The Pittsburgh Steelers ran roughshod over the 49ers sloppy defense as they defeated San Francisco 43 – 18.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw the football and hit his targets at will on Sunday, with the 49ers offense all but non-existent throughout the entire first half. Roethlisberger threw for 369 yards completing 21 of 27 passes and three touchdowns in a game that also saw the untouchable Antonio Brown catch nine passes for 195 yards including a touchdown, and Darrius Heyward-Bey with four receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown, according to ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez.
“That’s my favorite part about it. You include everybody. I wish that everybody could get touchdowns. I wish that everybody could catch for 100 yards; you try to include everybody.”
First year 49ers coach Jim Tomsula seemed perplexed at the total ineffectiveness of his San Francisco defense.
“We obviously don’t need to be letting people throw things over our head. It was a nice plan by the Steelers, too. There were max protections. They were maxing up and getting that thing down the field. Our response didn’t match what they did. We’ve got to do a better job. That’s what happened.”
As Bleacher Report’s Peter Penacy reports, rest may have played a factor as San Francisco opened up on Monday Night Football and was playing on a short week while the Pittsburgh Steelers opened up their season on September 10.
Pittsburgh struck first scoring on a Heath Miller touchdown which was accentuated by a two-point conversion by Antonio Brown, who tortured the Steelers defense pulling down a 59-yard bomb from Roethlisberger to allow for a DeAngelo Williams touchdown. Williams would later score after a San Francisco turnover by way of a fumble from 49ers running back Carlos Hyde.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick finally threw to wide receiver Anquan Boldin for a touchdown to start the fourth quarter following a hapless third quarter that saw three dropped passes, including one to fullback Bruce Miller that would have resulted in a 49ers touchdown. The momentum was short-lived, however, as Williams quickly scored for Pittsburgh for the third time of the afternoon.
San Francisco would fight back with a last ditch effort by way of 75-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith, but the Steelers would seal the deal with an insurance touchdown by way of a final touchdown throw from Roesthlisberger.
Next week, the San Francisco 49ers travel to Arizona to take on the Cardinals, while the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to St. Louis to take on the Rams.
[Photo Image: NFL / San Francisco 49ers]