The Pittsburgh Steelers enter the second half trailing 10-0 after Landry Jones threw four interceptions in the first half, the first of the quadrilogy being returned for a touchdown. The Eagles ended the half with a field goal.
On the bright side, the offense did move the ball better this week overall, twice reaching the red zone, but Jones was intercepted twice in the end zone, including a nifty one from 20 yards out in the right corner intended for Sammie Coates. Coates was the target on two of the interceptions, and shares partial blame for both, but the bulk of the responsibility falls on Jones. His final interception was the product of being hit as he threw a deep pass.
Offensively, the Steelers ran the ball well for the most part, Daryl Richardson in particular. The defense played fairly well in addition, particularly the defensive line, though their one sack was the product of an uncovered rusher. The Eagles will start the second half with the ball.
Chris Boswell sent the opening kickoff high and long, just at the goal line, returned out with Jacob Hagen making the tackle short of the 15. A hold on first down sent the Eagles back half the distance. Javon Hargrave was held. On first and 16, Kenjon Barner made one tackler miss for a decent game, but the play never happened due to an illegal formation. Instead of a stop, however, Barner wriggled himself free in tight spaces for a sizable gain to make it second and seven. L.J. Fort made the tackle on the tight end, but not before allowing a first down.
Chase Daniel‘s following pass fell incomplete, errant. Shamarko Thomas missed the initial tackle on the following play, with Fort the primary tackler after a seven-yard pass. On third down, Barner was able to beat Al-Hajj Shabazz to the sideline for a first down, losing contain.
From the 37 now, Barner was stopped punching up the middle for a few yards. Daniel hit the back on a hot read from a blitz through the A gap, taking a hit by Fort. Past midfield, Marshall picked up six yards off right guard. The second-down pass was a bit outside, but the tight end could not catch it, popping up, though falling harmlessly. On third and four, Paul Turner made an excellent catch with Kevin White in coverage for the first down.
From the 20, White was the first man on the scene after a short catch for five yards over the middle. On second down, Barner escaped for about 10 yards to set up first and goal from the five. Shabazz was in position to poke away the end zone pass inteded for Dorial Green-Beckham, but Barner walked in too easily for the score on second down to take a 17-0 lead, ending a drive that began as poorly as one could.
The ensuing kickoff was sent out of the back of the end zone. Following a one-yard gain, Richardson was stopped after not securing the hand off cleanly. On third and 12, Dustin Vaughan threw wide of Marcus Tucker to complete the three-and-out. Will Monday sent the punt about 52 yards with good coverage, and the Eagles were docked for a hold.
Jacob Hagen came up with a big finishing tackle on a third-down conversion to the 38. From there, Johnny Maxey was able to make the tackle for a loss against the run. On second and 13, the pass was bobbled by the receiver, lost with Hagen making the hit, and White nearly had a chance to intercept it. On third down and long, the pass was behind the back and incomplete, forcing the Eagles to punt.
Demarcus Ayers was given the chance to return and made good on the opportunity, working laterally to find the sideline for a solid return. Offsetting penalties forced a re-kick, however, and his second crack was substantially less successful. An illegal block in the back on David Johnson made it half the distance to the goal.
On first down, backed up deep, Richardson showed some nifty agility to pick up a few yards. From the nine, play action turned into a deep pass to Tucker, but Eric Rowe defended the ball. On third down, Vaughan connected with Fitzgerald Toussaint crossing over the middle, who was able to outrun the pursuit for a first down.
From the 18, he fired quickly to Cobi Hamilton, but the Eagles were on it immediately for no gain. On second down, Richardson slipped through the right end for nine yards, but the play was brought back due to a false start. On second down, Chris Hubbard got beat around the left edge by a corner blitz for the sack. Now third and 22 from the six, Tucker got the bubble screen and got a bit of breathing room for Monday. His second punt of the game was shorter and snagged on the run for a bit of a return, Richardson on the stop, but the Eagles were flagged for a hold.
Shabazz put a shoulder into the receiver after the catch to send him out of bounds. Tyler Matakevich looked to have first contact on the run stop on second down. On third and four, Daniel was able to find a running lane up the middle for the first down, with Matakevich on the tackle.
White made the tackle on a quick screen on the following play. On second and nine, Daniel’s pass was a floater with nobody around, apparently the ball slipping out of his hands. On third down, Fort was unable to make the tackle on the back on a reception, a first down the result. Matakevich blitzed.
From the 43 of the Steelers, Matakevich was again among the tacklers on a three-yard run. With Lavon Hooks making the tackle to set up a third and two, Matakevich made an excellent play to penetrate and make the open field tackle in the backfield for a loss. A timely and quality play that will help him push for a roster spot. The Eagles had their best punt of the night to follow, downed inside the 10.
Brandon Brown-Dukes checked in but was stopped for a loss on first down. He nearly managed to bounce outside to the edge on second down, however, for a short gain that could have gone for more. On third and 10, Vaughan looked down the field for Hamilton, who plucked the ball for a nice catch, but the Eagles challenged the ruling on the field. The officials confirmed the ruling on the field.
— Steelers Depot (@Steelersdepot) August 19, 2016
Now at the 36, Vaughan overthrew Hamilton for an incompletion. Back to Hamilton, who picked up about five yards over the middle. On third and medium, Vaughan was brought down again for the sack allowed by Cole Manhart. Monday’s punt was pursued aggressively with the stop at the 25.
The first pass of the new drive was popped up after a drop as two Steelers converged to try and fail to intercept the pass. The second-down pass was a bit wide and incomplete. On third down, after a false start, the hand off gained no yardage as the clock ticked closer to five minutes remaining. Ayers fielded the punt, and did a nice job of making the first man miss, but three Eagles quickly converged on him to offer little on the return.
From the 36, Vaughan found Tucker, who crashed off a defender to pick up a couple extra yards, the reception being chosen over accepting an offside penalty. On second and three, Vaughan tried to hang on in the pocket too long and was brought down for the sack, though for a loss of only one. Tucker took a good shot, sandwiched between two defenders, on a deep shot that fell incomplete. Monday’s punt was fair caught at the 14. A hold pushed the Eagles back to the seven.
After a run stop, Marshall was able to win the edge for a few yards. On third down, two Steelers missed tackles to allow a first down on a screen to the left. After a six-yard run, and a stop, the third-down pass was caught in front of Garner for first-down yardage, but he stripped the ball away and Doran Grant recovered it.
Taking over at the 40, Brown-Dukes received the dump off for about five yards to hit the two-minute warning. Vaughan continued to show a lack of appropriate pocket awareness, taking another sack after Hubbard was beat around the left edge and he stepped up in the pocket. On third and long, he zinged a quick pass into the dirt. His final pass of the game was thrown into double coverage over the middle of the field, incomplete. A few kneel downs from the Eagles concluded a 17-0 shutout loss.