Mendenhall gives Steelers lift in return

Associated Press Published: October 8, 2012
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"I don't know how I can say this humble ... we felt like we could drive on them," McCoy said.

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



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