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Steeler Hitman

2020 Week # 5 GDT Steelers vs. Eagles

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Posted (edited)

 

Week #5 GDT: The 3-0 Pittsburgh Steelers versus the 1-2-1 Philadelphia Eagles 2020-eagles-vs-steelers.jpg

Series History: Eagles lead series 48-28-3 (Steelers have never won in Philadelphia). However, fortunately for the Steelers, this game is in Da Burgh! We may even have a few thousand fans. Maybe we get the homefield/home-cooking going.

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Last Meeting: 9/25/2016 @ Lincoln Financial Field (it should have been the Alamo) 34 - 3 Eagles beat-down of the Steelers. Carson Wentz threw for 301 yards with 2 TD's and added another 10 yards running. The Eagles physically manhandled the Steelers on both sides of the ball. Eagles DT Fletcher Cox dominated the line of scrimmage with 2 sacks and 5 tackles. Big Ben was sacked 4 times and the Eagles defense held the Steelers to 29 yards rushing including 7 when Big Ben ran for his life. The Eagles held the high flying Steelers offense without a TD. To put it mildly, it was a butt ugly loss.🤬

Defensive Keys to a Victory over the Eagles

Key Eagles Offensive players: QB Carson Wentz,  TE Zach Ertz, RB Miles Sanders (Woodland Hills HS), WR DeSean Jackson, WR Alshon Jeffery

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1. Stop the Eagles run game from flying.  The Eagles were held to 93 yards rushing on 28 attempts. Miles Sanders did the bulk of the rushing and was held in check, but Wentz added 37 yards on 7 rushes including an 11 yard TD run.  Sanders being a graduate of Woodland Hills wants to run wild over his former hometown team. Cam, Tuitt and Bush need to be active on early downs and force the Eagles into unfavorable passing situations (second and long or third and long). The eagles OL has been patchwork at best and the Steelers have former Eagle OG Stefen Wisniewski on the IR to offer some insight. Steelers should try to exploit this with Cam, Tuitt, Tyson and Wormley. The run defense has been outstanding and if it continues can make the Eagles offense very one dimensional and set them up for mistakes, sack, etc.

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2. You, me and Bud Dupree (aka TJ, Steelers LB'ers and DL and Bud Dupree):  Get some payback on Carson Wentz from his first game. Steelers rushers will try to make it an absolutely brutal afternoon in Pittsburgh for him. Wentz remained very calm in the last meeting and left the game with a clean jersey. He could have gotten away without showering and used some scented man wipes to freshen up afterwards, as he was so clean. The Steelers have to get after Wentz or he will pick them apart despite some injuries of key WR's and at TE. Keep containment because Wentz can motor like a young Ben Ben. Tuitt, Cam, Vince Williams can hopefully supply a healthy and generous dose of pressure up the middle as well. They can force Wentz into making some mistakes unlike in the 2016 beat-down when he was not rushed and picked them apart.  The Steelers will try to exploit the Eagles OL injuries as well. Don't forget week 1 that the Washington Football Team used a frantic pass rush to bring Wentz back down to earth after an early 17-0 lead. Their OL has not recovered from all the injuries and the onslaught of pass rushers. Bud and TJ should be relentlessly hounding Wentz.

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3. Don't let Zach Ertz get heated up. The Steelers have struggled the past several covering good TE's. Ertz is a very good one. ILB Bush and SS Terrell Edmunds are going to have to play their A game or the Eagles will attack and score using Ertz. TE Dallas Goedert is on IR, but the Eagles have had some success throwing to Richard Rogers as well. This has been an area of concern as any TE who can stretch the field have caused some confusion and chaos in the secondary. The Steelers did a decent job against the Giants Engram, but Denver's Noah Fant torched them and caused some breakdowns in communication and coverage.  With having key injuries at WR, putting the focus on Ertz will take away any type of security that Wentz can establish in the passing game. I am sure the Eagles will try to get the ball out of Wentz' hands quickly and maybe even dump some off to the RB. But a key to victory will be slowing Carson's best passing weapon. do the steelers use Bush, Edmunds or Hilton to slow down Ertz?

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4. Our Steelers secondary needs to get its swagger back. It is funny how this was at one time the weakness of the Steelers team. They boast a lot of talent and high draft picks. We are quite spoiled when they play average.  And we probably should be because Minkah, Nelson and Haden are better than average and edmunds is improving each game. Despite the talent back there, the secondary has not yet made a statement in three games of the 2020 season. I would love to see a Minkah Fitzpatrick and Steve Nelson sighting this weekend. Some Eagles fans have complained about Wentz' passing and stats, but in all fairness, he has not had all of his weapons (no Jackson, no Goedert, and no Jeffery). Philly has struggled throwing outside with Greg Ward being the yardage leader for the Eagles Wr's. Hopefully we can see Minkah and company off to the races in this game.  Keep an eye on Edmunds, who seems to be progressing as mentioned earlier. Is this the week Edmunds finally gets an INT in coverage? Heck Minkah, Steve and Haden are due as well.

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5. Play as mistake free as possible. The last game in 2016 was a result of many mental errors and breakdowns in coverage and execution. That led to a physical beat-down. Like Mike Tyson says, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched (real hard) in the mouth!" On a third and 8 with the Eagles leading 13 - 3 Carson Wentz was pressured, rolled to his right and dumped a ball off to a speedy Darren Sproles and that was the end of any hope of a comeback. It ended with a 73 yards TD pass/catch/run. Don't give up a big play which the defense has done in all three games thus far, and cut down on the defensive penalties which the defense did week 3 versus the Texans in the second half. Don't beat yourself. This may be the game where the Steelers can dictate and force the Eagles into playing into the Steelers hands. The plan of shaking up a young QB should be forthcoming albeit four years later!

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Offensive Keys to Victory over Eagles:

Key Eagles Defensive Players: DT Fletcher Cox,  former Steelers DT Javon Hargrave, DE Brandon Graham, DE Josh Sweat, LB Nathan Gerry, former Lion CB Darius Gray, Safety Avonte' Maddox. 

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1. Keep Big Ben upright and untouched. Easier said than done. Eagles DC Jim Schwartz executed a masterful defensive game plan that frustrated and totally shut down the Steelers offense in a Bill Belichick-ish way. I know it was four years ago and parts of both teams are different, but the Eagles defensive game plan worked so why not do the same? Big Ben will definitely need to be patient, take what the defense gives and don't be afraid to throw the ball away. A punt is better than an INT. This should be about payback on your own turf. Big Ben has typically faired well after a poor performance against an opponent. If he is given time and can remain upright, he can torch the Eagles secondary. Since his rookie season in three previous tries Ben has not torched the Eagles for 300 yards passing. Is this the game he finally does? Do we really want him throwing that much?

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2. Get DeCastro some help with Fletcher Cox. Even DeCastro admitted in a past interview that no one else that he has gone against has given him fits like Fletcher Cox. Thank God they only meet in pre-season occasionally and every four years. DeCastro is a fiery guy and has pride, so I expect him to be ready. The Steelers have had success running the ball. Some may say that the stats were slanted by some long runs, but unlike in years past, the Steelers were able to use the run to close out games. That is something they have not been able to do since the Bill Cowher era. In order for the Steelers ground attack  to continue to have success they must be able to block DT's Hargrave, Malik Jackson and Cox. Like the Giants the interior DL, the Eagles DL is pretty brutal as well.  The problem is that the Eagles have as formidable a combination of DE's who can get after the passer as well in Brandon Graham, Derrick Barnett, Denard Avery and Josh Sweat who have all put up sacks as well. The Steelers offense (like most offenses) struggles when they get behind due to negative plays. DeCastro opening holes and keeping Ben upright will help prevent those negative plays that will favor the Eagles defense.

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3. Don't give up on the run. The Steelers offense needs to be James Connor strong and/or Anthony McFarland fast consistently. Use this combination to soften the Eagles defense and wear them down. The Steelers can't afford to try to throw 50 or (44 times as in 2016). They need to lay off wanting to throw those deep passes to Washington and Claypool.  It takes the offense out of rhythm and off of their best game which is balanced football. Balanced football will also keep our defense off the field and wear down the Eagles defense who has some injuries there as well. While they don't need to be ultra conservative or predictable running, they do need to try to establish the run and be consistent. Creativity from Matt Canada may help getting the ball in the hands of McFarland and Connors in favorable situations. The one thing that I have liked about 2020 is the Steelers were able to impose their will in the run game late to finish off three opponents. They need to get that mentality earlier.

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4. Game plan and adjustments: Steelers coaches have done a solid job of game planning and adjusting as needed. In the past we have heard the term out-coached used many times against the Steelers HC and coordinators. Thus far, they have done a solid job of making significant/game changing adjustments in all three wins thus far.  In 2016, it was the Eagles and particularly Jim Schwartz who out-coached the Steelers OC Todd Haley. Fichtner was the QB Coach back then as well. If it were me, I would try the methodical approach early and hopefully can get the TOP slanted heavily in the Steelers offenses favor. If they can get up early, score often and wear down the Eagles, the pressure from the Steelers pass rush can result in mistakes by Wentz and the rest of the Eagles offense. It can be a satisfying revenge reversal from 2016. Let's go get some!

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5. Be physical on offense (both sides of the ball really).  The Eagles really stuck it to the Steelers last meeting. I have not seen a Steelers team get dominated like that in a long time. They didn't just win, but they beat up on us physically and intimidated. For Coach Tomlin, Big Ben, Double D (David DeCastro) and others it should be pay back time. Big Ben, OC Fichtner and QB Coach Matt Canada have to out-coach and adjust to the "Power of the Schwartz" (Eagles DC Jim Schwartz). In the immortal words of General Sun Tzu (The Art of War), "Every battle is won before it is ever fought!" Don't get caught up in stats and style points (those long bombs early). 🤬 Be patient and win the battle of attrition. If the Steelers can control the ball, the over the top stuff will open up and the Eagles defense can be worn down. The deep passes should be icing on the cake only and not our game plan. The timing and consistency has not been there. Again, this didn't work when we had AB, "Butterfingers" Wheaton, Sammy "Hands of Stone" Coates and company.    Sorry for the name-calling jokes, I am still pissed at that loss. 🤬

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Injuries and Intangibles: Should get updated Wed press conference. 

Eagles: WR - - Desean Jackson, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Alshon Jeffery DB's Trevor Williams, Avonte' Maddox,  LT Jason Peters

Steelers - - WR Dionte' Johnson (concussion protocol) 

Intangibles: This game has been a bit of a home team typically wins of late. Steelers have never beaten the Eagles in Philly, but the Eagles have won in Pittsburgh before. Steelers were undefeated going into Philly in 2016 before falling. The last game at Heinz Field the Steelers went up 10 - 0 at halftime and had problems putting the football in the endzone in the second half. The Eagles outscored them 14 - 3 (14-6 second half) taking a 14-13 lead before Big Ben led the Steelers downfield and a last second Shaun Suisham FG won it for the Steelers 16-14. The Steelers rarely blow teams out and generally not when they are favored. These are rivals with pride and tradition, so the games are typically close. But....

Prediction: Two tough inter-state rivals who always battle. The Steel City versus The City of Brotherly Love. The Eagles are on of the NFL teams who hold a winning record against the Steelers all time. The Steelers are on a mission and the Eagles are trying to stay alive for a play-off spot. The Steelers should have a bit of a chip on their shoulders, which they typically play better when they do. They are favored for a reason as I think this year they are the better and more complete team this year. The Eagles are coming off their first win against a physical, but injury depleted San Fran team. The Eagles are badly banged up themselves. This one should be much tougher for Philly as I expect the Steelers to try to getup early and then pound the Eagles. Big Ben is 2-2 lifetime against the Eagles and I expect the home field of Pittsburgh will be the advantage (despite only 5000 fans in all). The Steelers blew the eagles out in 2004 Ben's rookie season 27-7. Ben has never thrown for 300 yards or had great passing days against the Eagles in his four games. In the wins Ben threw for (2004 11-18 183 yards 2 TD 1 INT 109.3 PR (sacked 2 times) and 2012 22-28 220 yards 1 TD 0 INT 83.2 PR (0 sacks)). In the losses 2008 13-25 131 0 TD 1 INT 50.6 PR (sacked 8 times) before being replaced by Byron Lefwich who didn't fair much better  4-7 60 yards 0 TD 0 INT 85.5 PR (Sacked 1 time)  In 2016 24-44 257 yards 0 TD 1 INT 62.3 PR (sacked 4 times). 

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It's gonna be a come get some kinda game between two tough cities and football teams with a tradition of pride and competitiveness. We owe you one Philly so maybe homer wishful thinking here, but Stillers over Iggles 31-20. Big Ben throws for at least 275 and three TD's but it is fueled by solid rushing attack and big plays from McFarland, Ju Ju and Claypool. They give up a late pride of Philly TD to make it closer than it really was. Defense gets after Carson and he will definitely need a shower and ice bath after this one. No shades of 2016. 

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It won't be perfect or pretty, but effective. Steelers stay perfect at 4 - 0 and don't let the Eagles get soaring. 

Edited by Steeler Hitman
Corrections and additions
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I'm expecting a lot of rollouts from the eagles offense due to their banged up O-line. wentz won't survive standing in a pocket against our pass rush. We honestly should blow this team out

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I expect a close game  and wouldn't be shocked if we lose.  For the OL, this will be by far the  best DL they have played.  Look what happened last time, similar players on the DL, not as good on the OL or are we? Feiler has been really good, perhaps comparable to Foster.  This could be a typical tomlin game playing down to the competition, but philly won finally so does that change?

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14 hours ago, August4th said:

I'm expecting a lot of rollouts from the eagles offense due to their banged up O-line. wentz won't survive standing in a pocket against our pass rush. We honestly should blow this team out

It could be a defensive struggle once you factor in the fichner factor and playing down to the competition (if that applies here). I expect the Eagles DL to be a problem the entire game and a close game that results. I still remember when there was a chance Graham would be a UFA , and hoped the steelers would sign him. Same applies when he was being drafted... but he never ended up here and instead made the decisive play that defeated brady in a SB

Eagles are also in must win mode, or are they since they are in the NFC east xD?  That is looking like the worst division in nfl in years, maybe 5 wins will take the title. They have to play each other, so there are a few wins anyways. It's worse than our division was, or afc east was 

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O/U 5.5 Steagles references.

 

Anywho, LT who got his first start ever last week, rest of the OL in tatters, top 3 WR out, only Wentz and Sanders to focus on coming off a 'bye' week....Feels like the classic let down game.

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Derrick Watt is doing some light work and his availability will be contingent upon his ability to practice and what he can or cannot do.

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Dionte Johnson is out of concussion protocol

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Marcus Allen is running in water and will evaluate later in the week.

No word on Eagles injuries updates at this time. 

 

 

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Glad Diontae will be available.. don't care about Marcus Allen tbh

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Posted (edited)

Come on now. Mike Tomlin is steering this ship. There aren't going to be any let down games. The Steelers are totally taking that 1st seed bye. It's not like he's strategically planning around being the 7th seed now.

Edited by CKSteeler

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5500 fans allowed, but for some reason the browns are allowed 12000? How is this fair?  even covid can't live in cleveland I guess 9_9

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will carlos davis get some snaps?  from what I have seen #95  hasn't been that good so why not let the rookie get some time.

will tomln play down to the eagles as he has with so many others with bad records?

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20 hours ago, 3rivers said:

5500 fans allowed, but for some reason the browns are allowed 12000? How is this fair?  even covid can't live in cleveland I guess 9_9

shouldn't be any iyam lol

on topic, this is a real trap game. four years ago they were a trap game and they double-dutched us like 30-3; we should by every metric slaughter them, especially with their broken o-line (though i do want jordan mailata to play well, given he's a fellow aussie); maybe this could be the game where our secondary (which, mind you, i think has been better than the box scores would suggest by the way) really starts to find their groove and kick on

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51 minutes ago, Shady Slim said:

shouldn't be any iyam lol

on topic, this is a real trap game. four years ago they were a trap game and they double-dutched us like 30-3; we should by every metric slaughter them, especially with their broken o-line (though i do want jordan mailata to play well, given he's a fellow aussie); maybe this could be the game where our secondary (which, mind you, i think has been better than the box scores would suggest by the way) really starts to find their groove and kick on

typical tomlin game, lose to a team with a bad record and injuries. The eagle OL is hurting, our front should own this game, but wait and see. I am still hoping the steelers get the full season and break the sack record, but there could be the covid * next to it :$

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Steelers looking for their 1st 4-0 start in 40 years. that's shocking

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Got Sunday Ticket so I can finally watch a non-primetime game for the first time in almost 6 years.

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