The Steelers got back on the right track Thursday night at home as they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 24-14. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was 8 for 12 on the night for 125 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ben led the Steelers on two 14 play drives on their first two offensive possessions. The touchdown tosses were to Antonio Brown and Hines Ward. Byron Leftwich chipped in a 20-yard touchdown pass to new receiver Jerricho Cotchery. Cotchery chipped in one other catch to end with 49-yards receiving. The offense was 10-17 on the night on 3rd downs and put up 403 total yards.
The Steelers starting defense was back in form even without cornerbacks Ike Taylor and Bryant McFadden in the line-up tonight as they forced 5 turnovers on the night. Keenan Lewis, Troy Polamalu, Larry Foote and Ryan Clark all had interceptions, while Will Allen forced a fumble that was recovered by reserve linebacker Baraka Atkins. Donovan Warren recorded 5 tackles on the night and chipped in a half sack for good measure. He also just missed having an interception late in the game. Stevenson Sylvester chipped in 5 tackles on the night as well. Most of the Eagles 335 total yards came late in the games against a Steelers defense that was made up of mostly third team players.
Kicker Swayze Waters had a rough night as he was 1 for 3 on field goal attempts as one was blocked and he missed an easy chip shot later in the game.
Starting left tackle Jonathan Scott left the game after the first offensive play with a hyper-extended knee and rookie tackle Marcus Gilbert also left quickly with a knee injury as well after replacing Scott. Gilbert reported via Twitter that he would be fine and Scott said afterwards that he thinks he only hyper extended it, but he will likely have further test on Friday. Shaun Suisham sat out after having an appendectomy this week and no timetable has been set for his return. Isaac Redman left with an ankle injury, but returned to the game, while Cotchery was shut down after his hamstring tightened up on him.
A few players that stuck out tonight for the Steelers were cornerbacks Warren and the rookie Curtis Brown. Ryan Mundy and Keenan Lewis also had good nights in the secondary. On offense, Roethlisberger and all of the receivers seemed to be on the same page tonight, while running backs Rashard Mendenhall, Jonathan Dwyer and Redman all looked good. The offensive line was hit and miss tonight and Chris Scott seemed to struggle for the second straight week. Hills was up and down as well tonight as he saw time at right guard and left tackle after Scott and Gilbert went down
The Steelers move to 1-1 on the preseason and host the Falcons next Saturday at Heinz Field. Sitting out tonight with Taylor, McFadden and Suisham were Aaron Smith, Chris Kemoeatu, Crezdon Butler, Cortez Allen and Mario Harvey.