Polamalu and Steelers Come Bursting Back

Troy Polamalu burst back onto the scene in helping the Steelers grab a 21-0 halftime lead on the Philadelphia Eagles.

Pittsburgh – The Steelers' passing attack clicked while its pass defense, buoyed by the healthy return of Troy Polamalu, intercepted Michael Vick three times in beating the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-14.

Ben Roethlisberger directed a pair of 14-play touchdown drives in staking the Steelers to a 14-0 first-quarter lead.

He connected with Antonio Brown on a 29-yard scoring strike in the first quarter and then scrambled right and threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward with 11:06 left in the second quarter.

On defense, the good news involved Polamalu. His interception of a Vick pass -- tipped by LaMarr Woodley -- and subsequent 36-yard return (stopped by Vick's vicious helmet hit to Polamalu's thigh), set up Byron Leftwich's 20-yard touchdown throw to Jerricho Cotchery for a 21-0 lead just before the half.

Polamalu bounced right back up after the nasty hit, as he had throughout the first half in showing that his trademark burst of speed has returned.

It was clearly evident in the first defensive series when Polamalu broke quickly in front of an Eagles receiver. However, his possible interception was tipped away by Lawrence Timmons.

Ryan Clark and Keenan Lewis added interceptions as the first-team defense held the Eagles to 71 yards. Larry Foote intercepted a fourth pass for the Steelers in the second half.

Offensively, the Steelers gained 262 yards in the first half, but there was some temporary bad news. Left tackle Jonathan Scott left the game on the first play with a right knee injury. His replacement, rookie Marcus Gilbert, finished the series but didn't come back the following series because of a left knee injury.

Tony Hills, making his first career start at right guard, moved back to left tackle to finish the half.

After the game, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said both player hyperextended their knees and would be OK. The Steelers came out of the game without an injury.

Roethlisberger finished his night with 8 completions in 12 attempts for 125 yards and the 2 touchdowns. Rashard Mendenhall rushed for 28 yards on 6 carries, just ahead of Isaac Redman (8-26) for first-half honors. Jonathan Dwyer rushed for 44 yards on 13 carries in the second half.

The Steelers' only points in the second half came on a 30-yard field goal by Swayze Waters for a 24-0 lead. Waters kicked in place of Shaun Suisham, who underwent an emergency appendectomy last week.

The Eagles scored two touchdowns in the final four minutes on passes of 14 and 7 yards from Mike Kafka to Gerald Jones.


Steel City Insider Top Stories