The Eagles took on an opponent for the first time since winning it all on February 4th and fell to the Steelers in the first preseason game by a score of 31-14. There was a lot to like and a few things to dislike in the first real game action of the season so lets recap:
1st Team Defense – in limited action, the defensive front manhandled the offensive line of the Steelers. Fletcher Cox and Malcolm Jenkins/Nigel Bradham both recorded a sack and the D forced two three-and-outs to start the game.
Dallas Goedert – the rookie tight end stole the offensive show in the first half as it was evident he and QB Nate Sudfeld have built some chemistry in camp. Goedert finished the first half with 4 rec/66 yds, and a touchdown looking comfortable working the slot.
Ajayi/Clement – the rushing attack looked solid behind the starting offensive line averaging 5.5 yards per carry and totaling 50 yards on 9 touches. Both of them flashed some make em’ miss stuff. Ajayi had a 22-yard run backed up against the Eagles end zone shedding three tackles to do so.
Nate Sudfeld – overall, Sudfeld had a decent showing and bounced back after a rusty start. Both his touchdowns were beautiful throws and recognition, specifically on the long ball to Shelton Gibson. The second interception was just a miscommunication with Bryce Treggs. Sudfeld finished 10/14 for 140 yards and a 103.3 rating.
Rasul Douglas – although he did make a nice interception before stepping out of bounds, Douglas was burnt on two touchdowns that should have been contested better. A rough start to the season for the sophomore trying to battle in a surprisingly deep secondary.
Mack Hollins – Hollins really did not make an impact tonight with no catches on just one target. Hollins is a guy fighting for a spot and most are expecting him to make the squad, but it would be nice to see him take over at some point this preseason by stringing a few catches together.
Sidney Jones Injury Scare – Jones collided with Nate Gerry in the flat and was checked out by trainers before he walked off the field. He was later diagnosed with a sprained ankle. Luckily it is not too serious, but you hope it doesn’t linger.
The Sloppiness – The Eagles put the ball on the turf 4 times in addition to two interceptions which is to be expected in game one, but it is still frustrating to see.
Juju Smith-Schuster — 71-yard reception/ Boswell XP
(PIT 7-0 PHI) DRIVE: 4 plays, 88 yards (2:02)
Dallas Goedert — 15-yard reception/ Smallwood 2-pt conversion
(PIT 7-8 PHI) DRIVE: 6 plays, 46 yards (3:07)
Fitzgerald Toussaint — 3-yard rush/ Toussaint 2-pt conversion
(PIT 15-8 PHI) DRIVE: 11 plays, 75 yards (6:08)
Shelton Gibson — 63-yard reception, 2-pt conversion NO GOOD
(PIT 22-14 PHI) DRIVE: 3 plays, 82 yards (1:17)
Damoun Patterson — 29-yard reception/ Boswell XP (PIT 22-14 PHI)
DRIVE: 9 plays, 75 yards (1:40)
Chris Boswell — 32-yard Field Goal
(PIT 25-14 PHI) DRIVE: 4 plays, 2 yards (1:27)
Chris Boswell — 41-yard Field Goal
(PIT 28-14 PHI) DRIVE: 8 plays, 58 yards (4:54)
Chris Boswell — 38-yard Field Goal
(PIT 31-14 PHI) DRIVE: 9 plays, 36 yards (5:35)