Not everything was pretty or perfect during the Pittsburgh Steelers 15-9 overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons, but style points mean nothing in the National Football League. Obviously the Steelers will need Dennis Dixon to be a little bit better next week against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville, but No. 10 did just fine out there.
With the win, the Steelers extended their winning streak in Week 1 to eight games, while improving to 4-0 in their openers since Mike Tomlin took over as head coach in 2007. The win came at a price, though. Two starters left the game with injuries – nose tackle Casey Hampton tweaked a hamstring, and left tackle Max Starks suffered a high ankle sprain.
No word yet on Hampton, but Starks is expected to miss at least two weeks, and could be out as long as a month according to a source close to ESPN’s Adama Scheffer.
“I’ve had this happen before, so it’s nothing new,” Starks told the Beaver County Times on Sunday. “Hopefully it’ll heal fast and it’s nothing more than a week. It could have been a lot worse and I’m glad it wasn’t. I’m going to do everything they tell me to do to make sure I’m ready to go as soon as possible.”
Though Jonathan Scott was inserted in Starks’s place on Sunday, it’s possible that fellow Texas Longhorn Tony Hills could get the nod at left tackle. J. Scott, while competent in the running game, struggles in pass protection. The same might be said of right tackle Flozell Adams, which could prompt Tomlin and offensive line coach Sean Kugler to deploy Hills, a better pass blocker this past preseason.