This week, the Eagles hosted the Steelers in what many considered their first true test of the season, playing against a team that was widely considered as a Super Bowl contender. The Eagles looked impressive in beating the Steelers, 34-3.
The biggest takeaway this week is the Eagles' defense. They're playing out of their minds. I'm not sure what kind of Michael Jordan's secret stuff Jim Schwartz gave them before the game, but it's working better than I could have ever imagined. They broke up passes (12 passes defensed, one INT). They pressured the hell out of Ben Roethlisberger (hitting him 8 times, including 4 sacks). They only allowed the Steelers to convert on 36% of their third downs. They looked straight up ANGRY the whole time, refusing to allow a single touchdown.
On the offensive side of the ball, Carson Wentz continued to impress. He finished the game with 23/31 passing for 301 yards and 2 touchdowns. Darren Proles was Wentz's favorite target, catching six passes for 128 yards and one of Wentz's touchdowns. Sproles' touchdown was a 73-yard catch-and-run where Wentz rolled out of the pocket on a third down, almost scrambled, then decided to loft one downfield. Sproles took advantage of being covered by a linebacker, got open downfield, and made a few defenders miss on his way to the end zone. One of the things I love most about Wentz is his willingness to spread the ball to any receiver. Yesterday, Sproles was his top target. A week ago, he was loving Trey Burton. His ability to get the ball to any player on the field keeps opposing defenses off balance, not allowing them to focus in on any one weapon.
-Wendell Smallwood led all rushers with 79 yards on 17 attempts, scoring a touchdown along the way. While Smallwood shined, Ryan Mathews had a rough game, rushing only twice for -5 yards. Kudos to Doug Pederson and his staff for going with what was working, rather than trying to force something that wasn't working like Chip Kelly would have.
-Wentz still hasn't thrown an interception. He broke Tom Brady's record for most consecutive pass attempts without an interception to start a career (102).
-The special teams unit deserves a shoutout, blocking the Steelers' first field goal attempt of the day and swinging the momentum in the Eagles' favor.
-Fletcher Cox had a great game, with three tackles including two sacks and a forced fumble.
-Rodney McLeod had five tackles and made a ridiculous play to pick off Roethlisberger in the fourth quarter:
-The Eagles offensive line did a great job keeping Wentz upright, not allowing a single sack the entire game.
That's all for this week, folks. Until next time: