PITTSBURGH (AP) _ The Steelers struck first as the NFL season opened in Pittsburgh on Thursday night. Charlie Batch threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Nate Washington for the first score of the year as the Steelers took a 7-0 lead over the Dolphins at the start of the second quarter.

Daunte Culpepper, making his first start for Miami, was 4-for-6 for 37 yards after one quarter, but running back Ronnie Brown couldn't find any holes against the Steelers' defense, rushing four times for two yards.

Batch started at quarterback for Ben Roethlisberger, who had an emergency appendectomy on Sunday.