Football

For openers, Steelers win in OT

Jeff Reed kicked a 33-yard field goal with 4:32 gone in overtime, and the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers again relied on Ben Roethlisberger’s ability to lead clutch scoring drives and beat the Tennessee Titans, 13-10, in the NFL season opener Thursday night in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers, their running game stuffed by Tennessee’s defense, didn’t get going until Roethlisberger began repeatedly finding Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward open downfield. Roethlisberger went 33-of-43 for 363 yards, with Holmes making nine catches for 131 yards and Ward making eight for 103.

The victory might be costly, however – Steelers All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee on a blocked field goal and may be out three to six weeks.

The Titans lost the coin toss to start the overtime and, as so often happens, never saw the ball again. Roethlisberger, who also led a touchdown drive at the end of the first half, hit Ward for 11, Holmes for 11 and rookie Mike Wallace for 22. Unwilling to risk a turnover, the Steelers kicked the field goal on first down to win it.

Must Big Ben kiss and tell?

The lawyer for a woman who is accusing Roethlisberger of rape is prepared to ask a Nevada court to compel the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback to name all the women he has had sex with.

In court documents, Reno lawyer Cal Dunlap says if Roethlisberger’s request to speed up the evidence-gathering process is granted, he also will seek phone records, Internet communications, and names of any women who have claimed improper sexual conduct by the two-time Super Bowl winner.

The motion also says that if a physical or psychiatric examination of his client is allowed, “a reciprocal examination” of Roethlisberger should be mandated.

The woman, a VIP casino hostess, sued Roethlisberger in July, alleging he raped her at a Lake Tahoe hotel-casino in 2008 while he was attending a celebrity golf tournament.

Jets mishandled Favre injury

New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum admitted the team should have disclosed Brett Favre’s torn biceps tendon on mandatory weekly injury reports over the final third of last season.

Favre, now with the Minnesota Vikings, said earlier this week he thought he was hurting the Jets because of the injury and discussed it with the coaches and the front office. He said he would have been willing to sit out, even though that would have ended his streak of consecutive starts, which now stands at 269 games.

Tannenbaum said he should have listed the quarterback as “probable,” but didn’t because the injury was not severe enough to require daily treatment and there was never any doubt Favre would play.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league was investigating.

In the past, such violations usually have resulted in fines.

Blackout lifted … sort of

NFL fans whose local teams’ games are blacked out will be able to watch replays online for free – though not until after midnight.

The league said the delayed broadcasts will be on NFL.com for 72 hours, except during “Monday Night Football.”

A game is not aired in the home market if it does not sell out 72 hours in advance.

Extra points

The Minnesota Vikings released seven-year veteran wide receiver Bobby Wade, who led the Vikings in receptions in both 2007 and 2008, and signed free agent Greg Lewis – preferring Lewis’ versatility in the offense and on special teams. … The St. Louis Rams released linebacker Chris Draft after the 11-year veteran declined to take a pay cut in the final year of a three-year contract. … Hall of Fame coach John Madden will serve as an unpaid special adviser to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Madden will chair the coaches group in the competition committee. … The Tampa Bay Buccaneers promoted cornerback Kyle Arrington from the practice squad to the active roster and released cornerback William Middleton.

  Comments