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Steelers notebook: Season-opening rushing yards among worst in team annals

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By Alan Robinson
Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, 7:48 p.m.
 

• The Steelers' 32 yards rushing against the Titans were their second fewest in a season opener since 1945. They bounced back after gaining only 30 yards during a 16-0 loss to the Ravens in 2000 by running for 170 yards against the Browns — 133 by Jerome Bettis.

• According to Pro Football Focus, Ben Roethlisberger targeted Emmanuel Sanders 12 times, or twice as many as any other receiver in the game. Sanders made seven catches for 57 yards.

• Cornerback William Gay, who took over after Cortez Allen injured an ankle, allowed only one catch on five passes thrown his way.

• The Steelers needed only 3 seconds to start the season with a 2-0 lead, but the safety caused by Darius Reynaud's kneel-down wasn't the fastest score to open an NFL game. The Cowboys scored in 3 seconds on an onside attempt in 2003.

• Defensive captain Brett Keisel said the Steelers needed a greater sense of urgency against the Titans. Troy Polamalu said if Keisel said it, it must be true. But Ryan Clark wasn't so sure. “Sometimes when they talk about the lack of intensity, it sounds like a lack of effort,” he said. “I don't think we lacked effort, we lacked execution.”

• The Steelers dropped their season opener nine times in the past 20 years, but recovered to win their next game six times — including each of the past two seasons. They have won seven of their past eight Monday night games.

• New Steelers kicker Shayne Graham has been with 14 teams, including training camp trials, and all four AFC North teams.

— Alan Robinson

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