September 25, 2016
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 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:
Bennie Logan blocks the FG!! Steelers keep ball for 6-plus min, convert pair of 3rd downs, but Wheaton drop was huge pic.twitter.com/s1d4ZjEK7d— Philly Influencer (@PHL_Influencer) September 25, 2016
• 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:
Wentz just passed Tom Brady w his 82nd pass w/out interception to begin a career.— Scott Hanson (@ScottHanson) September 25, 2016
• 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.
• 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