PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Steelers wanted to improve over their prior performance and they certainly did.
Both the offense and defense brought their “A” game to beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-14 at Heinz Field Thursday night.
Ben Roethlisberger completed eight passes for 125 yards, including two for touchdowns. The offense also accumulated more than 400 yards, made 23 first downs and controlled the ball for 38:33.
“He was very sharp, spreading the ball around to different guys, scrambling outside the pocket making plays,” said Hines Ward of Roethlisberger’s performance.”He’s very sharp; I really like where his mindset is now. He’s the leader of our team and just spreading the ball around.”
Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark and Keenan Lewis combined for three interceptions on Michael Vick who completed five passes for 47 yards and failed to put together a scoring drive.
The defense held the Eagles to 98 rushing yards. They did allow two late-game touchdowns with less than three minutes left.
“It’s just good to get back, just to get the feel of game speed, get the opportunity to get some actual wear and tear that’s not practice against other people,” said James Harrison.
Both offenses did more in the air than on the ground. The Eagles got 237 yards from passing.
All Steelers three touchdowns were on passes, including a 20-yard TD pass from Byron Leftwich to newly-acquired veteran Jerricho Cotchery with 37 seconds left on the clock in the second quarter.
Antonio Brown caught a 29-yarder from Roethlisberger in the first quarter and then Hines Ward made it 14-0 with a 20-yard end zone catch at 8:15 in the second.
Jonathan Dwyer led the team in rushing with 44 yards. Rashard Mendenhall picked up 28 yards on six carries.