The Pittsburgh Steelers head east to take on their cross-state rivals the Philadelphia Eagles in an inter-conference match-up.
What: Pittsburgh Steelers 2-0 at Philadelphia Eagles 2-0
Where: Lincoln Financial Field Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
When: Sunday September 25th, 2016 425pm Eastern kickoff
Weather: Sunny and 70 degrees with a slight breeze at about 8mph.
Line: Steelers -4
TV: CBS Jim Nantz and Phil Simms and Tracy Wolfson on the sidelines.
Radio: Steelers Nation Radio/WDVE Bill Hillgrove, Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley on the sidelines.
Rabble TV: Due to persistent technical issues we are no longer doing this.
Key Injuries: PIT: OUT Senquez Golson (foot), Cody Wallace (knee) PHI: OUT TE Zach Ertz, CB Leodis McKelvin, G Isaac Seumalo
2016 NFL Ranks: Eagles’ Offense: Overall 21st Rushing 10th Passing 24th. Eagles’ Defense: Overall 4th Rushing 10th Passing 5th… Steelers’ Offense: Overall 9th Rushing 8th Passing 13th. Steelers’ Defense: Overall 21st Rushing 2nd Passing 30th (Stats updated following TNF)
AFC North Rankings: Baltimore 2-0, Pittsburgh 2-0, Cincinnati 1-1, Cleveland 0-2
What You Need to Know: The Steelers are 0-8 in their last eight trips to Philadelphia in the regular season… Last time the two teams met and both were unbeaten was week three of the 1992 season. Bill Cowher was in his first year coaching the Steelers… Since 2004, the Steelers are 19-2 against rookie starters at quarterback…
What’s at Stake: Two things. One, state bragging rights. Two. Staying at the top of the AFC North. Baltimore plays 0-2 Jacksonville while Cincinnati hosts Denver.
All-Time Series: Eagles lead 46-28-3. Eagles lead 27-9-2 in Philadelphia. The last Steelers’ win in Philly was in 1965.
Series Highs: Passing: PIT Kordell Stewart 294 yards 1997, PHI Norm Snead 335 yards 1969… Rushing: PIT Frenchy Fuqua 214 yards 1970, PHI Jack Concannon 129 yards 1966… Receiving: PIT Louis Lipps 171 yards 1988, PHI Ben Hawkins 187 yards 1967
Three Things We Need to See for a Steelers’ Victory:
Protect, Protect and Protect Some More Through the first two games of the season, the Eagles have six sacks. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that those came against the 23rd best offense (Cleveland) and 30th best offense (Chicago) but it is what it is. The Eagles’ D is led by Jim Schwartz who is notorious for his units getting after the quarterback and that starts with Fletcher Cox, the big man up front. If the Steelers cannot protect Ben Roethlisberger than it will be a very long day for the Steelers’ offense.
Make Wentz Look Like a Rookie Quarterback Eagles’ QB Carson Wentz has won his first two games of his career and is rightfully getting accolades for this. Winning in the NFL is a big deal regardless of who you beat. It’s clear that Eagles’ Head Coach Doug Pederson has a clear plan to run the ball and limit what Wentz has to do and part of that is throwing the ball short. He ranks 27th in the league in yards per attempt at 6.59. The Steelers will have to be patient and they’ll have to do their part to confuse Wentz’s pre-snap reads. Getting a lead offensively will help but Keith Butler’s unit must take care of their assignments and tackle well.
Will Wide Receiver Number Two Please Stand Up? With Markus Wheaton expecting to see his first action of the season, it’s expected that he’ll jump right into the number two role opposite Antonio Brown. I’m not so sure that will be the case. I expect to see numerous guys in numerous places across the formation to be quite honest. Much like the nickel has become a standard defense, using three wide receivers has become the norm on offense. Regardless of the “number two” is, he must produce and take pressure of Antonio Brown so he has more freedom to do what only he can do.
Prediction: (Season so far 1-1)
I’m a big fan of history – It’s part for what I do for a living – but I’m not crazy about the Steelers’ past when it comes to playing in Philadelphia. Having not won there since the 1960’s concerns me but in the end I think this team has too much talent. The only way the Steelers lose this game is if they beat themselves with turnovers and penalties.
Steelers 30 Eagles 17