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NFL Capsule: Eagles at Steelers

NFL Capsule: Eagles at Steelers

PHILADELPHIA (3-1) At PITTSBURGH (1-2)

Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX

OPENING LINE - Steelers by 4

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Philadelphia 1-3; Pittsburgh 1-2

SERIES RECORD - Eagles lead 47-27-3

AP PRO32 RANKING - Eagles No. 8; Steelers No. 15

LAST MEETING - Eagles beat Steelers 15-6, Sept. 21, 2008

LAST WEEK - Eagles beat Giants 19-17; Steelers had bye

EAGLES OFFENSE - OVERALL (5), RUSH (7), PASS (10)

EAGLES DEFENSE - OVERALL (6), RUSH (12), PASS (7)

STEELERS OFFENSE - OVERALL (18), RUSH (31), PASS (7)

STEELERS DEFENSE - OVERALL (5), RUSH (14), PASS (3)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Steelers haven't lost back-to-back games since 2009, coming off 34-31 loss to Oakland two weeks ago ... Philadelphia 9-3-1 against AFC North under coach Andy Reid, including 2-0 this season ... Philadelphia holding opposing quarterbacks to passer rating of 65.8, third-best in NFL ... Steelers have started season 6-2 in each of coach Mike Tomlin's first five seasons ... Pittsburgh leads NFL in time of possession, averaging more than 35 minutes a game ... Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger second in NFL in quarterback rating at 109.2 ... Pittsburgh 26-6 in last 32 games against NFC opponents and 4-1 coming off bye week under Tomlin ... Eagles TE Brent Celek's 18 receptions tops in league among tight ends ... Philadelphia QB Michael Vick first quarterback in 12 years to lead team to three fourth-quarter comebacks in first four games of season ... Eagles lead NFL in yards per game differential, averaging 417.8 yards while giving up 298.3. ... Pittsburgh has won seven straight home games against NFC teams, last loss 21-14 to Giants in 2008 ... Pittsburgh LB James Harrison one sack shy of moving into tie for third place on franchise all-time list with 59 ... Steelers last in league in rushing yards per attempt at 2.6 ... Eagles haven't allowed punt or kickoff return for touchdown since 2008, longest active streak in league.

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Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: John Wall goes 1-on-1 to talk Bryce Harper's future, celebrity softball and the Summer League

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards Tipoff podcast: John Wall goes 1-on-1 to talk Bryce Harper's future, celebrity softball and the Summer League

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, John Wall went 1-on-1 to talk Bryce Harper's future, the celebrity softball game and the Summer League.

Chase Hughes and Chris Miller broke down the parallels between Wall and Harper and why Wall has chosen to stay loyal to Washington in his own contract decisions. Plus, can the Wizards really tone down the talking this season?

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Redskins 2018 position outlook: Outside linebackers

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Redskins 2018 position outlook: Outside linebackers

Redskins Training camp opens next week, and we have a break here, giving us time to put the depth chart under the microscope.

Between now and the start of camp, we will look at every position, compare the group to the rest of the NFL, see if the position has been upgraded or downgraded from last year, and take out the crystal ball to see what might unfold.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

Additions: Pernell McPhee (free agent)
Departures: Junior Galette (free agent)

Starters: Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith
Other roster locks: Ryan Anderson, McPhee
On the bubble: Pete Robertson

How the outside linebackers compare

To the rest of the NFL: By any measure, the Redskins had a top-10 pass rush last year. They were tied for seventh with 42 sacks and they got a sack on 7.3 percent of pass attempts, also seventh in the league. Looking forward to this year, Pro Football Focus has them ranked as the sixth-best pass rushing team for 2018. Ryan Kerrigan is showing no signs of slowing down as he approaches age 30 and Preston Smith is about to hit his prime. After the departure of Galette, the depth is questionable, and we’ll deal with that next. Even without Galette, it’s still one of the best units in the NFL. 

To the 2017 Redskins: Some downplay the decision to let Galette walk in free agency, saying he had just three sacks. But his value went beyond that. He had 9 QB hits and 25 hurries, both second-most on the team, in just 258 pass rush snaps. Someone will have to step up and replace that pressure. The spotlight will be on Anderson, who had no sacks after being a second-round pick. He will need to step up for this year’s Redskins pass rush to be as good as last year’s. 

2018 outside linebacker outlook

Biggest upside: Since the 2015 season, only one NFL player has at least 20 sacks, four forced fumbles, and three interceptions and it’s Preston Smith. His consistency is an issue but even when he is going for a few weeks between sacks he is getting pressure on the quarterback. Still, there is more ability there. Smith could set himself up for a big payday by breaking through with a double-digit sack season while continuing to make big plays in his contract year.

Most to prove: To be fair, Anderson did not get a whole lot of chances to rush the passer last year, playing just 81 pass rush snaps. Still, there are reasons to be concerned about how much he can produce after a zero-sack, one-hit, three-hurries 2017 debut season. Anderson was not expected to make a splash as a rookie, but more was anticipated. He was drafted where he was in part because of his work ethic. The Redskins hope he will work his way into a significant second-year leap. 

Rookie watch: There are no rookie outside linebackers on the roster. 

Bottom line: The main concern about the Redskins’ defense this year revolves around the cornerback spot following the departures of Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland. The best way to manage problematic cornerbacks is by getting a strong pass rush. The Redskins need to Smith to have a true breakout season and for Anderson or McPhee to be a strong contributor off the bench. Along with the improved defensive line, the pass rush could transform the defensive line into a quality unit in 2018. 

2018 Redskins Position Outlook Series