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September 25, 2016

First half observations: Eagles 13, Steelers 3

The Eagles’ 2-0 start was met with a lot of skepticism due to the perceived quality of their opponents. With the Pittsburgh Steelers making the trip across the state to The Linc, Sunday provided a major step up in competition.

So far, the Birds appear more than up to the task, as they'll take a 13-3 lead into the locker room. Here’s what I saw:

The good

• The special teams came to play early. Markus Wheaton dropped a potential touchdown on Pittsburgh’s opening drive, and Bennie Logan made the Steelers pay by blocking Chris Boswell’s 36-yard field goal attempt:

• The Eagles got a field goal out of their first possession, marching 63 yards on seven plays. Excellent play design from Doug Pederson on the 40-yard screen pass to Darren Sproles.

• Another day, another solid half for the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. Carson Wentz had excellent protection throughout the first 30 minutes, and he finished 18-25 for 183 yards and a touchdown. Just as important, he didn't take the type of hits we saw in the first two games of the season.

• This is pretty solid company for the rookie:

• On a day when the guy he beat out in the preseason (Cody Parkey) lost a game for Cleveland, Caleb Sturgis knocked a couple of field goals through from 39 and 28 yards.

• Anytime you can limit the high-powered Steelers offense to three points in a half, the defense is doing something right. The Eagles had some trouble getting to Ben Roethlisberger at times, but Jim Schwartz's group was generally flying around to the football.

The bad

• In the first half, rookie cornerback Jalen Mills was a player that Roethlisberger looked to attack. He gave up receptions of 41 and 32 yards to Sammie Coates and Eli Rogers, respectively.

• After struggling the first two weeks of the season, Jason Kelce had trouble with a few shotgun snaps.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann