Mendenhall is Digest Player of Week

RASHARD MENDENHALLRunning Back

It began in the offseason with an edict from above, and following through on that helped the Steelers get where they are today, which is AFC Champions.

It was back in the spring of 2010 when Steelers President Art Rooney II said, "I think Mike (Tomlin) and I certainly agreed coming off the (2009) season that we need to run the ball more consistently to get to where we want to get to. So that's part of the thinking in the offseason: We need to figure out how to get better running the football."

The Steelers did a very nice job of running the football effectively on Sunday vs. the New York Jets. Their 166 yards on 43 attempts not only accounted for both of their offensive touchdowns, but it also allowed the Steelers to possess the football for nearly 35 of the game's 60 minutes.

And when it came to the running attack vs. the Jets, Rashard Mendenhall led the way. He carried 27 times for 121 yards – a 4.5 average – and scored a touchdown in the Steelers 24-19 win over the Jets that gave them their eighth AFC Championship. Mendenhall also caught two passes for 32 more yards to give him 153 yards from scrimmage.

Mendenhall is the Steelers Digest Player of the Week.

Also considered were LaMarr Woodley, who had four tackles, two for loss, plus a sack, two pressures and a pass defensed; Lawrence Timmons, who led the team with 10 tackles and added a pass defensed; Brett Keisel, who had seven tackles, including one for loss, and a pass defensed; and Arnaz Battle, who had three tackles on special teams.

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