AFC North High Energy Player of the Week

November, 16, 2010
11/16/10
3:00
PM ET
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A look at a player who gave his team a significant boost in Week 10.

In a game where there were few bright spots for the Pittsburgh Steelers, second-year receiver Mike Wallace put on a show in a losing effort.

[+] EnlargeMike Wallace
AP Photo/Tom E. PuskarMike Wallace caught eight passes for 136 yards in Sunday's loss to New England.
Wallace recorded career highs with eight receptions for 136 yards and two touchdowns in a 39-26 loss to the New England Patriots. Pittsburgh captain and veteran receiver Hines Ward was knocked out of the game with a concussion in the first quarter, and Wallace stepped up as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's new favorite target. Wallace caught two touchdown passes from Roethlisberger for 33 and 15 yards.

The Steelers traded former Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes this offseason because they were confident Wallace could fill those shoes. Wallace has done the job, recording 30 receptions for 643 yards and seven touchdowns. In his first year as a starter, Wallace already has three 100-yard receiving games and is on pace for his first 1,000-yard season.

But Wallace wasn't thrilled in the locker room Sunday night, despite his career game. Pittsburgh was throttled by New England and Wallace was part of last year's team that collapsed at this same point last season. Pittsburgh is 1-2 in its past three games.

"We got to stop it early," Wallace said of avoiding a losing streak. "Last year we just let it come up on us too fast. Things got in over our heads too fast and it was hard to bounce back, especially in the division that we're in.

"Now we know exactly what's coming, and we will talk about not getting down like last year."

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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