PITTSBURGH (AP) - Rashard Mendenhall ran 50 yards for a touchdown 2:35 into overtime and the Pittsburgh Steelers overcame a shaky start by replacement quarterback Dennis Dixon and a missed field goal attempt late in regulation to beat the Atlanta Falcons 15-9 on Sunday.
With the Steelers leaning heavily on their running game and defense without suspended star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Mendenhall carried 22 times for 120 yards and the game's only touchdown.
Hines Ward made six catches for 108 yards in his club record 26th career 100-yard game. Pittsburgh (1-0) appeared ready to win it with 39 seconds left in the fourth quarter, but Jeff Reed, who has nine career game-winning kicks, was wide right on a 40-yard attempt.
Reed had hit earlier from 52, 36 and 34 yards. Atlanta (0-1) was limited to three Matt Bryant field goals as the Steelers held running back Michael Turner to 42 yards on 19 carries.