The Eagles (6-0) are hosting the Steelers (2-5) on Sunday at the Linc.
To the predictions:
Reuben Frank (5-1)
Maybe at some point they’ll lose to a team they shouldn’t lose to and get shredded by a quarterback they shouldn’t get shredded by and get shut down by a defense they shouldn’t get shut down by. I just can’t imagine it happening Sunday. This is the Eagles’ No. 4 defense vs. the Steelers’ No. 30 offense and the Eagles’ No. 5 offense vs. the Steelers’ No. 28 defense. There will be mismatches all over the field. The Eagles should be able to strike with big plays vs. a Pittsburgh defense that’s allowed an NFL-high 30 pass plays of at least 20 yards, and their defense should be able to throttle a Steelers offense that’s last in the league at 4.8 yards per play. The only way the Eagles lose is if something flukey happens – the Steelers get a big touchdown return, the Eagles commit a couple turnovers deep in their own territory, Kenny Pickett suddenly morphs into Terry Bradshaw circa 1978. Don’t count on it.
Eagles 27, Steelers 16
Dave Zangaro (6-0)
I just can’t see a loss this week. The Steelers haven’t scored more than 23 points all season and those 23 points came in an overtime win over the Bengals in Week 1. Rookie Kenny Pickett has some talent but is struggling with 2 touchdowns and 7 interceptions in his first four games. And now he’s facing a defense that has already forced 14 turnovers this season. I expect the Eagles’ defensive line — including newcomer Robert Quinn — to get after Pickett and force him into some mistakes. And I expect the Eagles’ secondary to make him pay for those mistakes.
The Steelers have some talent on defense but they’ve really missed T.J. Watt and they have the 29th-ranked passing defense in the NFL. Jalen Hurts should be well-protected in this game and should be able to do his damage through the air. Who will be the big target in this one? Take your pick.
Eagles 31, Steelers 15
Mike Mulhern (6-0)
No one has been able to keep the Eagles offense in check this season. Surely the Steelers will have some wrinkles to throw at Jalen Hurts and company, but without T.J. Watt, they simply aren’t formidable enough to stop them. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin heaped praise on the Eagles quarterback this week, saying “man, I’ve just got so much respect for him, the way he plays the position. His intangible quality. His leadership skills. His prudent decision making.” That last part has perhaps been Hurts’ most underrated skill. He’s only turned it over twice this season. If he plays another clean game on Sunday, it will be an easy win. My major concern heading into the bye week was the health and well-being of Lane Johnson. The All-Pro right tackle suffered the third documented concussion of his career against the Cowboys in Week 6. He’s good to go after clearing protocol and his importance can’t be understated. In his career, the Eagles are 72-45-1 when Johnson plays and 12-21 when he doesn’t. Meanwhile, Kenny Pickett and his petite hands has already thrown seven interceptions in just four games. The Eagles ball-hawking defense entered this week tied for the league-lead with 14 takeaways and they’ve been the best in the NFL against opposing quarterbacks, allowing a rating of 66.0. Now you add in Robert Quinn to an already potent pass rush and it’s going to be a long day for the Steelers. The
Yinzers have been calling for offensive coordinator Matt Canada’s job for quite some time. They may get their wish after this one.
Eagles 31, Steelers 9
Adam Hermann (6-0)
I've considered picking the Eagles to lose a few times over their first six games. This week, I feel pretty confident saying they'll stay undefeated.
It's not that the Steelers don't have talent, because they do. Diontae Johnson is a legit WR1, Najee Harris is a real-deal dual threat RB1, and their defense is littered with playmaking guys like Cam Heyward, Devin Bush, and Minkah Fitzpatrick. They also have a top-flight head coach in Mike Tomlin (my former neighbor, no big deal to me) who often manages to wring every last drop of effort and contribution from whatever roster he's handed.
But the Steelers just... aren't very scary as a team. They're 14th in defensive DVOA, 24th in offensive DVOA, and 24th in overall DVOA. They have a rookie quarterback in Kenny Pickett who, while showing glimpses of promise, has thrown seven interceptions in 14 quarters of work, is averaging just 6.1 yards per attempt, and generally has a lot of growing to do. Going up against this dangerous Eagles secondary probably isn't the moment when Pickett will suddenly find a perfect grasp on the NFL game.
And while the Steelers defense does give me at least slight pause — Pittsburgh hasn't given up 120 yards on the ground to a single team this season, and its 4.1 rushing yards per attempt allowed is the sixth-best mark in the NFL — I think a well-rested Eagles team will be able to overwhelm the Steelers with time of possession and an overall talent imbalance.
Give me a one-score game at halftime that turns into a three-possession victory.
Eagles 33, Steelers 16
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