Mendenhall's production has dropped in recent games
By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, December 17, 2010

Rashard Mendenhall has already run for a career-high nine touchdowns and gone over 1,000 yards rushing for a second consecutive season.

[IMGR]http://i55.tinypic.com/25auhq1.jpg[/IMGR]The Steelers running back can set a new single-season high in rushing Sunday if he eclipses 35 yards against the visiting New York Jets.

That, however, may be a tall order, and not just because the Jets have the No. 3 rushing defense (88.5 yards per game) in the NFL.

Mendenhall has averaged just 3 yards per carry in the Steelers' last two games, and in a 23-7 win against the Bengals his longest run totaled 10 yards.

The Bengals had allowed at least one run of 20 yards or longer in every game going into last Sunday.

Despite the drop in production, Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said Mendenhall is not slowing down after shouldering a heavy workload this season.

"We've got to block better," Arians said after Steelers practice Thursday. "It's not him. I've been real pleased with (Mendenhall)."

Arians did cite a running game that has been "poor" and inconsistency on early passing downs as the reasons why the Steelers have slumped offensively.

The Steelers have scored two offensive touchdowns in their last three games. They have just two touchdown drives that have covered at least 70 yards in their last four contests.

"We've just got to make some plays," Arians said. "Probably a little bit my fault going for the end zone too much instead of going for a couple of short (passes) but it always works itself out."

[HIGH-LIGHT]digits[/HIGH-LIGHT]

0: Wins the Jets have against the Steelers in the seven games the teams have played in Pittsburgh

30: Takeaways the Steelers have this season, the most in the AFC

[HIGH-LIGHT]quotable[/HIGH-LIGHT]

"It's never been my goal to be an All Pro, Super Bowl MVP, Hall of Famer. My goal has always been to lead a life pleasing to God. I can joke around about certain things but when I'm serious about something and I can see a flaw within my character, I see that as something that's extremely displeasing to God first and then a bad representative of my family and a bad representative of this team. It's the last thing I would ever want to do. That's why I was more hurt than anything."

Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu, on his lateral in last Sunday's 23-7 win against the Bengals and why he called it arrogant and selfish afterward.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_714160.html