh 38 (OT)
Postseason Series: n/a
(postseason record not included in overall series record)
Pittsburgh owns a112-1 all-time record against the Falcons...this marks the first meeting between the teams during the Mike Tomlinera...the teams have never met in a season opener...this marks the first matchup between the teams in Pittsburgh since the two clubs batted to a 34-34 overtime tie on Nov. 10, 2002...in that contest, the Falcons scored 17 unanswered points in the final eight minutes of the game to force overtime...the overtime ended with the Steelers catching a pass to the Atlanta one-yard line...also, several Steelers' records were broken in that game, including individual receiving yards in a game (Plaxico Burress, 253)...Pittsburgh is 8-1-1 in the last 10 meetings...the past four games (2-1-1) in the series have been decided by a total of 10 points, including the past two games going into overtime...Pittsburgh has never lost to the Falcons at home (5-0-1).* *
Steelers-Falcons Connections: Several Steelers have ties to the Falcons and the Atlanta area. WR Hines Wardgrew up in Georgia (Forest Park) and attended the University of Georgia. DE Nick Easonwas born in Lyons, Ga., while LB Keyaron Foxwas born in Atlanta and played at Georgia Tech. RB Jonathan Dwyeris from Marietta, Ga. and also played at Georgia Tech. QB Byron Leftwichplayed in three games for the Falcons in 2007. Tight ends coach James Danielcoach for Atlanta (1997-2003) prior to joining the Steelers.
Falcons with connections to the Steelers and Pittsburgh include assistant offensive line coach Paul Dunn, who played at Pitt and then coached for the Panthers twice (1983, 2005-07). Dunn also coached at Penn State (1984-85). Secondary coach Tim Lewisplayed at Pitt (1979-82) and coached for the Steelers from 1995-2003. Offensive coordinator Mike Mularkeyplayed tight end for the Steelers from 1989-91 and then coached for the club from1996-2003 in different capacities. Assistant special teams coach Eric Sutulovichcoached at Pitt in 2000. CB Brent Grimesplayed at Shippensburg.
What To Look For
PITTSBURGH TEAM NOTES
• Pittsburgh looks for its eight straight win on Kickoff Weekend, which is the longest current streak in the NFL.
• The Steelers look to improve to 40-32-4 all-time on Kickoff Weekend.
• The Steelers are looking to improve to 12-2-1 all-time against the Atlanta Falcons.
• Pittsburgh looks to improve to 6-0-1 at home against the Falcons.
• The Steelers look to improve to 20-5 at Heinz Field during the Mike Tomlin era (2007-present).
PITTSBURGH INDIVIDUAL NOTES
WR Hines Ward
• Needs one touchdown to move into a second-place tie with RB Jerome Bettis on the team's all-time touchdowns list. Ward currently has 79 career touchdowns (78 receiving, one rushing) while Bettis finished his Steelers' career with 80 touchdowns.
• Needs one 100-yard receiving game to break the team's all-time record. He is currently tied with Hall of Famer John Stallworth with 25 career 100-yard receiving games.
• Needs 53 yards to reach 11,000 career receiving yards and become the first player in club history to achieve the feat.
TE Heath Miller
• Needs 159 receiving yards to move into second place on the team's all-time list for tight ends. He currently has 2,721 career receiving yards, trailing only Bennie Cunningham (2,879) and Elbie Nickel (5,133).
C Maurkice Pouncey
• Will make his first NFL start at C in his first career game, becoming the first offensive lineman to start the season opener of his rookie year since OT Marvel Smith started at RT in 2000. According to Steelers' archives, Pouncey is just the second offensive lineman ever to start as a rookie for the club. He also becomes the sixth rookie to start his first career game since 2000 (P Daniel Sepulveda - 2007, TE Heath Miller - 2005, LB Kendrell Bell - 2001, WR Plaxico Burress - 2000, Smith - 2000).
DE Aaron Smith
• Needs 2.5 sacks to move into seventh place on the team's all-time sack list ahead of Dwight White (46.0). Smith currently has 44.0 career sacks.
LB LaMarr Woodley
• Looks to extend his team record to nine straight games with at least a half-sack. He has posted at least a half-sack in eight straight games, dating back to the middle of the 2009 season. During that span, he has 11.5 sacks.
LB James Harrison
• Needs two sacks to move into ninth place on the team's all-time sack list ahead of Ernie Holmes (40.0). Harrison currently has 38.5 career sacks.