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PRO FOOTBALL WEEK 3 | MIAMI 21, PITTSBURGH 0

No Easy Answers for Steelers

September 21, 1998|From Associated Press

MIAMI — The Miami Dolphins harried Kordell Stewart, smothered his receivers and stymied Jerome Bettis. It all added up to a zero for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Stewart passed for only 82 yards with three interceptions, including Zach Thomas' 17-yard touchdown return, as the Dolphins defeated the Steelers, 21-0, on Sunday. It was Miami's first shutout in six seasons.

The Dolphins (3-0) managed only 219 yards, including 113 on 14-for-22 passing by Dan Marino, but a group of young, swarming defenders carried them to victory for the second week in a row. Stewart completed only 11 of 35 passes and was intercepted twice by Sam Madison.

The Dolphins contained Stewart's scrambling too. He rushed twice for 17 yards.

"It's frustrating for the quarterback and the receivers to have guys in their face the whole game," Madison said.

Heavy rain beginning in the third period compounded the Steelers' offensive woes.

"There are a lot of things we can say, but the best thing is that life goes on," Stewart said. "There are 13 games left in this season, and this game doesn't make any difference if we go to the Super Bowl."

In a matchup of stout defenses and struggling offenses, the game figured to be low-scoring. Pittsburgh (2-1), which came into the game ranked next-to-last in the AFC in yardage, was shut out for the first time since 1993.

"We're all accountable, and it starts with the guy you're talking to," Steeler Coach Bill Cowher said. "I'm not going to wallow in self-pity. Whatever it takes to get this thing turned around, we're going to get it done."

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