On the Eagles' first fourth-and-1 conversion, McCoy and center Dallas Reynolds were the heroes. Linebacker Lawrence Timmons met McCoy at the line when there initially was no room for the running back to run right. If Timmons hadn't left his feet, he probably would have made the tackle. But McCoy slipped him and bounced back to his right. Waiting there was Keenan Lewis. The cornerback unwisely went high, and McCoy powered 2 yards behind Reynolds, who held his block for a long time.
Five plays later, McCoy took another handoff on a fourth-and-1 play designed to go right. But this time he didn't have to dance. He plowed straight ahead behind guard Danny Watkins. McCoy's longest tote of the day was 10 yards, but he consistently churned out the tough yards and ran for six first downs.
McCoy displayed his open-field moves as well. As the "hot" receiver after the Steelers blitzed in the third quarter, he took a short pass from Michael Vick, pivoted left, and scurried past linebacker Larry Foote for a 15-yard touchdown. Foote is 32 and may be excused, but later, McCoy juked 27-year-old safety Ryan Mundy on a 6-yard run.
Rewind the tape
There were many plays the Eagles could look back on and say, 'What if?' But the Steelers' third-and-12 conversion on their winning drive was perhaps the most frustrating because it wasn't properly executed. The Eagles were in a "Tampa 2" zone defense, with both safeties deep. They pass-rushed only four players. Defensive end Jason Babin got around right tackle Marcus Gilbert, but he was a little deep. Babin slapped an arm across Ben Roethlisberger's thigh as Gilbert pushed him to the ground. But the quarterback merely stepped up in the pocket to avoid the pressure.
The Eagles did not have significant push up the middle. Cullen Jenkins rushed from the left defensive-tackle spot. Fletcher Cox ran a loop from the other tackle position as defensive end Trent Cole rushed inside. Steelers running back Isaac Redman helped his lineman with a chip block on Cox. Jenkins and Cole were contained.
Twenty yards downfield, wide receiver Antonio Brown slipped in between cornerback Brandon Boykin and linebacker Mychal Kendricks. It wasn't clear after the game which player had ultimate responsibility for Brown, but it was Boykin, who was supposed to stay with the receiver.
In the spotlight
1. Nnamdi Asomugha did not have a strong game. He was targeted seven times, according to Pro Football Focus, and surrendered six catches for 58 yards. The one incompletion was Roethlisberger's throw to Brown in the end zone that Brown should have caught before the half. Asomugha's struggles did not mean Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was perfect at the other cornerback spot, nor should one expect as much at an in-the-spotlight position. But he was very good for most of the game and contributed to Mike Wallace's catching just two of eight targeted passes for 17 yards. Roethlisberger threw six times at Rodgers-Cromartie, but the intended target caught only three passes for 28 yards. If there was one quibble over Rodgers-Cromartie's play, it was when he backed off Brown on a third-and-7 play late in the first half. He was more than 10 yards off when the receiver caught an 11-yard pass on a slant route.
2. The Eagles offensive line, for the most part, acquitted itself well against a tough defense in difficult playing conditions. But each lineman had breakdowns, perhaps none more than Danny Watkins. The right guard continues to have issues in pass protection. The most egregious example occurred in the third quarter when Vick dropped to throw from the Steelers 49. He had no time to throw because Watkins flat-out missed his block on Steve McLendon. The nose tackle sacked Vick and forced another fumble. Watkins, nearby and not doing much, was able to recover the ball.
3. Even though he played the fewest number of snaps among the defensive tackles, Cedric Thornton was the most active of the group. He recorded three tackles - one solo and two assists - and drew two of Steelers guard Willie Colon's four holding penalties (one was offset by an Eagles penalty). On both holds, Colon had to tackle Thornton to the ground because he had beaten him so badly. After coming out like gangbusters in his first four games as a pro, Fletcher Cox had a quiet fifth game.
This and that
Even though Brent Celek caught only three passes for 9 yards - and a pretty important touchdown - it wasn't because he was asked to stay in and block more than usual. Reid said that the Steelers played particular attention to limiting the tight end's effectiveness over the middle.
The officials should have called pass interference on the second-quarter bomb that Vick threw to DeSean Jackson. The receiver was double-covered, but cornerback Ike Taylor draped his arm around Jackson just before the ball hit his one hand.
To be fair, the Eagles got away with a few no-calls. Safety Nate Allen made contact with receiver Emmanuel Sanders before he was credited with a pass breakup in the second quarter. Linebacker DeMeco Ryans decked a pressured Roethlisberger after he threw the ball out of bounds. The quarterback was out of the pocket, which may have been why the referees swallowed their whistles.
Tackle Demetress Bell had what could accurately be described as an up-and-down game. He kept Steelers linebacker James Harrison in check much of the time. But Bell missed several blocks and did very little to help tight end Clay Harbor on the screen pass that advanced the Eagles to the 2-yard line in the fourth quarter when he was the lead blocker.
Jason Babin was credited with tipping a Roethlisberger pass near the goal line before the half when it was really Kendricks who got his hand on the ball.
Safety Ryan Clark likely will be fined for leading with his helmet when he hit Celek in the third quarter. He made no attempt to wrap up Celek and clearly was using his helmet as a weapon.
Kendricks suffered a sprained ankle when Brown took a screen pass 14 yards. After tight end Heath Miller blocked Asomugha to the ground, Kendricks got tangled up with Miller's foot.
There's a chorus of fans who don't want to hear it, and in some ways it's understandable considering Vick's 11 turnovers in five games. But there's no way Reid should go to backup Nick Foles at this point.
In addition to the unknown, Vick's improvement over the last two weeks against the blitz is more than enough reason to keep the rookie in the garage for now. Vick completed 11 of 16 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns when the Steelers sent more than four pass rushers, according to PFF. Vick also was sacked twice.
He perfectly executed his two touchdown passes against the blitz - hitting McCoy as the hot receiver and then standing in the pocket, under intense pressure, and delivering a 2-yard strike to Celek.
If only Vick could figure out that fumble thing.
What Andy said
On whether the protective equipment on Vick's ribs may hinder his ability to secure the football when running:
"I looked at that. I don't think it is. I don't think that's the case, but I did look at that. That's a good question."
What Andy meant
"Didn't Michael already have the most fumbles among active players coming into this season? That's a dumb question."
Contact Jeff McLane at email@example.com, or follow on Twitter @Jeff_McLane.