COMEBACK FALLS SHORT; EAGLES LOSE TO STEELERS 38-29
Updated: Oct 13
The Eagles fought back from a 31-14 deficit to the Pittsburgh Steelers with 10:32 left in the third quarter and came within three points early in the fourth quarter and actually had the game on the foot of Jake Elliott at the 3:23 mark when he attempted A 57-yard field goal. The kick had the distance but sliced just wide right. The short field set up another Steelers touchdown to make the final score 38-29. With the loss, the Eagles record is now 1-3-1. Pittsburgh improved to 4-0.
Wentz finished 20 of 35 for 258 yards, two touchdown passes and two interceptions. He was sacked five times for 34 yards.
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson talked about the trouble his offensive line had dealing with T.J. Watt (3 tackles, sack, 2 QB hurries), Stephon Tuitt (6 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 QB hurries), Mike Hilton (8 tackles, sack) and Bud Dupree (.5 sack, 2 QB hurries).
"We knew going in this is a pressure team," Pederson said. "They got five guys that really can put pressure. I really thought overall the guys played well. Lane Johnson before he got knocked out with the injury and [Jack] Driscoll came in, I thought they did -- really right up until the end there where I think where Bud Dupree came around the left side and got the sack. I thought they held up well. It's great -- it's a good run defense, so obviously to run the ball is tough. We had the nice draw for the touchdown, which was good. I thought overall they played well. We'll evaluate it here in the next couple days. But, yeah, held up nice." Miles Sanders finished with 80 yards rushing on 11 carries, with 74 of those yards coming on his first-quarter touchdown.
Ben Roethlisberger was brilliant Sunday finishing 27 of 34 for 239 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a quarterback rating of 125.4.
Two stars were born Sunday from each team, bother were receivers. For the Eagles, Travis Fulgham followed up his outstanding effort against San Francisco with a 10-catch, 152-yard gem that included a four-yard touchdown with 11:27 left in the fourth quarter.
Rookie receiver Chase Claypool, listed as a backup, torched the Eagles with seven catches 110 and three touchdowns. Claypool also added a two-yard touchdown run to give Pittsburgh a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin brought down the temperature about his young receiver and gave credit to Pittsburgh's overall attack.
"Let's be honest, a lot of it might not even have to do with him and his skill set," Tomlin said. "We've just got a well-balanced attack. We've got guys that people have to account for, guys like JuJu (Smith-Schuster), guys like Diontae and (Eric) Ebron. I just think that he's probably a good matchup for whoever people have assigned to him from a man-to-man standpoint. That's the strength of having a deep group of guys that are capable of making plays. Week in and week out, there are going to be different guys that step up just based on the matchups presented. He had a good matchup this week."
Pederson was asked if he is now depending on Fulgham, who played in just his fifth NFL game on Sunday.
"Yeah, I mean, I do think that he has the skill and ability," Pederson said. "It was great to see again today. You know, just something that we've got to sustain each week. He had the big catch out in San Francisco and then big catches today. Just something we got to continue to build on and get all our skill guys in that position. So, I know our quarterback feels comfortable with him and they work extremely hard during the week. It showed with them today."
Fletcher Cox was asked about the Eagles defense, which has allowed 30 points twice and 27 points in the season-opening game, a loss to the Washington Football Team.
"We're not winning," Cox said at his post-game video conference. "If we win this game today, we're not talking about the Eagles defense giving them 30 points. I think that's the most important thing. Obviously, we had a couple of penalties I kept a couple of drives alive, that gave them more opportunities to make more plays. We’ve got to get off the field and we got to win. I mean, I rather give up, however many points if you get to win, I think that's all that matters."
Wentz was asked about the big picture with this team. What is this team capable of?
"Yeah, first of all, I've got to watch the tape," Wentz said at his post-game video conference. I walk away frustrated with the loss and where we are right now but encouraged by some of these younger guys stepping up and making plays. Obviously, we've been depleted a little bit up front and guys have stepped up and done a great job. We’ve talked a lot about Travis and what he did. A lot of the young O-linemen are getting an opportunity and doing a great job. I'm encouraged that we can keep building on this, and we'll find a way to keep turning this thing around." Follow Al Thompson on Twitter @thompsoniii