• July 3, 2022

Eagles-Steelers Pregame Thoughts

Eagles Must Be Prepared To Face A Desperate Pittsburgh Team

The 2012 season hasn’t gotten off to a great start for the Pittsburgh Steelers. They’ve begun the year with a 1-2 record, falling to the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders. They’ve been bitten badly by the injury bug, and have seen key figures like Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, and Rashard Mendenhall miss time with various ailments.

The Steelers are a proud team, and much better than their record suggests. They’re now fresh off of their bye week, and have had two weeks to sit and think about their embarrassing loss to the Raiders. With many of their injured stars set to return to the lineup this week, Pittsburgh will be ready to perform in what is an early season must-win situation for them.

This is the first time this year that the Eagles will play a team whose back is up against the wall. We’re at the point in the year where the teams that have gotten off to slow starts need victories badly in order to keep their playoff hopes alive.

How The Eagles Can Beat The Steelers

Two weeks ago, the Eagles were spanked in Arizona by what many considered to be an inferior Cardinals team.

Michael Vick and the offense were unable to get into a rhythm in throughout the game because of the blitzes that Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton threw at them. Both Horton and head coach Ken Wisenhunt came to Arizona after succeeding as assistant coaches in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers and Cardinals run similar defensive schemes, and Eagles fans can expect Dick Lebeau to copy Horton’s plan of attack. Vick will see constant pressure coming his way from all angles, and he must be prepared to recognize when an attack is coming, where it is coming from, and how to properly adjust to it.

Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg must avoid falling into the same trap that they did to the Cardinals, and call an offensive attack that leans heavily on LeSean McCoy and running game. Hopefully the Eagles will implement a gameplan similar to the one they had against the Giants, and operate heavily out of the I-formation with a strong mix of run and pass to keep the Pittsburgh defense off balance and honest.

The Steelers defense isn’t the elite, shutdown unit it once was, and the Eagles may be able to take advantage of some favorable matchups in the secondary for their younger receivers.

Defensively, the Eagles have a chance to make the Pittsburgh offense one-dimensional and predictable. The Steeler running game has been one of the worst in the league this year. They’ll get a boost from the return of starter Rashard Mendenhall, but there’s no telling just how effective the former first-round pick will be in his first game back from an ACL injury. If the Eagles can grab an early lead and shut down Pittsburgh’s early attempts to run, they’ll force the Steelers to lean heavily on the passing attack. Their offense would then become a little more predictable, and Juan Castillo’s defense will have an easier time shutting down the pass.

The Philadelphia pass rush has to be much better than they were against the Giants. It won’t be good enough just to get a couple of hurries on Ben Roethlisberger, the defensive lineman need to play a dominate game and consistently get in the face of the Steeler quarterback. If the two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback has the same amount of time to throw that Eli Manning did, he’ll be able to pick this defense apart.

Why The Steelers Will Win

Pittsburgh will play a strong, physical game on both sides of the ball, and they have almost all of the intangible factors on their side as well.

Offensively, they need to take advantage of Rashard Mendenhall’s return and try to develop a physically imposing running game that can wear the Eagles defense down. If they’re able to do that, it will help open more options up for speedy receivers Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown.

Defensively, the Steelers are going to make it their mission to rough up the Eagles’ offensive talent. They’re going to send everything they’ve got at Michael Vick, and try to get the veteran quarterback to spend most of the afternoon on his back. Their battle-tested defense, led by guys like Troy Polamalu and James Harrison, should be able to force turnover-prone Michael Vick into several mistakes.

The matchups on the field aren’t what really favor the Steelers in this game as much as the intangibles do.

As mentioned above, this is a game the Steelers really have to win. They can’t afford to fall to 1-3 and lose any more ground in the standings to the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals. An extra week of preparation, combined with their homefield advantage (Pittsburgh is one of the most difficult places in the league to play) really give Pittsburgh the edge.

Final Thoughts

I don’t expect the Eagles to win this game, but I’ll be curious to see how well they perform in this situation.

This is going to be an interesting game, and we’ll find out a lot about just how good the Eagles are. This is a situation in which the Steelers are expected to perform at a high level, and Philadelphia is primed for a letdown after an emotional win in a prime time game over one of their division rivals.

If the Eagles can overcome the Steelers in this situation, it could be the confirmation that many fans are looking for to determine whether or not this team has a great chance to make a deep playoff run.

Denny Basens

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38 Comments

  • Pittsburgh will have to pass to win. I think from an offensive standpoint if the Eagles can score 20-25 points they win this game.

    Pittsburghs running game is dysmal.

    Key will be screen passes to Mccoy and keeping Ben on happy feet.

  • LOL Its funny how everyone is trying to convince themselves of something they know isnt real. Everyone knows this is a bad spot for the Eagles. Everyone knows the Eagles history in these games.lol. The Eagles are TERRIBLE in these situations. # 1, They suck against this type of defense. # 2. Steelers off a bye. # 3 Steelers record at home. #4. Steelers in a must win. #5. Can anyone tell me a time when the Eagles beat a stud AFC team on the road? The Eagles just being competitive should be # 1 goal this week. This is a terrible terrible spot for the Eagles. Honestly next weeks game vs Detroit is a HUGE game. That is the game that determines everything.

  • Wow Daggolden great optimism there man.

    Eagles will win this game for two reasons.

    1. The Steelers gave up 31 points to a pitiful Oakland Raiders team who probably has one of the worse Offensive line in the league and Mcfadden ran all over them. Mcfadden is no slouch but shady can run against they’re old slow defense.

    2. Michael Vick has only played 2 regular season games against Pittsburgh Score at least 30 points or more including a game in 2006 where he threw for 4 touchdowns.

    SO philadelphia.. Does those stats make you feel more better about this afternoons game?

    Eagles win 31-24

  • That game in 2006 btw Vick won 41-38

  • The Giants were coming off like a mini bye when we played them. The steelers are coming off a bye and were playing them at their house. Det is going to be coming off a bye when we play them. If the Birds can just go 2-1 in this 3 game spot i would be happy as an Eagles fan.

    However I think that loss comes today. I hope I’m dead wrong about it and they end up winning but I just have a bad feeling about this game. HOF Defensive Cord who loves to blitz against a Vick and a Reid offense isn’t good news to me.
    The CArds coach learned under the Steelers and kicked our ass with that game plan. You would think they learned from it but we will see. I hope that Reid/Vick have made the proper adjustments but we all know thats not exactly what their good at. This Steelers team isn’t what it use to be though. As long as we play balanced turnover free football we will be in it.

  • 2013 Eagles predictions –

    Eagles fire Head Coach Andy Reid and hire Oregon’s Chip Kelly as the new Head Coach.

    Michael Vick is cut loose and signs a 1 year deal with the Tamp Bay bucs

    Eagles trade Jeremy Maclin to the Miami Dolphins for a 4th round draft pick and sign Green Bay Packers Greg Jennings

    Eagles sign Matt Moore to compete with Nick Foles for the starting job in 2013…

    How’d I do Paulman?

  • Pretty good ES
    I do think the Eagles get a 3rd Rounder for Maclin though.. H

    On topic about today’s game versus the Steelers
    I don’t expect an impact or a lot of Rushes by Mendenhall who hasn’t played a snap since last December
    Defensively it is imperative the Eagles DE’s stay disciplined and keep containment of Big Ben in the pocket and get penetration with DT’s a d blitzing LB’s right up the middle
    Offensively the key for Eagles is to target their LB’s in pass cover sage
    Throw some slants, bubble routes and utilize Danrius Johnson and Clay HRbor on their Lb’s as much as possible Screen plays don’t work as S well on their LB’s for their weakness is dropping back in pass coverages while their strength is when they attack the line of scrimmage

    I have the Steelers winning 23-20 in a must win for the Black & Gold

  • Remember that Cardinals DC Horton runs Steelers LeBeaus system and not the other way around.

  • Eaglessuck Its just even-flo. I hope the Eagles win but I have them going 11-5 and this is one of my loses. Its all even-flo. We have 0 advantages in this game. lol. Personally I think next weeks game determines us from being 10-6 and 11-5. Doesnt mean Im not a fan I just look at it objectively. Name me 1 game in AR career that he has gone into a STRONG AFCs house and came out with a win. The closest is a AJ Feely led team vs NE. Remembeer Oakland, Denver, Baltimore, NE, Indy, SD,Pittsburgh? Not only did we lose but we got blown out on most. Just keeping it real.

  • I think the Eagles win 20-17 enough said

  • paulman picked Steelers, that makes it a lock for the birds.

  • nhamdi is the new Toast of the team, the new Izell Jenkins

  • Eagle Stars of the Game
    Offense- Harbor and Danarius Johnson and Polk
    Defense- LB Ryan’s and DE Graham & Hunt and CB DRC

  • So help me, if this Eagles team would stop stepping on their own d$&k, there is no telling how good they could be. The turnovers will simply destroy this season.

  • Ball on the ground 3 times in first quarter. Defend that unreal. What bullshit. AR and MW have put them in a position to succeed but the thug can’t hold the ball.

  • Defend what cigar, we can all see with your thug comment, he could be MVP and you wouldn’t be happy, so why bother?

  • The ball has been on the ground three times no worries about him being MVP. He may make some plays and win the game or several games but in the end the turnovers will catch up to him. As for thug comment, if he bent the bill of his baseball cap like a grown man maybe he could truly assimilate to society. I guess the thug hat helps keep it real. He’s a chump

  • Wow, a little personal with the thug comments aren’t we cig. And to think after your comments in the baseball threads to the usual suspects appeared to come from a reasonable person. Disappointing.

  • Sorry, I digressed. I’m a big supporter of the humane society and have tried to forgive vick and pretty much have but when he came out wearing the keep it real hat it pissed me off. I really thought he turned it around personally but I kind of feel like he is trying to reclaim street cred.
    As for his qb play… As of now it’s four times ball on the ground. Go birds

  • The field is starting to tip against the Eagles, defense looks gassed. The offense has not done anything to help them today. Not Juan’s fault, nobody can play so many plays with bad field position and hope to stand up all day.

  • Not looking good. Defense has played well but as you say, short field, no offensive time of possession. Wearing down. Shit!

  • Haveacigar
    How about go haveacock you douchebag cock sucker. You racist fuck…what the hell does a guy wearing a hat saying “keep it real” have to do with whether you like or dislike someone. You Paulman and Vinnie are the same little cock race bating racist fucks that are so easy to recognize. How about KEEP IT REAL on those words chump. Any real man can recognize a racist prick like you any day of the week. I bet if it was a white guy that did what vick did and served his time in jail, you’d be fighting for his American rights and saying he has served his time and should be forgiven; hell you would prolly buy his book on what drove him to committ those atrocities against animals. You stupid fuck.

  • The china doll is stinking up the place with all of the turn overs. When does he learn?????”

  • G, Is it possible u can get a hold of Castillo and let him know he’s allowed to blitz every once in a while

  • I wouldnt buy his book for a penny. I’m not racist I keep it real! Here is a man that has been to prison, served his time, got his act together, now all of sudden goes back to that juvenile look. It is ridiculous. The origin of that look is prison.. Do some reading.
    As for his play… Ball hit the turf out of his hand four times. 11 turnovers in five games. Can’t win like that…CAN’T

  • A good effort but Offense & Vick failed to take advantage once again with critical turnovers and especially when in the Red-Zone
    This Offense and QB Vick is simply not good or consistent enough
    For Eagles to be an elite Team

  • After a few weeks of NFL Action this is what needs to happen:

    1.) Bench Vick and start Foles. Vick is costing us games with his fumbles/turnovers.

    2.) Relieve Juan Castillo at the end of this season because he won’t blitz and the wide 9 aint cuttin it for us. We need a real DC in here.

    3.) After 14 years, it’s time for Reid to be given his walking papers. He can’t/wont adjust to anybody we play and his Westcoast offensive calls are to predictable and is worn out.

  • Please GCobb…..Please dude what the devil is wrong with your comments section? Heck the whole site. I can’t see comments in your article that show under your “Recent Comments” section, articles disapearing. C’mon hey is it just my computer.

    • Mono, not just your computer. Garry just plain doesn’t give a shit about the integrity of his website. The ad money pours in anyway.

  • Now the comments show back up again.

  • I couldn’t believe that they weren’t blitzing!

    C’mon Mike Vick! As bad as Vick was, eagles had a great chance to win and turnovers (vicks)finally caught up to them!

    How can he not slide? Is it really that hard or is he just .. well.. Not smart enough? I’m running out of options.

    Shady is a beast!

    This loss was not on Andy.

  • I stated the key for the Eagles Season was winning 3 of the following 5 games with the emphasis of beating NFC Conference opponents
    Ravens,Steelers,Lions,Saints and Falcons
    If the Eagle go 3-2 in these 5 games they should be a Playoff Game
    And they are 1-1 so far and have the Lions & Falcons at home who are not very good road Teams though the Falcons are much improved and more explosive than in year’s past while the Lions & Saint’s Defenses are giving up tons of yards and points this 2012 Season
    (Where’s all the Spagnola fans at for DC)

    • Paulman you stated a lot of shit. And it all stinks. Nobody cares. Your statements are worthless.

  • I can’t take it no more. Vick is a turnover waiting to happen. This loss is on Vick, period! I know Andy is not going to sit him, but damn! This guy does not take care of the ball at all.it’snot a pleasure watching him play because I’m just waiting for him to turn the ball over more than I am expecting him to score. If his turnovers continue after the bye he must be benched. I’ll take the turnovers with a rookie,hell turnovers are turnovers,but with a veteran of Vick’s experience, it’s totally ridiculous to say the least!!!

  • With all that said about Vick and the turnovers, they were still leading in the fourth and it was up to the defense to hold the steelers on that last drive. I take my hat off to the steelers who are a tough team, but as we can see the eagles are a better team and have way more upside. The birds were beat bad by the cards. Thats it. The rest of the games were in or around the teens. The defense folded on the last drive but has been playin some great football, if our offense can score more in the red area they’ll be fine. As we can see every team in the nfl is a work in progress. This year there is no clear cut dominate squad outside of the texans who are playing great football but can be beat too. So its a prime year to take advantage of the opportunity they have but again it’s 1game at a time. We’ll rebound next week at home against the lions

  • Jakedog is passed out, inebriated, on the couch, so pissed about the Eagles loss that he drank too much, but didn’t log out–so I get to post. This is Mrs. Jakedog. I’m a Steelers fan, yes, a real one, born and raised in Pittsburgh. It’s about time you all see real northeast football. It’s about a running game, a tough as nails quarterback who doesn’t cough up the football, and a coach who knows something about clock and time-outs management. Oh, and who is your MVP? Shady McCoy, a product of where?!?! The University of Pittsburgh, of course (did I mention that I’m an an alum?). It’s time to clean house is Philly, build a winning team around Shady. Get rid of the coach, at least find somebody with better facial grooming and waistline management talents, find a quarterback with a little bit of discipline who can hang onto the ball (oh, wait, you already have one of those, but he’s sitting on the bench). Until then, I suppose I have to tolerate Jakedog and his drunken binges, depression and overall bad-ass attitude. Although he keeps me knee-deep in the finer things in life, if you get my drift…

    • BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Sabotaged by the misses!!! LMFBO!!! Don’t leave your log-in on Jake. 1st rule of drunk internet surfing, dummy!!! LOL!!!!

  • Whoa, sorry for the intrusion fellas, dcar lesson learned, my wife is trash talkin out the wazoo, can’t take it much longer, might have to start drinking soon

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