The Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles squared off at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA Thursday night. While this was the Eagles’ first preseason action of the 2021 season, it was the Steelers’ second such game after their Hall of Fame game victory over the Dallas Cowboys a week ago.
With it being the Steelers’ second go around in the preseason, there were players who didn’t play last week, who took the field this week in the eastern portion of Pennsylvania. Players like Devin Bush, Chuks Okorafor and Kevin Dotson, among others, returned to the lineup in hopes of proving their worth and preparing for the regular season.
The Eagles got the ball first as Chris Boswell kicks off inside the 5-yard line and after a small return the Eagles start their drive on their own 27-yard line. Two passes to tight ends later and Philadelphia was on the edge of field goal range. But with only three more yards, the Eagles settle for a 47-yard field goal and are first on the board.
A short kickoff from the Eagles has the Steelers starting at the 27-yard line. After a 5-yard gain by Najee Harris, a play-action pass gets the Steelers close to midfield. After getting a yeard deep in the backfield, Harris drags the defenders for a 6-yard gain and then catches a pass to get to the 41-yard line. A huge run by Harris gets called back on a Freiermuth hold and the Steelers’ dive stalls. Jordan Berry pins the Eagles at their own 2-yard line to start their next drive.
After one first down to another pass to the tight ends, the defense holds on 3rd & 5 when Devin Bush and Robert Spillane hold Jalen Hurts shy of the sticks on the scramble. A short punt with an Eagles bounce has the Steelers starting their second drive from their own 22-yard line.
After another hold on a nice run by Najee Harris, a big pass from Mason Rudolph hits a deep pass to Diontae Johnson and the Steelers are at midfield. A loss of two yards on first down on an end around to Chase Claypool was just enough to keep the Steelers from moving the chains and Jordan Berry puts another punt inside the ten.
Joe Flacco enters the game as the Eagles quarterback a starts the drive at their 7-yard line. After another first down to a tight end, the Eagles have their first completion to a wide receiver on a screen and it goes for 79 yards and the Eagles find the end zone on just three plays.
After a touchback, Mason Rudolph comes back on the field and hits a 4-yard pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster to end the first quarter.
The second quarter started with Mason Rudolph still at quarterback for the Steelers, but a third down sack surrendered sent the ball right back to the Eagles.
Joe Flacco continued at quarterback for Philadelphia, and was able to lead the Eagles into field goal range. Elliott was able to nail another 47-yard kick to make the score 13-0 with 9:37 left in the second quarter.
After exchanging possessions, Dwayne Haskins was able to put together the best drive of the night. After several big runs, Haskins put the team into the red-zone with a beautiful pass. After a defensive pass interference call, Anthony McFarland plunged into the end-zone for the Steelers’ first points of the game.
Chris Boswell’s extra point was good, making the score 13-7 in favor of Philadelphia with 1:51 left in the half.
Flacco went against the Steelers’ soft prevent defense, and was able to get the Eagles into field goal range. Elliott was good for the third time on the night, this time from 50 yards, to make the score 16-7 heading into halftime.
The Steelers received the football to start the third quarter, and Dwayne Haskins remained at quarterback for the black and gold. The Steelers ran primarily behind Kevin Dotson, left guard, and Dan Moore, left tackle, as they moved quickly down the field.
Throw in Haskins connecting several times to move the chains, the Steelers found their way into the red-zone. After a botched play, Haskins was able to draw the defense offside and turned the free play into a 22-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Johnson.
The Chris Boswell kick was good, and made the score 16-14 in favor of Philadelphia with 9:30 left in the third quarter.
Philadelphia’s first possession of the third quarter was short lived with Nick Mullens at quarterback. On third down Jamir Jones pressured Mullens into an early throw, which was intercepted by third year cornerback Justin Layne.
Haskins and the Steelers’ offense wasted little time moving the ball into the red-zone, and once they got there it was all on the ground when Jaylen Samuels punched the ball in for the team’s third touchdown.
After another Sloman point after, the score was 21-16, in favor of Pittsburgh with 2:39 left in the third quarter.
The Steelers’ forced a quick three and out to end the third quarter, and Haskins stayed in charge of the offense heading into the final frame. A wonderfully balanced attack moved the Pittsburgh offense into the red-zone again, but stalled and resulted in a field goal attempt. The Sloman field goal was good, making the score 24-16 with 11:05 left in regulation.
Joshua Dobbs took over for Haskins, and was intercepted with 7:04 left in the fourth quarter. It gave the Eagles their best field position of the night, but Mullens was picked off by Lafayette Pitts to give the ball right back to the Steelers.
The Steelers were able to run out the clock with Dobbs at the helm, and the 24-16 lead would hold as the final score. It is the Steelers’ second win of this preseason, and they now prepare for the Detroit Lions next Saturday at Heinz Field.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.