No Cigar

Posted: October 11th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on No Cigar

The Eagles fell behind the Steelers 31-14. Things did not look good. This team has not shown much resolve when things go wrong. The Eagles didn’t fold this time, instead cutting the lead to 31-29.

The Eagles then got the ball back and moved into scoring position. They attempted a 57-yard FG, but it went wide right (not by much) and that was the game. Pittsburgh added a TD to move the final score to 38-29.

I expected an ugly defensive battle. The offenses tend to disappear when the Steelers and Eagles face each other every four years. I was genuinely shocked to see a shootout.

On the good side, the Eagles put up 29 points on the #2 defense in the league. The patchwork OL protected Carson Wentz well enough for him to throw for 258 yards and a pair of TDs.

WR Travis Fulgham had the game of his life, going 10-152-1. Those numbers don’t tell the whole story. We’ve seen receivers light up bad secondaries over the years. This was legit. Fulgham made tough grabs. He worked the outside and the middle. He made a really impressive catch down the deep middle, reaching over a DB for a gain of 31.

I don’t think Fulgham will be sitting beside Jerry Rice in Canton, but that was one heck of a game. He’s now come up big in back to back games. It feels good for a young receiver to be showing real talent.

Wentz played well for the most part. He threw a terrific deep ball to John Hightower that should have been a long TD, but the ball went through his hands. Wentz didn’t show the happy feet he’s had in other games. He hung tough in the pocket and tried to buy time for his guys to get open. There were 2 INTs, but neither was really his fault.

The offense wasn’t perfect to be sure, but that was an encouraging performance.

Unfortunately things weren’t so good on the defensive side of the ball. The Steelers were 11 for 15 on 3rd downs. They were 3 for 3 in the Red Zone. Rookie receiver Chase Claypool was 7-110-3 and he also ran for a TD. Ray-Ray McCloud had a 58-yard end around.

The Eagles got pressure early, but then Big Ben started getting the ball out really quickly. Jim Schwartz had no counter. Quit rushing four and have one of the DEs drop into the passing lane. Instead, four rushers would fly upfield and the ball would be gone in less than two seconds.

The play that everyone is talking about came late in the game.

That is LB Nate Gerry covering Claypool on a critical third down. Rodney McLeod is over the top. Why have a LB on a WR? We’ve seen this over the years, but the theory is usually for the LB to jam the reciever and then the safety will cover over the top. That would have been fine.

Instead, Gerry doesn’t do anything and McLeod is looking outside. Easy TD. Analyst Jonathan Vilma noted the matchup before the snap so this wasn’t so shocker. He saw it coming. Big Ben had to be excited when he saw this. I don’t know how McLeod wasn’t cheating that way. So frustrating.

I thought Pederson did a good job with game management and the offense. Some will question the decision to kick the long FG, but Jake Elliott had plenty of leg. It just went a bit wide.

I have no problem with trying to get the lead there.

The Eagles showed a lot of heart. They played the Steelers tough. There were just too many mistakes to overcome. We’ll get into them on Monday. There will be a lot to discuss.


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