The Eagles fell to the Steelers by a score of 38-29. The turning point in this game came when Eagles kicker Jake Elliot missed a go-ahead 57-yard field goal. Elliot had the distance but missed it right. Carson Wentz played his heart out in this game. Neither interception he threw was his fault. One interception came on a missed illegal contact call, and another on a fourth-and-20 late in the fourth quarter. Carson Wentz slander will not be tolerated this week, as it’s the defense that lost this game.
Eagles Bright Spots
Despite the loss, we saw a lot of promising things on the field. Let’s start with former Old Dominion walk-on, Travis Fulgham. Fulgham had his breakout party in this game. Wentz looked Fulghmam’s way 13 times in this game. He hauled in 10 of those targets for 152 yards and a touchdown. There were plays where Wentz only looked at Fulgham. The in-game chemistry they showed today was astonishing. It almost made me forget that our receiving core is in shambles. Fulgham made play, after play, after play.
Now let’s get something straight. The Eagles played the best defense in the NFL today and put up 29 points with a chance to steal the game late. Carson Wentz played most of this game with four backup offensive linemen, no real receiving threats, and still almost pulled a win out of it. Later in the week, when you see the media bashing Wentz for throwing two more interceptions, keep in mind that neither was his fault. The first interception came from a pass to Zach Ertz, who was contacted well past 5 yards on the play. The second interception came on a fourth-and-twenty play late in the fourth quarter. So if you asked me how Wentz played this week, I’d tell you he played well enough to win this game.
The bad is blatantly obvious. The Eagles lost another football game. Since the Eagles faltered against what should have been sure wins, the Bengals and Washington, they don’t have much wiggle room remaining. The Eagles could have stolen this game late, but the 17-point deficit ended up being too much to overcome. Philadelphia has been unable to put together both a good offensive and defensive performance for as long as I can remember. Every week, we see new signs of life from a new unit. The Eagles have to start to piece things together, or a top-10 pick in next year’s draft is starting them right in the eyes.
The Eagles defense blew this game. The stage was set for Philadelphia to leave Pittsburgh with their first winning streak of the season. Carson Wentz and Travis Fulgham practically willed this team into a position to win the game. Chase Claypool had other ideas, as he torched the Eagles defense for FOUR touchdowns today. The Eagles had never given up four touchdowns to a wide receiver in the history of their franchise. Claypool is a rookie, whom the Eagles could have drafted. The icing on the cake in this game was on Claypool’s final touchdown. He ran right by Eagles linebacker Nathan Gerry, en route to his fourth touchdown on the day. Why was Nate Gerry tasked with covering someone who already scored three touchdowns? Why was Nate Gerry even on the field? These are questions I will be wondering all week.
Jim Schwartz, what on earth is going on? Why can’t you adjust in any game, ever? We may be quickly arriving on Schwartz’s final days in South Philly. It’s beside me that he thought Nate Gerry covering Chase Claypool was a good idea. You MUST call a timeout if you ever find yourself in a situation where Nate Gerry is one on one with any offensive player. This loss is directly on Jim Schwartz and his defensive play calling. I’m not on the side of firing Jim Schwartz, but he certainly shouldn’t be free of blame. He has personnel say, but the Eagles have failed him with their current linebacker unit. His inability to adjust gameplans mid-game is concerning, but I’m not sure firing him is the best option at this point.
Can we talk about the refereeing crew? This was one of the worst officiated games I can ever remember watching. This crew called 17 penalties for 170 yards on the day. A phantom pass interference call on Darius Slay set up the Steelers with their first touchdown. A blatant illegal contact was missed on Carson Wentz’s first interception. They ruled an obvious incomplete pass an interception late in the game. This crew was not up to the task today, in any way, shape, or form.
Eagles Upcoming Schedule
Losing this game hurts, as Philadelphia’s schedule doesn’t let up anytime soon. They welcome the Baltimore Ravens into town next weekend for a 1 P.M. showdown in South Philly. They follow that game with back to back visits from division rivals, Dallas and New York. The Eagles will likely need to win at a minimum two of their next three to regain control of their season.