Quarterback: Ben Roethlisberger and Charlie Batch combined to complete 24 of 35 passes for 433 yards, five TDs and no interceptions, the most passing yards since the overtime game with Atlanta in 2002 (473). Roethlisberger passed for 238 yards and three TDs and did a great job distributing the ball to his wide receivers. Batch was 8 of 13 for 195 yards and two TDs.
Running back: Willie Parker had 47 yards on 20 carries, and that includes a 16-yard run. After rushing for 78 yards last week, Najeh Davenport had just one carry for minus-1 yard.
Receivers: Hines Ward had eight catches for 171 yards, both season highs, and also had a career-best three touchdown catches. Santonio Holmes had a season-high five catches for 91 yards and Nate Washington had a touchdown and a 49-yard catch to set up the final touchdown. But Washington had a false-start penalty with eight seconds remaining at the Falcons' 33 that deprived the Steelers of a chance to attempt a winning field goal.
Offensive line: The line has had a difficult time putting solid performances together, and this was an inconsistent one. The Steelers rushed for 55 yards on 26 attempts, their second-lowest output of the season. But Roethlisberger and Batch had good protection and plenty of time to throw.
Defensive line: The Steelers did a good job containing the Falcons' running game for three quarters and held Warrick Dunn to 69 yards on 26 carries. But the Falcons had 131 of their 173 rushing yards -- the most by an opponent this season -- in the fourth quarter and overtime when Casey Hampton was out with a hamstring injury.
Linebackers: The Steelers did not generate any outside pressure on Michael Vick, who was sacked just once and was rarely hurried from the pocket. And they didn't make any big plays when the Falcons scored four touchdowns on four turnovers. Linebacker James Farrior had a team-high eight solo tackles and intercepted a deflected pass near the end of the first half after a 58-yard kick return and penalty.
Secondary: It's hard to blame any unit when the Falcons' first four scoring drives, all off turnovers or a muffed onside kick, totaled only 124 yards. But Vick passed for 232 yards and threw a career-high four touchdown passes. And nobody could cover TE Alge Crumpler, who had three touchdown catches. Troy Polamalu was outstanding, making eight tackles and intercepting a pass.
Special teams: Twomistakes led to two touchdowns by the Falcons. Santonio Holmes fumbled a punt return, his third in two games, and Tyrone Carter dropped an onside kick that was recovered by the Falcons. The kickoff coverage was abysmal in the first half, allowing Allen Rossum returns of 45 and 58 yards.
Coaching: The Steelers pushed the Falcons around in the first half, but mistakes allowed the Falcons to operate with a short field and score four TDs. Offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt never stopped attacking the Falcons' secondary, even without Roethlisberger. Bill Cowher watched three receivers get an excessive-celebration penalty after a TD, nearly resulting in another TD by the Falcons.
Yep this pretty much sums it up. ST, lack of a consistent running game, turnovers, lack of pressure on the QB. We saw all of it at different times of the game.
It's nice to be reminded that Ben and our offense still has the weapons available to play in a shootout when we have too. Problem is when we play in a shootout we don't usually win because it means too many other things are not going right on defense and in the running game.