The Steelers were able to keep their cool late, and pull out a win over the Eagles.
But that wasn’t the temperature throughout the game.
After stoning the Eagles’ pass rush all day (no sacks, just three hurries), the Steelers offensive line said they could sense frustration as they leaned on the Eagles.
After one of the rare pressures, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger popped up into the face of Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham.
“Yeah, Ben was mad. He thought they were going after his head,” Steelers guard Willie Colon said, via Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “They were cheap-shot artists all day. They were hitting us in the back. I know I lost my cool once or twice. It is what it is. You have to play through it.”
The Steelers offensive line did just that, protecting well and opening running lanes, despite the fact Colon was called for four holding penalties.
Running back Rashard Mendenhall was able to run for 5.8 yards per carry, and the protection they offered Roethlisberger was priceless.
That came after Steelers line coach Sean Kugler ranted at his men prior to a practice last week.
“He said he was embarrassed that we were ranked No. 32 in rushing in the league and that we should be embarrassed, too,” Colon said. “We’re talking about the Steelers, not the Saints. We’re supposed to be able to run the ball. We were responsible for that ranking, we had to own up to it and we had to do something about it.
“I like to think we did.”
It’s a group that has been maligned through the years, and Roethlisberger’s own mobility has as much to do with him avoiding some pressure as their protection, but they stood firm against the Eagles.