Photo by: (Don Wright, AP)
The Eagles fell to the Steelers 38-29 on Sunday. The Offense broke out with their best performance so far this season. Only for the effort to be derailed by a poor defensive performance, which allowed Steelers Rookie WR Chase Claypool to score 4 TDs.
Here are my observations from the Week 5 loss.
Defense: The Eagles defense was atrocious. They let down the whole team on Sunday. They allowed the Steelers to go 11 for 15 on 3rd down conversions. Coming into Sunday, the defense ranked 1st in the NFL in sacks but the unit only registered 1 on Sunday.
QB Ben Roethlisberger was a perfect 13-13 on third down. Overall, he threw for 3 TDS, 239 yards, and finished with an 84.2 QBR.
Rookie WR Chase Claypool was the story of the day for the Steelers. Claypool finished with 7 catches for 110 yards and 3 receiving TDs. He added a rushing TD for good measure to finish with 4 TDs total, a Steelers rookie record.
A lot of the blame falls on Jim Schwartz for failing to adjust his defense when it was apparent the zone was being picked apart by Roethlisberger. Also, the classic Jim Schwartz off coverage on 3rd and long occasions hurt the Eagles badly. Pittsburgh converted just about every time.
Lastly, the question every fan is wondering: How Did Nate Gerry end up covering Chase Claypool on the play that led to the game-ending TD by Claypool? As much as I blame Nate Gerry for not being capable of covering just about any receiver in the NFL, it is unacceptable for Schwartz to put Gerry in this position.
Offense: The offense stepped up and surprised a lot of fans with their performance on Sunday. Against a top defense, they put up their most points of the season so far with 29.
Carson Wentz looked very good for a good part of the game, finishing with 2 TD/2 INT, 258 yards, and a 81.5 QBR. Wentz seems to be coming out of his early season funk.
Miles Sanders rushed for 80 yards on just 11 carries. Almost all of these yards came from his 74 yard touchdown run in the first half, getting the Eagles on the board for the first time. He also added in 2 receptions for 19 yards, finishing with 99 yards from scrimmage. But, 13 touches is not nearly enough touches for the team’s best weapon on offense. Doug Pederson NEEDS to find a way to get him the ball more.
Travis Fulgham: Finally, I finish with the star of the day for the Eagles, WR Travis Fulgham. Fulgham had himself a day, finishing with 10 Receptions for 152 yards and 1 TD. The last time an Eagle wideout put up these type of numbers was Jeremy Maclin, in 2014. This performance makes him deserving of being WR1 on this team. With the talent he put on display, there’s no reason to think he can’t be a future star in the NFL.
The Eagles host the 4-1 Baltimore Ravens this Sunday, the 18th.