Steelers 21, Bears 9

Steelers ran for 190 yards today. Bears ran for 84. Pittsburgh’s defense held Thomas Jones to 72 yards and forced Kyle Orton to throw the ball 35 times in a snowstorm. That’s your ball game. The Steelers faced a must-win game and imposed their will on the Bears today.

Jerome Bettis had his first 100-yard game of the season, including some surprisingly big runs today. Willie Parker had 113 total yards — 68 rushing, 45 passing — and did a good job in general. Ben Roethlisberger stayed calm in the pocket, too, completing 13 of 20 for 173 yards and an early TD to Hines Ward. 20 passes per game for Big Ben right now is a good number.

With the Bengals pulling out a win over the Browns on a late field goal — no gas face for Chad Johnson — the Steelers gained no ground on Cincinnati, but they stayed in the Wild Card chase. Jacksonville lost 26-18 against the Colts, dropping them to 9-4. Kansas City and San Diego are both 8-4 with late kickoffs ahead, and if they falter today, Pittsburgh could be in pretty good shape. However, they have to go to Minnesota next week to face a Vikings team that won its 6th straight today by beating the Rams 27-13. That could prove to be a tougher matchup for the Steelers than today’s game. For now, though, let’s see how the afternoon games go…

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