The Pittsburgh Steelers needed a win and they got one. That’s really the best thing that can be said about their uneven come-from-behind performance against the Philadelphia Eagles at Heinz Field on Sunday. Shaun Suisham hit a 34 yard field goal with time running out to give the Steelers a 16-14 victory and even their record for the 2012 NFL season at 2-2. Now they’re at .500 and out of ‘panic mode’–a 2-2 record is vastly different than the 1-3 mark they were facing had they lost this game.
The Steelers were boosted by the return of their top running back, Rashard Mendenhall, who finished the game with 81 yards on the ground. Even with his contribution the Steelers’ offense was listless for most of the game and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger far from top form. The Eagles took the lead with just over 6 minutes to play in the game but with the contest on the line ‘Big Ben’ took care of business as he led the team on a 64 yard drive to get in range for Suisham’s game winning kick. Roethlisberger converted on a couple of important third down situations during the drive and the Steelers were able to avoid their first two game losing streak in three years.
Despite the victory the news was not all good for the Steelers. Troy Polamalu returned to action but lasted only a quarter as he appeared to aggravate the right calf injury that has plagued him since the 2011 playoffs. Ryan Mundy filled in for Polamalu as he has done in the two games this season that the starter has missed. Mundy is a capable safety but lacks Polamalu’s ‘big play’ ability.
Many expected the Steelers to come out blazing following a blown lead at Oakland that resulted in a loss and coming off a bye week. That couldn’t have been further from what occurred with the Steelers offense looking rusty and out of sync. Fortunately the Eagles weren’t any better and despite being far from top form Pittsburgh did what they had to do to gut out a victory in what was essentially a ‘must win’ game.
The Steelers will hit the road for the next two weeks starting Thursday as they play the Tennessee Titans in Nashville. They’ll get 10 days off before their next assignment the following Sunday against the Bengals at Cincinnati.