Mark Malone and Louis Lipps had just played outstanding...

By POHLA SMITH, UPI Sports Writer

PITTSBURGH -- Mark Malone and Louis Lipps had just played outstanding games and they knew why -- teamwork.

Malone completed 21-of-28 passes for 287 yards and five touchdowns and ran for another score Sunday, lifting the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 45-3 rout of the Indianapolis Colts in the season opener for both teams.


'I thought I had a good game,' said Malone, who threw one interception. 'But as I've said in the past -- and I think it's extremely important -- when two receivers run good routes and those guys in front are giving you time and you're running the ball, well, you're going to have good days.'

Lipps was one of the men running good routes, hauling in a carreer-high nine passes for 154 yards and TD catches of 7, 11 and 16 yards.

'When everybody works together like this -- offensively and defensively -- good things will happen,' Lipps said. 'That's what happened today.'


Malone, who tied Terry Bradshaw's team single-game record with his five TD passes, also completed scoring throws of 11 yards to Rich Erenberg and 6 yards to John Stallworth.

Gary Anderson added a 30-yard field goal for Pittsburgh, but had a 51-yard attempt bounce off the right upright.

The Colts, who upset the Steelers 17-16 on a last-minute touchdown last year, looked disorganized. Indianapolis managed just nine first downs, one of them by penalty, and had just 159 yards in total offense.

'We did not perform,' Colts coach Rod Dowhower said. 'All of our practices have been good, our attitude has been good, and they play hard. But when the bottom line has been counted, they didn't perform.'

Indianapolis' Art Schlichter completed 12-of-24 passes with two interceptions for 107 yards before he injured his right knee late in the fourth quarter and left for Mike Pagel. The Colts' leading rusher was Randy McMillan, who had 29 yards on nine carries.

Field temperatures at sold-out Three Rivers Stadium reached 115 degrees as Pittsburgh continued to suffer from temperatures in the low 90s with high humidity.

Raul Allegre enabled the Colts to avoid a shutout with a 39-yard field goal in the first quarter.


The Steelers moved the ball well in the first half, scoring on all but one of their possessions and accumulating 239 yards in total offense. Pittsburgh led at halftime 24-3.

The trend continued in the second half, with Pittsburgh scoring on all but three possessions.

Rookie Harry Newsome punted just twice for Pittsburgh.

The Steelers' only first-half offensive failure was on their second possession, when linebacker Barry Krauss tipped a Malone pass into the arms of teammate Johnie Cooks, who returned the ball to Pittsburgh's 19. Four plays later, Allegre kicked a 39-yard field goal to pull the Colts within 7-3.

That was as close as Indianapolis came as Pittsburgh riddled the Colts' defense with a potent mix of running and passing.

On their first drive, the Steelers went 58 yards in nine plays, scoring on Malone's 7-yard TD pass to Lipps.

After Allegre's field goal, Pittsburgh needed just seven plays to drive 78 yards for its second TD, scored on Malone's 11-yard pass to Lipps.

Anderson's 30-yard field goal capped a 62-yard drive, and Malone's 11-yard scoring pass to Erenberg, with 1:03 left in the half, came seven plays after a broken punt play gave the Steelers possession on the Colts' 34.


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