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Steelers 16, Eagles 14

Rashard Mendenhall, giving the Steelers running game a boost in his return from knee surgery, scores a first-half touchdown. “He did a great job,’’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger says.

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Rashard Mendenhall, giving the Steelers running game a boost in his return from knee surgery, scores a first-half touchdown. “He did a great job,’’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger says.

PITTSBURGH — Backed up at their 20-yard line, their slow start to the season in danger of turning into a legitimate free fall, the Steelers did what they always seem to do when things get tight.

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They relaxed.

Ben Roethlisberger converted two third downs during a patient 64-yard drive over the final 6:33, Shaun Suisham made a 34-yard field goal as time expired, and Pittsburgh beat the Eagles 16-14 in the rain Sunday.

"We had the ball last," Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said. "Such is life."

Philadelphia appeared on the verge of its third one-point win when Michael Vick hit Brent Celek for a 2-yard score midway through the fourth quarter.

The Steelers then promptly got a holding penalty. No biggie.

Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown for 20 yards on third and 12. A 15-yard screen pass to running back Rashard Mendenhall — making his return from surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee — moved Pittsburgh into Eagles territory.

Two plays later Roethlisberger found Emmanuel Sanders for 8 yards, and five straight runs put the Steelers within Suisham's range. They avoided their first 1-3 start under Tomlin.

"I always have confidence in myself and the guys that we can do it," said Roethlisberger after his 25th career fourth-quarter comeback. "That was everybody on that drive."

Roethlisberger completed 21-of-37 for 207 yards. Mendenhall had 81 rushing yards and a score and 20 receiving yards as Pittsburgh's beleaguered running game showed signs of life.

"Our savior is back," Roethlisberger joked. "We've been teasing him all week. It was great to see him out there, and he did a great job."

Vick completed 20-of-30 for 175 yards and two scores but fumbled twice. LeSean McCoy rushed for 53 yards and caught four passes for 27 yards and a touchdown for Philadelphia.

"This one is going to burn for a minute," Vick said.

The Eagles put together a grinding 17-play, 79-yard drive at the start of the final quarter, converting two fourth downs. McCoy turned both into first downs, twisting for the necessary yardage on fourth and inches at the Philadelphia 30, then bulling for 2 yards on fourth and 1 at the Pittsburgh 47.

"I don't know how I can say this humble. We felt like we could drive on them," McCoy said.

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Steelers 16, Eagles 14 10/08/12 [Last modified: Monday, October 8, 2012 12:02am]
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