James Harrison overcomes knee injury, feasts on Eagles pass protection

Justin K. Aller - Getty Images

The return of Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison is plenty reason to celebrate.

I've never let it even seem like I'm anything other than a huge fan of Steelers linebacker James Harrison. I love the man as much as anyone could love a player.

While the sun may be setting on the career of the great James Harrison, he may have actually pushed it back up in the sky a little bit, and gave us reason to think it may even rise higher - rewinding time just a little bit before facing the decline every day and player faces.

Harrison was a factor early on in Pittsburgh's 16-14 win over Philadelphia. A team that surrendered larger gains on the ground was able stop one of the best - if not the best - all-purpose running back in the league, largely with Harrison's effort and presence at his right outside linebacker position.

Then, when he warmed up, he started getting after quarterback Michael Vick. Harassing him for the better part of the second half (when the workout warrior in Harrison starts physically wearing out his opponent), the Steelers were able to stifle a largely talented offense after a slow start that didn't put points on the board.

Harrison and the Steelers made them pay, forcing the Eagles to march the hard way down the field for two well-earned touchdowns, only to give the ball back to Ben Roethlisberger.

He promptly sucked out the clock, and set up Shaun Suisham's 34-yarder to win it.

Easy, peasey, Japaneasy.

It's amazing how much the defense can be impacted just by one guy's ability to win the vast majority of his 1-on-1 battles. Harrison did that. And the Steelers beat the best team they played so far this season.

We're raising glasses to Deebo tonight during the Monday Night Football Open Thread, so join us there.


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