Pittsburgh Steelers 16 Philadelphia Eagles 14
A win is a win, but boy was it ugly. Between the dumb penalties, dropped passes, and the bad snaps the Steelers weren’t giving themselves much of a chance to win this game. Not to mention the Steelers lost Troy Polamalu and LaMarr Woodley to injuries. Fortunately for the Steelers, Michael Vick and the Eagles really didn’t want to win the game either.
Rashard Mendenhall returned and, what do you know, so did the running game. Mendenhall had 81 yards and a touchdown as well as 20 receiving yards on the day. Mendenhall played an important part in the final drive, racking up yards and taking time off the clock. Welcome back, Rashard.
For the most part, the offensive line was pretty meh at best, but I have to hand it to them. We went an entire game without Ben Roethlisberger getting sacked. I don’t even know if that’s allowed anymore, but it’s nice to see. They should try doing that again. Soon.
On the defensive side of the ball, Lawrence Timmons was a total beast. He was in the backfield, putting plenty of pressure on Vick and forcing a fumble. With Woodley and Polamalu leaving early, someone on defense needed to step up.
Mike Wallace had two receptions on the day. I think we all need to give him a round of applause and a gold star for actually catching the ball twice, seeing as he probably can’t even catch a cold right now. He’s certainly doing his best to show that he’s not worth Antonio Brown type money, let alone Larry Fitzgerald type money.
Of course, I don’t just want to pick on Wallace. Antonio Brown had a touchdown pass bounce off his fingertips. Jerricho Cotchery’s lone reception could have gone for a touchdown, except the wide receiver tripped over his own feet and fell well short of the endzone. The Steelers ended up falling back into bad habits and had to settle for a field goal.
Speaking of settling into old habits, the Steelers failed to take advantage of turnovers. The offense may have been in shock that the defense actually managed to fumblecept the ball. I know I was. However, they need to turn those fumbleceptions into points. You do not get points for missed opportunities.
Penalties, penalties, penalties. The Steelers were flagged for 109 penalty yards. They were lucky to come out of this game with a win, because that is inexcusable. Thirty of those penalty yards came by way of personal foul penalties on Ryan Clark and Ryan Mundy on the same drive. Both players should expect to receive fines this week and deservedly so.
And once again the injury bug has bitten the defense. Polamalu appeared to aggravate his calf injury, as he hopped off the field and did not return. LaMarr Woodley also left the game early due to a hamstring injury. You may remember that Woodley missed a good chunk of last season with a hamstring injury. The Steelers have a short week to rest and prepare, what with a Thursday night game in Tennessee. I wouldn’t expect to see either suit up for Thursday’s game.