The Stat Line Of The Night – 10/04/09 – Rashard Mendenhall
Total Pro Sports – The defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers have got themselves to a rocky start thus far in 2009. After defeating the winless Tennessee Titans in their first game, they have since lost to the Cincinnati Bengals and the Chicago Bears going into last night’s game against the San Diego Chargers. One of the key criticisms of the Steelers has been their lack of a running game. Their backfield has failed to produce anything on the ground, that is until second year man Rashard Mendenhall was handed the reigns.
With Willie Parker nursing an injury, the lead role in the Pittsburgh rushing attack was given to Mendenhall and he ran with it, literally. Facing a Chargers defense that finds themselves near the bottom of the league against the run, Mendenhall was able to find plenty of daylight on his way to a career day. He would end up rushing 29 times for an incredible 165 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught two balls for 26 yards. The rejuvenated Stelers ground game would lead them to a 38-28 victory and earn Mendenhall “The Stat Line Of The Night” for Sunday, October 4th, 2009.
After two straight losses, Sunday night’s game was an important one for Pittsburgh. With many questioning whether they were suffering a Super Bowl hangover, much like the one experienced in Arizona, a loss would have dropped them to a dismal 1-3 record. In a division which also includes the Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens, both standing at 3-1, going 1-3 is almost the equivalent of playoff suicide.