The Steelers are now 2-2 and the win against the Philadelphia Eagles was not pretty but, it was a win. It’s easy to pick apart what seemed to go wrong, but maybe it’s time to look at the positive side of the numbers.
Rashard Mendenhall made his season debut and rushed for 81 yards and got a touchdown. Mendenhall’s return is a much-needed shot in the arm for the Steelers. I don’t know if anyone else held their breath a few times when Mendenhall took a hit, but I did. What a relief to see that he had a complete game. The downside might be that the other running backs will get fewer carries during actual games and if Mendenhall gets hurt again, then they won’t have as much experience. However, Redman and Dwyer have shown promise and that’s encouraging toward rebuilding the Steelers running game.
The Steelers showed good ball control, compared to the fumbles during the Oakland game. Hallelujah! They had three fumbles, but none were lost. Additionally, Roethlisberger had no interceptions. He made some lumbering runs that surprised me and he definitely isn’t built for running. His 13 yards were close to Vick’s 15 yards during the game, even if it wasn’t pretty. Roethlisberger’s passing completion percentage may not have been one of the best, but he made good decisions and didn’t put the ball directly into a defender’s hands. I was a little surprised to see Pouncey’s high snaps during the first quarter and it seemed that Roethlisberger wasn’t expecting them either. However, they made some half-time adjustments and the problems didn’t seem to occur.
The Steelers’ Defense had Vick off balance several times. The Eagles offense line did a good job of protecting him but the Steelers defense broke through for three sacks. It was good to see Harrison back in the game.
So, the win wasn’t pretty, but it was a win. It’s a short week as the Steelers get ready to play the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night. The Steelers should be a little concerned about the amount of penalties during the game and if Polamalu can recover in time for a Thursday game. On the positive side, I hope to see the Steelers continue good ball control and for Roethlisberger to keep making good decisions when it comes to passing.
Numbers and statistics courtesy of NFL.com and Steelers.com