Eagles-Steelers Up-Down Drill: Jim Schwartz gets exposed again
The Eagles defensive coordinator had another poor day, especially on third down.
👎 How does Nate Gerry end up on Chase Claypool? Schwartz either made the wrong call or there was a blown assignment. Either way, the Eagles defensive coordinator had another poor day, especially on third down. The Steelers converted 11 of 15, the dagger a 35-yard touchdown pass to Claypool.
👍 The former practice squad player followed up last week’s game-winning touchdown with one of the best performances by an Eagles receiver in some time. Fulgham caught 10 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown and has earned a regular role on offense.
👎 The rookie receiver had a rough few plays on the Eagles' final series before the half. He failed to run out of bounds after a catch, which forced Doug Pederson to burn a timeout, and he had a Carson Wentz missile sail through his hands in the end zone.
👎 The big boys up front ate early and brought Ben Roethlisberger down. But that would be their lone sack of the game. Even after All-Pro guard David DeCastro left with an injury, the unit couldn’t generate enough pressure.
🤷♂️ The Pittsburgh native dazzled on his 74-yard touchdown run. And assists go to receivers Greg Ward and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside for their downfield blocks. But Sanders managed only 6 yards on his 10 other carries.
👎 Strap didn’t necessarily have a terrible outing, but his missed tackle on a third down set up a Ray-Ray McLeod 58-yard end around on the Steelers' opening drive of the second half.
🤷♂️ The Eagles quarterback had his best game of the season. The stat sheet might not tell the full story, but he finally got into a rhythm and made strong throws from the pocket — most of them to Fulgham.
👎 The Pro Bowl tight end caught just one of six targets for 6 yards, and over the last two games has only five catches for 15 yards. Chemistry, or lack thereof, can’t be an excuse for why Wentz and his former favorite target have failed to get in sync.
🤷♂️ He likely blew his assignment on the fateful Claypool touchdown, but Big Ben gets credit for recognizing the quarters coverage and checking to a beater that put McLeod in a tough spot. Aside from that play, the safety has been playing his best football the last two weeks.
👎 The Eagles could ill afford to take stupid penalties and Jackson cost his team with an unnecessary-roughness penalty that helped set up the Steelers' first touchdown.
👎 You’ll rarely find complaints in this column about the refs, but there were just too many questionable calls or non-calls to mention. Darius Slay’s pass interference. Fletcher Cox held numerous times without flags. Brandon Graham’s face mask. But it wasn’t all against the Birds. The Steelers had a touchdown brought back by a dubious Claypool pass interference.
👍 The rookie is just one of about a dozen receivers from this year’s draft class who is killing it already. He smoked the Eagles for seven catches for 110 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for another score. Jalen Reagor clearly has talent, but while he’s injured, his classmates are already making a difference.