The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Philadelphia Eagles 16-14 on Sunday and are now 2-2 on the season at the quarter pole mark. Below are 4 players that I thought had winning performances in the game and 3 more that had losing performances in the game.
Rashard Mendenhall – It was his first game back from a torn ACL, but the Steelers former first round pick surely sparked the anemic running game. If 101 total yards and a touchdown did not signal he was back, his move to juke linebacker Mychal Kendricks on the touchdown certainly did. Mendenhall only played 22 snaps in total and it felt like he played much more, which means he contributed.
Lawrence Timmons – Timmons was like a bullet shot out of a gun on Sunday and his 9 tackle day could have been even better in the stat book because he missed sacking Michael Vick three times, maybe four. Running back LeSean McCoy had no prayer against Timmons in blitz pickup either as he was destroyed early in the game and was merely a traffic cone after that. Timmons looked much more quicker and explosive in this game.
Ryan Clark – Sure, Clark will likely be getting a FedEx delivery for his hit to the head of Eagles tight end Brent Celek, but he was difference maker in the game as he forced a Vick fumble on the Steelers one yard-line. Clark recorded 1 pass defensed in addition and recorded 4 tackles on the afternoon. He always seemed to be around the ball and was superb giving help in bracket coverage.
James Harrison – Harrison not only made his season debut on Sunday, but he also played every snap as well. The linebacker recorded 2 tackles and 3 quarterback hits on Vick during the game as well. Harrison graded his play a C minus after the game and noted that he has to still get in better game shape, but you really have to tip your hat to his effort on Sunday and it appears that the knee held up as well.
Willie Colon – Colon has now been flagged 8 times this season through the first 4 games. His four holding penalties on Sunday give him 6 on the season to go along with 2 false starts. The move to left guard from right tackle has not gone as smooth as I though it would and Colon has to stop killing the team with these penalties moving forward. He really got an earful during the game from Mike Tomlin, and deservingly so.
Mike Wallace – Wallace seemed distracted in this game and a I have him down for three drops in total. Wallace was targeted 8 times on Sunday and he finished with just 2 catches for 17 yards. He had his problems at times gaining separation against the press man coverage of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and other teams with physical corners will certainly note this.
Ryan Mundy – It was another tough game for Mundy as I have him down for a few key missed tackles and allowing an easy score in front of him by Celek late in the game. Mundy also was penalized for his high hit on Jeremy Maclin during the Eagles first scoring drive and he very well could get his second fine of the season as a result. Mundy will most likely start in place of the injured Troy Polamalu this Thursday at Tennessee and he really needs to start playing better.