Scoring, however, proved to be another matter.
"You're going to need to score more points, going to need to help our defense out a lot more," Vick said. "And we tried to the best we can. Pittsburgh's a good football team; their record might not have shown it."
The Steelers came in smarting following a 34-31 loss in Oakland two weeks ago before heading into a well-timed bye that allowed the defense to get healthy. Pittsburgh hoped the return of linebacker James Harrison and safety Troy Polamalu from injury would spark a defense that looked a step slow in the second half of losses to the Raiders and Broncos.
The reunion of the two stars didn't last long.
Polamalu left in the first quarter after re-aggravating a strained right calf and the Steelers lost outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley with a strained hamstring shortly thereafter.
Still, the Steelers prevented the Eagles from making big plays. Philadelphia's longest gain was all of 24 yards and Pittsburgh forced Vick to fumble three times — including one into the end zone that Steelers linebacker Larry Foote pounced on — and didn't let him get anything going with his legs.
"Our defense stood up today," said Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons. "We really needed this win. A good team is always defined by what they do after losses."
Pittsburgh took a 10-0 halftime lead behind a lateral from Roethlisberger to Mendenhall that the running back turned into a 13-yard touchdown. The Steelers later added 20-yard field goal by Suisham, though they missed a chance to go up two touchdowns when Jerricho Cotchery tripped going into the end zone just before Suisham's kick.
Philadelphia drew within 10-7 on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Vick to McCoy, setting up a dramatic fourth quarter in which the Steelers turned the tables on the Eagles.
"Things happen," Vick said. "I wish I could take the fumble back on the goal line but you can't. Ultimately I think we put ourselves into a position to win this game and we didn't win."
Follow Will Graves at www.twitter.com/WillGravesAP