Thank you for joining us on Steelers Depot for this weeks game blog. In a little over an hour, the Pittsburgh Steelers will take on the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles in Philadelphia. There was some optimism around TJ Watt being available for this game returning from IR, but he remains on the list through the bye week.
The Eagles have been very good at protecting the football and minimizing negativity while capitalizing on their opponents’ mistakes, currently holding a +12 turnover differential – by far the best mark in the league. Kenny Pickett will need to take care of the football, something he has struggled with through his first few games.
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STEELERS INACTIVE PLAYERS
CB Levi Wallace
CB Josh Jackson
QB Mason Rudolph
K Chris Boswell
DT Larry Ogunjobi
ILB Mark Robinson
G Kendrick Green
EAGLES INACTIVE PLAYERS
QB Ian Book
CB Josh Jobe
S Reed Blankenship
RB Trey Sermon
G Josh Sills
Kenny Pickett with a full circle moment, playing against his childhood team in the stadium he grew up going to.
Pittsburgh is going to start with the ball in the first half.
START OF GAME.
The Steelers get the ball on the 25. On 1st down, Najee Harris was stuffed for no gain. On 2nd, Kenny Pickett scrambled for just one yard, almost a sack by Javon Hargrave. On 3rd, Pickett was sacked for a loss of 8. Massive pressure right up the middle of the OL. Eagles sent 5 with a big wrap-around stunt.
Pressley Harvin’s punt went 55 yards, tackled for just a 5 yard return by Miles Boykin. Starting on their 32 yard line, Jalen Hurts gets his first drive.
On 1st, an incomplete pass to DeVonta Smith. AJ Brown picked up 9 yards on a short pass on 2nd down. Ahkello Witherspoon in coverage. Miles Sanders converted, gaining 7 yards on the rush around the right end.
1st down, Sanders gains just one yard, Isaiahh Loudermilk with the tackle for minimal gain. On 2nd, Cam Sutton knocked the ball loose for what would have been another first down. Dallas Goedert caught the 3rd down pass to gain 7. Eagles go for it on 4th and 2, back to Goedert for 5 yards and the conversion.
On 1st, a short pass to Smith was tackled for no gain by Witherspoon and Maulet. The next play, a 39 yard deep pass in the middle of the field caught by AJ Brown for the touchdown. Minkah Fitzpatrick was there, but Brown outmuscled him. 7-0 Eagles.
Minkah furious with himself on the sideline. He needs to make that play. Minkah tried to make the interception when he probably could have settled for the breakup.
On 1st and 10, Pickett complete to Derek Watt for a 5 yard gain. On 2nd and 5, Pickett to Diontae Johnson for 4, but a penalty by Kevin Dotson (ineligible downfield). On 2nd and 10, Pickett back to Johnson for 14 and the conversion. Nice job to overcome the penalty.
Chase Claypool got involved for 8 yards along the sideline on 1st. On 2nd, Chuks Okorafor called for illegal formation, he must not have been on the line of scrimmage. 2nd and 7, Kenny Pickett was sacked, but penalty called. Defensive holding extends the drive and the Steelers overcome offensive penalties again.
On 1st and 10, delay of game backs the Steelers up to 1st and 15 right around the midfield. On 1st and 15, Pickett to Steven Sims for just 2 yards. On 2nd, Jaylen Warren up the middle on the draw play for a gain of 12. Kenny Pickett did well to sell pass there. 3rd and 1, Pickett kept the ball and drove forwards two yards for the conversion.
On 1st and 10, a short pass to Zach Gentry for 3 yards. 2nd and 7, a deep 21 yard connection to Pat Freiermuth using the middle of the field. That will pay off the rest of the game if they can threaten that more. Kenny Pickett took off for 11 yards and another conversion.
1st and goal, Najee Harris up the middle for 1 yard. 2nd and goal from the 6, direct snap to Najee Harris who passed the ball to Diontae Johnson. Gained 4, but not quite the outcome you look for on a trick play. 3rd and goal from the 2, Pickett incomplete to Diontae Johnson.
Nick Sciba, filling in for Chris Boswell, in for the kick. Delay of game on Brandon Graham makes it 4th and goal from the half yard line. Mike Tomlin sent his offense out there, Chase Claypool passed the ball to Derek Watt for the touchdown. Sciba PAT was good. 7-7 Even.
That was a gutsy drive by Pickett and by Matt Canada. Had to overcome penalties on multiple occasions.
On 1st and 10, Hurts kept the ball and slid for an 8 yard gain. 2nd and 2, incomplete pass to AJ Brown. 3rd and 2, Gainwell converted with a three yard rush. Robert Spillane nearly able to stuff the play and force 4th and short.
Going deep on 1st and 10, the ball fell incomplete with Cam Sutton in coverage. Quez Watkins was the target. Nearly a sack from Highsmith and then nearly an interception from Sutton. Too many near impact plays for the defense. Need to start finishing. 2nd and 10, Hurts complete to AJ Brown for a gain of 9. 3rd and 1, Hurts stuffed for no gain up the middle, but Montravius Adams was called offsides to extend the drive.
Penalties are an issue right now for the Steelers.
END OF 1ST QUARTER: 7-7 EVEN.
Time for the 2nd quarter, where the Eagles have been at their best this season.
1st and 10, Sanders up the middle for 2 yards. On 2nd and 8, Hurts pass was deflected at the line of scrimmage by Malik Reed. On 3rd and 8, another deep touchdown pass, 27 yards to AJ Brown. 14-7 Eagles.
Ahkello Witherspoon was close in coverage, but the pass was in a perfect spot for the big-bodied AJ Brown.
Brown having this much success should start to open up opportunities for DeVonta Smith. Can’t let this offense get rolling.
Steven Sims returned the kickoff 45 yards, but holding called on Tre Norwood. Erases the nice return and puts the Steelers at the 17 yard line.
Najee Harris rushed for no gain on 1st down and a penalty called on Dan Moore for illegal formation backs the team up further. 1st and 15, Kenny Pickett to Sims for a loss of 4. 2nd and 19 from their own 8, Najee Harris stuffed at the line of scrimmage. Jaylen Warren gained 10, but nowhere near enough. Steelers will punt deep from their own end. Penalties continue to kill this team early.
Harvin’s punt good for 46 yards, returned just 3 yards as Smith was forced out of bounds at the 39. Decent starting field position for the Eagles. Cannot allow any more explosive touchdown plays. Defense has otherwise been okay.
Jalen Hurts to DeVonta Smith on 1st down. He tried to reverse the field and lost 10 yards. 2nd and 20, Hurts scrambled for 2 yards. 3rd and 18, Gainwell picked up 8 yards on a short pass. 4th and 10 and the Steelers may have forced their first punt!
Good timing to force a punt after penalties gave the Eagles good position. Steelers get the ball on their own 22 after a 10 yard return by Sims.
Incomplete pass on 1st and 10 intended for Diontae Johnson. 2nd and 10, a deep shot to George Pickens fell incomplete. 3rd and 10, another incomplete this time targeted Pat Freiermuth. Three straight incompletions and a punt. That last pass was almost intercepted with a high pass from Pickett.
Harvin punted just 38 yards, spotted the Eagles free field position. Not good enough. Putting unnecessary pressure on the defense that has shown cracks so far today.
Dallas Goedert caught the 1st down pass for 17 yards, and the Eagles are already in Steelers’ territory.
On 1st and 10, Hurts complete to DeVonta Smith who turned upfield for a gain of 14. Now almost near the red zone in just two plays. Eagles get the ball back after halftime, so these next couple minutes will determine if this game remains competitive.
AJ Brown with another deep touchdown. 29 yards over Ahkello Witherspoon. Minkah Fitzpatrick a step late overtop. Brown called for taunting, but doesn’t really do much. 21-7 Eagles.
Steven Sims returned the kickoff 20 yards to the 35. On 1st down, George Pickens called for offensive pass interference on a 32 yard completion. Penalties continue to kill this team. 1st and 20, Sims picked up 10 on the end around. 2nd and 10, another deep try to George Pickens, incomplete. On 3rd and 10, Kenny Pickett scrambled for 9 yards. 4th and 1, Pickett kept the ball and drove forward for 2 yards. Another short yardage conversion. Nice to have that working.
On 1st and 10, Pickett complete to Najee Harris for 7 yards. Jordan Davis down injured for the Eagles on the play. Doesn’t look serious, but that a big man to have any type of leg injury. On 2nd, Chase Claypool caught the short pass and ran out of bounds for 7.
1st and 10, Najee Harris up the middle, stuffed for no gain.
TWO MINUTE WARNING.
2nd and 10, Pickett complete to Pat Freiermuth for 18 yards. Freiermuth turned upfield and fought through contact for extra yards.
On 1st and 10, Pickett scrambled for 3 yards. 2nd and 7, a deep shot to George Pickens fell incomplete. On 3rd, Pickett was sacked for a loss of 2. Philadelphia called their first timeout. A field goal here doesn’t help a whole lot for the Steelers, and there is definitely some worry about giving the Eagles the ball with 1:00 remaining and two timeouts. Field goal is good from Sciba. 21-10 Eagles.
Steelers will have to kill this 1:00 drive and then against at the top of the 2nd half to stay in this.
A nice return and a penalty for illegal formation on the kickoff start Philadelphia at their own 35 with 00:55 remaining.
On 1st and 10, Goedert gained 12 and got out of bounds with Myles Jack in coverage. Hurts was sacked by Malik Reed for a loss of 5. Eats one of their remaining two timeouts. 00:40 remaining, Hurts pass incomplete in the middle of the field to DeVonta Smith. Hurts was just a bit behind his target. 3rd and 15, Hurts sacked by Carlos Davis for a loss of 8. Steelers call their 2nd timeout at 00:31 remaining in the half.
Steelers get the ball at the 22 yard line with a fair catch. Steelers have one timeout. First down pass to Najee Harris who doesn’t get out of bounds. Pickett sacked by Javon Hargrave on 2nd for a loss of 11 to end the half.
END OF 1ST HALF: 21-10 EAGLES.
Join us for the 2nd half here.