PITTSBURGH (16) d PHILADELPHIA (14)
The Headline: Steelers escape on a last second field goal
In the battle of Pennsylvania the Steelers managed to come out on top in a tough, scrappy battle. The Steelers defense handled the Eagles offense limiting them to 246 total yards on offense and forcing two Michael Vick fumbles while gaining nearly 100 more yards themselves and avoiding the costly turnovers themselves. It was far from a perfect, efficient performance on offense however as they did fumble three times (but were lucky enough to recover those) and only generated one touchdown on the afternoon but they did get themselves into position to kick three field goals which made the difference at the end of the day. Philadelphia had to battle back after finding themselves down 10-0 at halftime and with six and a half minutes remaining in the fourth quarter they had taken the lead on a Vick touchdown pass to Brent Celek. Pittsburgh responded by holding onto the ball with a long, patient drive down the field to eat up the rest of the clock and kick the game winning field goal.
Key Stat: Even in most categories
Aside from the Steelers outgaining the Eagles, the numbers for this game were surprisingly even which does perhaps reflect the type of game that came down to the final play to decide the winner. Both sides were around 40% efficiency on third down, both sides made all of their kicks, and both teams fell short of converting in goal to go territory once.
Key Play: Ben Roethlisberger’s 20 yard pass to Antonio Brown on third down
With 5:12 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Steelers were struggling on what would turn into the game winning drive. Facing a third and twelve from their own 18 yard line, Roethlisberger found Brown for 20 yards to keep the drive alive and get them out of their own defensive red zone. It kick started the drive for the Steelers which lead to the game winning field goal by Sean Suisham
Man of the Match: Larry Foote
8 tackles (5 solo), 2 fumbles recovered
In his eleventh season in the league, one of the Steelers’ bunch of senior citizens on defense stepped up and had a great game against their in-state rivals. His two biggest plays on the afternoon came in the form of fumble recoveries after Michael Vick had coughed up the ball. His first one came as the Eagles were right on the Pittsburgh goal line and it stopped the Eagles getting any points while his second one gave the Steelers offense a chance at scoring (which they didn’t convert).