This past Sunday the Pittsburgh Steelers came out on top versus the Philadelphia Eagles 16-14. It was an intriguing game that included a lot of hard-hitting, sloppy play, and resilience from each of the two quarterbacks late in the game. Michael Vick fumbled the ball twice during the game which prevented the Eagles offense to produce more points than what they did. However Vick, once again, led the Eagles down field late in the fourth quarter to score a touchdown and give the Eagles a 14-13 lead with 6:33 remaining in the game. After trailing the entire game, you would think the Eagles were on the verge of winning another nail bitter by one point.
Knowing Mike Tomlin, Ben Roethlisberger, and the Steelers, we all knew that no one on that sideline would panic.
The Steelers methodically drove the ball down field with a mixture of passing and running. The biggest play on the drive was a third and 12 on the Steelers own 18 yard line, when Big Ben found Antonio Brown for a 20 yard completion. The Steelers patiently burnt out the clock as they ran it with Rashad Mendenhall and a few more plays made by Ben, while setting up Shaun Suisham for a game winning 34 yard field goal. GAME. 16-14 Steelers.
That game seemed to sum up who the Pittsburgh Steelers are. They are a team who never gives up during a drive, game, or season for that matter. They define what having the “heart of a champion” really means. Since 2004, when Ben Roethlisberger entered the league, the Pittsburgh Steelers are a combined 91-41 which = a 69 % winning percentage. They have made three trips to the super bowl, winning two, and they have only missed the playoffs twice in that time frame. An amazing feat.
When the Steelers are healthy, they are a team to be reckoned with, and no one would want to face them come playoff time. Safety Troy Polamalu has struggled with injuries over the past years, and he is the anchor of that potent defense. When Polamalu is on the field, the Steelers overall become a better team. Not only does their defense become 10 times better, but their offense seems to feed off of his energy as well. This past Sunday Polamalu played despite a calf injury he’s dealt with, and the Steelers won the game(of course). Pittsburgh has dealt with key injuries to key pieces so far this season. From running back Rashad Mendenhall, to linebacker James Harrison, to Troy Polamalu, and not to mention the holdout by Mike Wallace this offseason. However, when those key pieces are on the field as a unit, the Steelers are difficult to deal with. Mike Tomlin seems to have that same confidence in his team, as he possesses a calm, cool, collective swagger about himself to insinuate that he expects his team to be there when it’s all said and done.
People haven’t been talking too much about the Steelers this season, but I wouldn’t rule them out. They have been overshadowed in the AFC by the play of divisional rival Baltimore Ravens, the undefeated Houston Texans, and the New England Patriots. But, they’re coming off a big victory over the Eagles and that may lead to them going on a roll. Troy Polamalu is ruled out this upcoming Thursday night as they face off versus the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night football, and linebacker Lamar Woodley is doubtful. Once again, the defense taking big blows, but like they’ve always done, I’m sure the Steelers find a way to get it done and be in the conversation come December and January.
Pittsburgh at Tennessee on NFL Network 8:20pm Thursday night.