It was another close game for the Philadelphia Eagles, who lost their second game in three weeks, 16-14 to the Pittsburgh Steelers. This loss stings for a few reasons; it was a big rivalry game against the in-state rival and it was a game the Eagles really should have won. This loss puts the Eagles at 3-2, which is still good enough for first place in the division.
Michael Vick fumbled the ball three times, losing two of them. The first lost fumble occurred at the Steelers two yardline. At the very least, the Eagles should have scored three points on that drive. Instead, the drive ended in a touchback for the Steelers. That fumble ended up being the difference in this game. With all that said, Vick still put together a super second half, finishing with 20 completions for 175 yards and two touchdowns. The second touchdown came on the heels of a 17 play, 73 yard drive that chewed up over eight minutes of game time. This game the Eagles a 14-13 lead with 6:33 left in the game. Unfortunately, the defense couldn’t hold and the Eagles lost the game.
LeSean McCoy rushed for just 53 yards on 16 carries. He also caught four passes for 27 yards and a touchdown. The Eagles could never really get the run game established. Scratch that, the Eagles never really tried to get the run game established. Today was just another example of Andy Reid’s stubbornness. After 14 years, I don’t think we should expect that to change.
The defense, while only allowing 16 points, looked sloppy and out of sync. The tackling was poor, especially on the last drive. Speaking of the last drive, that could have been the statement that the defense was looking for. It didn’t happen. The Steelers drove to the Eagles 18 yard line and kicked the game winning field goal as time expired.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed 21 passes for 207 yards. The Eagles defensive line, however, did a terrible job pressuring Roethlisberger. This led to him picking apart the Eagles secondary. Reshard Mendenhall was stellar in his first appearance this season, rushing for 81 yards on 14 attempts and scoring one touchdown. Mendenhall was the key to the Steelers victory. The Eagles struggled to tackle him all game long which turned broken plays into four yard gains.
Andy Reid reverted back to his old self after last week’s balanced attack. LeSean McCoy is one of the best tailbacks in the league. Give him the ball! It seems as if Reid refuses to run the ball if the Eagles fall behind, which is exactly what happened against the Steelers.
Juan Castillo has to take some of the blame for the poor tackling against the Steelers. Bad tackling in the NFL means two things: laziness and sloppiness As a coach and a leader, Castillo needs to be able to rally his guys.
The good thing about this game is that even though the Eagles played poorly, they still had a legitimate chance to win. The problem is that championship caliber teams don’t beat themselves like they did today. The Eagles have four turnovers in the redzone this year, which is the worst in the NFL. Michael Vick has 10 turnovers himself, which has many people questioning whether or not he should be benched in favor of Nick Foles or Trent Edwards. We’ll discuss that this coming week. For now, the Eagles must turn their focus to the Detroit Lions who, like the Steelers, will be coming off of a bye week.