(Ed note: This is my attempted “Brotherly Love” joke. But it can’t possibly be any worse than what you saw earlier today).
The Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to the home of the Philedelphia Eagles Sunday afternoon to take on rookie Carson Wentz and co. Although the headlines swirled around Pittsburgh’s dismal record at their inner-state rival’s home, many believed it would have no bearing on the game’s outcome. Unfortunately, the Steelers fell to the Eagles 34-3 in a game that will be anything but forgotten in the minds of fans everywhere.
The game began quickly, as both teams were able to put together long-lasting drives. Pittsburgh was up first, as Eli Rogers finally got back in the action; he caught a 3rd down conversion that kept the opening drive alive.
Unfortunately, the Steelers would eventually stall in the Eagles’ redzone; an attempted Chris Boswell field goal was blocked by Bennie Logan, and the Steelers would have to walk away with no points.
The same could be said for the Eagles’ first drive, as they would eventually stall in the redzone as well (there’s that Steelers’ redzone defense coming into play!), but not before a 40 yard Darren Sproles screen pass ate into the defense, forcing Ryan Shazier to leave the game with a knee injury (he would eventually return, on a limited basis). A Caleb Sturgis 29 yard field goal would open the scoring, making the game 3-0.
After a Jordan Berry punt, the Eagles would get the ball back; Carson Wentz would string together a 12 play, 6 minute drive that was extended thanks to a Lawrence Timmons person foul call for a late hit.
The Eagles used quick outside passes to attack the Steelers’ secondary, and Wentz eventually found Jordan Matthews crossing the middle for a 12 yard yard touchdown reception; William Gay was beat on the play, unable to keep up with Matthews in the slot. The lead grew to 10-0.
Ben Roethlisberger found Sammie Coates for a 41 yard reception along the sideline (this is starting to feel like a normal occurrence!) finally putting the Steelers in scoring position, as Boswell hit a 40 yard field goal; the team began the game going 50% in the redzone, after starting the season 5/5. The lead was cut, 10-3.
A William Gay pass interference penalty would propel the Eagles’ following drive, but Anthony Chickillo’s quarterback pressure (he was in because of a Jarvis Jones injury) halted the drive from going any further. The Eagles had to settle for 3, as Sturgis’ 38 yarder grew the lead to 13-3. This drive lasted 9 plays for 54 yards and ate just over 4 minutes off the clock.
The first half saw the Steelers go 3-7 on 3rd down, accumulating only 6 first downs versus the Eagles’ 13. They also only had 153 total yards of offense.
The second half was tough to watch, and quickly began to get out of hand. Darren Sproles’ longest receiving touchdown in 7 years started the free-fall; the pocket broke down, and Wentz was forced to navigate himself through the cluster of bodies. He found Sproles streaking down the sideline all alone, and the rest was history after a few missed tackles and open field. The lead grew once more to 20-3.
After an unsuccessful 4th down conversion by the Steelers’ offense, the Eagles took over and prepared to make some more noise to the tune of an 8 play, 52 yard drive that lasted just under 5 minutes. Wendell Smallwood would be the catalyst during this drive, leading the charge to an eventual touchdown he himself would cap to make the game 27-3. The game began to get out of hand.
The following offensive possession ended sourly, as the offensive line began to crumble under the pressure of the Eagles’ front 7. David DeCastro was beat on back-to-back plays, as the second of the two resulted in a sack-fumble by Fletcher Cox. Brandon Graham would recover, and the Eagles would once more drive down the field to put the final dagger in the Steelers.
They would keep the ball on the ground, as Kenjon Barner would also get in on the fun and grab an 8 yard touchdown as well. It must be said that this all came on the heels of a questionable roughing the passer penalty on Stephon Tuitt.
The final score was 34-3 in favor for the Philadelphia Eagles. The Steelers struggled in all facets of the game, as they once again amounted no sacks, and frankly very little pressure in general. The team went 3/10 on 3rd down overall, and the defense allowed 409 yards of total offense.
The team also allowed 4 sacks, and many more pressures that saw Ben become incredibly uncomfortable in the pocket; conversely, the Steelers’ pass rush was unable to garner any pressure, going sack-less once more.
Pittsburgh hopes to get this sour taste of their mouths next week on Sunday night against the Kansas City Chiefs.