Observations from the Eagles' 38-29 loss to the Steelers in Week 5 | Marcus Hayes
A breakout game, a big homecoming, and a Jalen Hurts cameo weren't enough for the Eagles to rally against the Steelers.
Suddenly, Alshon Jeffery is unnecessary.
Travis Fulgham, a practice-squad graduate last week who is getting playing time as $20 million veterans Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson heal, caught 10 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown. Fulgham, in his second season out of Old Dominion, entered the game with three career catches for 57 yards in four games. He was unable to convert a third-down catch in the fourth quarter, which forced the Eagles to try a 57-yard field goal, which Jake Elliott pushed wide right.
Pittsburgh native and Penn State product Miles “Boobie” Sanders played at Heinz field as a kid and as a collegian, and in his first trip to Heinz Field as a pro he scored on a thrilling, 74-yard run in the first quarter and on a 1-yard plunge in the second quarter to become the first Eagles player to score two TDs in the first half since Bryce Brown on Dec. 2, 2012 at Dallas. His 74-yarder tied the Eagles' seventh-longest TD run and was the longest since Brian Mitchell’s 85-yarder at Veterans Stadium on Oct. 1, 2000. Sanders finished with 11 rushes for 80 yards and two catches for 19 yards.
Jalen Reagor watches as …
Steelers second-round rookie receiver Chase Claypool, taken 28 picks after the Eagles picked injured Jalen Reagor 21st overall, caught three TD passes and ran for another. He finished with seven catches for 110 yards. He entered with six catches for 151 yards and one TD.
From Wentz it Came
Wentz threw his league-high eighth interception to end the Eagles’ first possession of the second half, then added another at the end of the fourth quarter. In the first, unpressured, Wentz stared down Zach Ertz then threw into double coverage. Miles Sanders was uncovered eight yards away on the same side of the field. Wentz rebounded on the next series with a 31-yard strike to Travis Fulgham and an 8-yard TD to Greg Ward. Wentz’s refusal to throw the ball away also gave the Steelers their first two sacks, and he could have dumped it on sack No. 3, too. He finished 20-for-35 for 258 yards with two touchdowns and the two picks, and ran four times for 11 yards.
Lockdown corner Darius Slay left the game in the fourth quarter and did not return. The Steelers targeted him all afternoon. Right tackle Lane Johnson also left late with his chronic ankle issue.
Good calls, bad calls
On consecutive plays late in the first quarter, a missed holding call against the Steelers that hindered Eagles defensive lineman Fletcher Cox and a bad pass interference call on Eagles corner Darius Slay helped the Steelers take a 7-0 lead. Later, Slay and Jalen Mills were flagged for justified interference penalties.
In the fourth quarter, Wentz left the field in favor of rookie backup Jalen Hurts, who threw an impressive 18-yard pass up the middle to Richard Rodgers out of the shotgun early in the fourth quarter. Recognize.
Jeff Stoutland, Coach of the Decade
The Eagles' patchwork offensive line — Jordan Mailata at left tackle, Matt Pryor at right guard, Nate Herbig at left guard, and Jack Driscoll replacing Lane Johnson during the game at right tackle — was, generally, incredibly, outstanding.