* STEELERS VS. TEXANS SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2008 AT HEINZ FIELD - KICKOFF 1 P.M. POST-GAME NOTES*
Pittsburgh Team Notes:
• Pittsburgh won its sixth straight season opener, which is the longest streak in the league. The Steelers are 23-16 on Kickoff Weekend since 1970.
• Pittsburgh is 15-8 when opening at home since 1970, having won five straight. They are 38-32-4 in season openers since 1933, and the 38 wins are the most wins in the AFC.
• Pittsburgh is 2-1 all-time against the Houston Texans, including a 1-1 record at Heinz Field. The Steelers have won two straight in the series.
• The Steelers are 26-7 at home over the past five seasons.
• The 38 points are the most in a home opener at Heinz Field for the Steelers and the most in a season opener since they beat Cleveland 43-0 in Cleveland to open the 1999 season.
• Pittsburgh's defense came up with a huge defensive stop on the Texans' first drive of the game as they held them on a fourth-and-one play near midfield.
• The Steelers responded on the ensuing drive and took a 7-0 lead as RB Willie Parkerscored from seven yards out with 5:44 left in the first quarter. On the drive, QB Ben Roethlisbergerwas a perfect 3-for-3 for 21 yards passing and added a 17-yard run on a third-down play.
• Parker scored his second touchdown of the game on the Steelers' next drive as he darted in from 13 yards out with 11 minutes remaining in the first half. It gave Parker his fifth career multi-touchdown and his first since he scored twice at Cincinnati on Dec. 31, 2006.
• LB LaMarr Woodleygave Pittsburgh the ball back with his first career interception on the next drive. Two plays later, Roethlisberger his WR Hines Wardfor a 13-yard strike to give the Steelers a 21-0 advantage. It was Ward's 66th career receiving touchdown.
• Houston got on the board in the second quarter as K Kris Brown booted a 34-yard field goal. The drive was set up by a sack and forced fumble on Roethlisberger by DE Mario Williams.
• In the first half, Pittsburgh had two sacks and two interceptions and limited the Texans to just 82 yards of total offense (25 rushing, 57 passing). Houston was just 1-for-6 (17 percent) on third downs in the first half.
• Parker scored his career-best third touchdown of the game as he ran in from four yards out on the Steelers' first drive of the second half. It surpassed his total from 2007 when he scored just two rushing touchdowns all year.
• Roethlisberger tossed his second touchdown pass of the game late in the third quarter as he again hit Ward, this time for a 16-yard touchdown. The touchdown gave Pittsburgh a commanding 35-3 lead.
• Houston trimmed the lead to 35-10 with nine minutes left in the game as QB Matt Schaub hit WR Kevin Walter for a 14-yard touchdown.
• K Jeff Reedfinished off the Steelers' scoring with a 44-yard field goal with 5:24 remaining in the game and Schaub added a four-yard touchdown run with under two minutes to make it a 38-17 final.
• The Steelers finished with 305 yards of total offense (183 rushing, 122 passing) to the Texans' 234 yards (75 rushing, 159 passing).
• Pittsburgh finished with 21 first downs to Houston's 20.
• Pittsburgh was very efficient on third downs, converting 6-of-10 (60%) while limiting the Texans to 30 percent (3 of 10).
• Houston was penalized five times for 43 yards and Pittsburgh was flagged four times for 41 yards.
• The Steelers forced three turnovers, including two interceptions (Woodley and S Troy Polamalu) and one fumble (LB James Harrison).
• Pittsburgh finished with five sacks, including three by Harrison, one by Woodley, and half-sack each by DE Nick Easonand LB James Farrior. It is the most sacks by the Steelers since they posted six in a 38-7 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 5, 2007.
• WR Limas Sweed, S Anthony Smith, RB Gary Russell, TE Sean McHugh, LB Bruce Davis, OT Tony Hills, DE Orpheus Royeand QB Dennis Dixon (3rd QB)were inactive for the Steelers.
Pittsburgh Individual Notes:
QB Ben Roethlisberger
• Finished 13-for-14 for 137 yards passing with two touchdowns and no interceptions (147.0 passer rating). It marked his 27th career 100-plus passer rating game.
• Added two runs for 17 yards (8.5 avg.).
• Hit WR Hines Ward for a 13-yard touchdown in the second quarter to give Pittsburgh a 21-0 lead.
• Connected with Ward again late in the third quarter for a 16-yard touchdown touchdown. It was the 26th time the duo has connected for a touchdown in their careers.
• Had a 17-yard run on the Steelers' first drive of the game on a third-and-four situation.
• In three career home openers as a starter, has completed 43-for-59 (72.9 percent) for 597 yards with five touchdowns and one interception (126.2 passer rating).
• Roethlisberger owns a 40-16 record as a starter, including a 23-6 record at home.
QB Byron Leftwich
• Came in to replace Roethlisberger in the fourth quarter.
• Finished 0-for-4 passing.
RB Willie Parker
• Finished with 138 yards rushing on 25 carries (5.5 avg.) with a career-high three touchdowns. The three rushing touchdowns tied a team record, most recently accomplished by RB Jerome Bettis on Jan. 1, 2006, versus the Detroit Lions.
• The 138 rushing yards mark the 22nd time in his career he has rushed for over 100 yards, including the 13th at Heinz Field.
• The 138 yards rushing are the fourth-highest by Parker and the most since he had a team-record 223 yards versus Cleveland on Dec. 7, 2006.
• Scored his first touchdown of the season as he scored from seven yards out on the Steelers' first drive of the game.
• Scored again on the next drive on a 13-yard run.
• Had a four-yard touchdown run on the Steelers' first drive of the second half.
• Moved into ninth place (tied) on the team's all-time rushing touchdowns list with 22 career touchdowns. He is now tied with Walter Abercrombie.
• Parker now has 970 career rushing attempts, moving him into fifth place on the team's all-time rushing attempts list ahead of Frank Pollard (953 career rushing attempts).
• In four career home openers as a starter, Parker has four 100-yard rushing games. In those four home openers as the starter, he has 99 rushes for 540 yards (5.5 avg.) with five touchdowns.
• The Steelers are 19-3 when Parker rushes for over 100 yards.
RB Rashard Mendenhall
• Finished with 28 yards on 10 rushes (2.8 avg.) in his NFL debut.
• Had two kickoff returns for 46 yards (23.0 avg.), including a 27-yarder.
WR Hines Ward
• Finished with six catches for 76 yards (12.7 avg.) with two touchdowns. It marked his 15th career multi-touchdown game.
• Caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger in the second quarter to give Pittsburgh a 21-0 lead. It was Ward's 66th career receiving touchdown.
• Added a 16-yard touchdown catch from Roethlisberger late in the third quarter, giving him 67 career receiving touchdowns.
• Hauled in a 29-yard pass from Roethlisberger on the last play of the first quarter.
• Has now caught a pass in a team-record 147 straight games.
• Has 35 touchdowns in the red zone since 2002, which is second in the NFL during that span.
TE Heath Miller
• Finished with three catches for 26 yards (8.7 avg.).
• Marked the first time in his four years he did not have a touchdown in the season opener.
LB LaMarr Woodley
• Made his first career start.
• Finished with three tackles (all solo), one sack, one interception and one fumble recovery.
• Posted his first sack of the season and the fifth of his career.
• Had his first career interception as he picked off QB Matt Schaub with 9:31 left in the second quarter.
• Added a fumble recovery in the fourth quarter.
LB James Farrior
• Tallied a half-sack (with DE Nick Eason) on the Texans' second drive of the game for a 14-yard loss. The half sack gives him 21 for his career and 15.5 with the Steelers.
• Had five tackles (two solo).
LB James Harrison
• Finished with a team-high eight tackles (six solo), three sacks and one forced fumble. It marked the second time in his career he posted at least three sacks in a game. He had 3.5 versus Baltimore on Nov. 5, 2007.
• Has 15.5 career sacks.
• Added a forced fumble on QB Matt Schaub on a sack.
DE Nick Eason
• Had a half-sack (with LB James Farrior) late in the first quarter for a 14-yard loss. The half sack gives him 2.5 for his career and it was his first sack recorded as a Steelers.
• Finished with four tackles, a personal-best as a Steeler, and the most since he four at Cincinnati on Nov. 11, 2006 while playing for the Cleveland Browns.
S Troy Polamalu
• Picked off his first pass of the season in the second quarter. It was his 11th career interception.
• Finished with three tackles (all solo).
S Ryan Clark
• Posted seven tackles (five solo).
CB Ike Taylor
• Finished with six tackles (all solo).
**K Jeff Reed
• Had a perfect day kicking, finishing 5-for-5 in PATs and 1-for-1 in FGs for eight points.
• Hit a 44-yard field goal with 5:24 left in the game.
• Has 716 career points.
P Mitch Berger
• Punted three times for 129 yards (43.0 avg.) with a net average of 41.3.