Julius Peppers took a fumble 42 yards for a clinching touchdowns and Henry Melton recovered a fumble before suffering a serious knee injury.
[GIF: Cutler throws his shoulder into Pittsburgh DB]
But those were about it as far as impact plays from the front four. The group did apply enough pressure to have the Pittsburgh Steelers juggling tackles in search of someone who could play the position, but that underscored how vulnerable the Pittsburgh offensive line was.
Rushmen had four near-sacks but no actual sacks and only three hits on Ben Roethlisberger, who had time to pass for 406 yards.
“We got good pressure from the pressures we called,” Peppers said.
But the pass rush was barely visible through the first quarter other than on blitzes, and the Steelers converted a third-and-14 with a 45-yard pass when Roethlisberger had time to reset in the pocket because of absent pressure.
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Shea McClellin got significant playing time at left end and was active, but unable to get home to finish sacks. Same for Corey Wootton, who, like McClellin, had a QB hit to go with a pass deflection.
Peppers was in a rotation but again had little impact in a game where the Steelers were forced into passing situations by the score.
Moon's Grade: C