The Steelers came in looking to avoid their first 1-3 start under coach Mike Tomlin, but hardly played with the crispness of a team coming off its bye week. At one point Pittsburgh committed penalties on four consecutive snaps, one of them wiping out a 29-yard burst by Mendenhall.
Philadelphia wasn't any better in a game that was pretty chippy for in-state "rivals" that meet when it counts only once every four years. There was a considerable amount of pushing and shoving after the whistle and flow of any variety was hard to come by.
Vick's slick grip didn't help matters. He officially fumbled twice in the first half — one that rolled into the end zone and the awaiting arms of Pittsburgh linebacker Larry Foote — and had another overturned on replay.
Pittsburgh's offense found its footing first, with Mendenhall taking a lateral from Roethlisberger and dashing 13 yards for a score midway through the second quarter. Pittsburgh made it 10-0 at the half on a 20-yard field goal by Suisham, though the Steelers missed a chance to go up two touchdowns when Jerricho Cotchery tripped going into the end zone.
Philadelphia drew within 10-7 on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Vick to McCoy, setting up a dramatic fourth quarter.
Steelers safety Troy Polamalu left the game in the first quarter after aggravating his strained right calf. Polamalu limped off the field following a fumble by Vick and the 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the Year did not return. He was replaced by backup Ryan Mundy.
Polamalu missed each of Pittsburgh's previous two games after injuring the calf in a season-opening loss in Denver.
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