Eagles Blow Out Steelers, Remain Undefeated

Eagles Blow Out Steelers, Remain Undefeated Bill Streicher, USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles have been on the back burner in Philadelphia as the lone undefeated team in the NFL had their bye last week. In the meantime, the Phillies have not only won the NLCS, but have begun their quest for their third World Series championship. With the series even at 1-1, the teams have an off day to travel to Philadelphia, a perfect time for the Eagles (and Union) to hop back to the front of the Philadelphia sports scene.

The Eagles, having already faced the top opponents on their schedule until week 12 or 14 (depending on if you consider Green Bay a good team or not), started off a weaker section of their schedule against the cross-state Pittsburgh Steelers and former Pitt QB Kenny Pickett. It could certainly be a trap game for a team riding so high and coming off the bye.

That may have been the hope of the Steelers, but it wasn’t so to start the game with the defense forcing a three and out and the offense having perhaps their hottest start of the season.

The defense had only one poor drive in the first half themselves and while they didn’t come away with any turnovers until late in the fourth quarter, they largely kept the Steelers from hitting pay dirt as the Eagles offense piled on.

On the flip side, the Eagles offense was strong to start the game and made some mistakes in the second quarter that slowed the scoring down a bit, but they actually came out after the half and not only killed a few minutes of clock with chunk runs, but put up a touchdown to start the second half and put points on again after that. It lead to a game where players such as Hurts, Sanders, Kelce, Brown, and Smith were all benched in order to prevent any injuries.

The trio of Gardner Minshew, Boston Scott, and Zach Pascal ran out the clock and sealed the victory for the Eagles, while players like Cam Jurgeons received some live NFL snaps that may come in handy later on this season or in his career.

The Eagles furthered their all-time lead in the cross-state rivalry, taking the series to 49–29–3. They will take on the Texans Thursday night, when fans will tune back into the Birds following three straight World Series games at Citizen’s Bank Park.

Offensive MVP: AJ Brown

I mean, who else could it be? Brown was putting on a clinic deep downfield, embarrassing the Steelers defensive backs left and right. With three touchdown receptions in the first half alone, with two defensive backs on him two of those times, Brown put the Eagles ahead to an extent that the Steelers wouldn’t have come back from even after four full quarters of play. He wound up with 156 yards and three touchdowns on six catches.

Defensive MVP: Milton Williams

In a game where Jordan Davis was lost to injury, Milton Williams was able to make his presence known and fill in admirably. He had just one tackle, but he had two of the most important plays for this defense: one sack to prevent a touchdown before the half and a tipped pass that may well have prevented another touchdown. His emergence as an effective pass rusher will be critical in easing the loss of Davis.

Game Notes

  • For most of the games this season, we’ve seen the Eagles offense struggle to start their first drive, but the Eagles came out hot in this one. Their second quarter wasn’t as dominant as it usually is, but its good to see them come out of the gate swinging like they did – if they can keep that up the rest of the way they should build up incredible leads moving forward.
  • AJ Brown had a few great plays, but that first touchdown was just a 50-50 ball. It was great to see and that’s something that had made Nick Foles so successful in his 2013 and 2017 runs with the team. Hopefully that encourages Hurts to trust his receivers and make some of those throws to keep defenses honest and make this offense even more explosive.
  • While the Eagles are very successful on screens most of the time, whatever they are doing differently when DeVonta Smith is the target of the screen just doesn’t work. The worst play the offense had this game was a -10-yard screen to Smith and that’s reminiscent of every screen they have thrown his way this season.
  • Speaking of screens, the Eagles defense was victimized by screens a few times in this one. Plays that Kyzir White has been making pretty routinely this season were leaking out and extending drive when White was on the other side of the field and Maddox or Gardner-Johnson was the player in the area who had to make the play.
  • Zach Pascal actually had a few meaningful catches in this one, gaining 57 yards and a touchdown of his own. The one are of concern that is present there is that Pascal still seems to be getting more involved than Quez Watkins, who received only one target in the contest.
  • Forgotten in the domination, Miles Sanders racked up 78 yards on only 9 carries in this contest, including a touchdown score. He helped to extend the Eagles offensive drives in the second half (before he was replaced to prevent injury) and moved the chains while doing so.
  • It was a bit of a sloppy game penalty-wise for the Eagles defense. While some may have been questionable calls, most were just mental errors and although Bradberry was great in coverage, his own contributions to penalties might have made this his sloppiest game in Philadelphia yet – still a great game, but hopefully he can clean that up for next week.

Injury Notes

  • Milton Williams limped off the field in the first quarter, but was able to return later in the half, even registering a sack.
  • Jordan Davis came off the field and was carted to the locker room after being unable to place weight on his right leg late in the second quarter. He was, of course, ruled out for the rest of the game, but it becomes a question of how severe was the injury and will the Eagles be in the market for another defensive tackle or expecting him back later this season?
  • After making an incredible one-handed grab and then running for yards after the catch against four defenders, Dallas Goedert sort of limped off the field, but he did return later in the drive.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles – October 30, 2022

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