The Eagles extinguished the flame surrounding the Steelers Offense in what was a dominant game..from the poise of Carson Wentz to the ruthlessness on the other side of the ball, this was a complete performance from the Eagles. In a game so one-sided, there are always going to be some interesting stats, but here are five of the most interesting.
The Wentz wagon is rolling:
Carson Wentz just doesn’t stop impressing. In just his third NFL start, Wentz threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns, sending a surge of belief through the City of Brotherly Love. It’s simply staggering that against a Defense designed to confuse the rookie while not surrendering the big play, Wentz averaged 9.7 yards per pass and completed 74% of his passes.
The poise shown by Wentz has been incredible..but to attack such a complex Defense with as much intricacy and strategy as he did without ever taking an unnecessary risk or making a big mistake was nothing short of mesmerizing..something reflected perfectly in his stat line.
DeAngelo’s disappearing act:
In the absence of Le’Veon Bell, DeAngelo Williams has done a fine job. Leading the league in rushing coming into this matchup and averaging over 4 yards per carry, the veteran has been vital in sustaining drives and making something happen. The importance of his presence was shown when the Steelers were unable to score a touchdown due to the Eagles ability to shut down the run.
21 yards is all Williams could muster at Lincoln Financial Field, averaging just 2.6 yards per carry..a complete contrast to what we’ve seen so far. The Eagles didn’t just shut down the run, they buried it. As a result, the Steelers were forced to rely on Big Ben who was consistently hounded by the ruthless Eagles pass rush.
Williams was never able to establish any momentum for the Steelers on the ground..giving them nightmares Offensively and contributing to their stagnancy..and it’s all thanks to the Eagles Defense.
A change of heart:
I’ll only touch on this briefly as I will be writing an in-depth feature on this tomorrow, but Pederson went in a different direction completely today when it came to his backfield..and it made all the difference.
Darren Sproles led the Eagles in receiving with 128 yards while fifth-round pick Wendell Smallwood carried the ball a stunning 17 times for 79 yards. The versatility of the Eagles backfield was called upon against the Steelers..and with good reason. The team dominated with screen passes and short looks out of the backfield while constantly changing pace with the likes of Barner and Smallwood. Wentz had more weapons at his disposal than he had previously and this helped give the Offense an unpredictable feel on each and every drive..contributing massively to their success.
In fact, out of the total 426 yards, 243 came from running backs. Even though the Eagles struggled to find momentum on the ground early on..they came out swinging in ways the Steelers weren’t expecting.
The Eagles secondary has been a cause for concern through the past two weeks but has come away unscathed. Against the Steelers, the secondary accounted for ten pass deflections as they helped keep the Steelers out of the endzone.
After some cornerback struggles last week without the services of Leodis McKelvin, both Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod were able to make plays all over the field and support the cornerbacks heavily against such a high-powered Offense.
We will have a complete cornerback analysis/grading All-22 dropping later this week..but the entire Secondary showed up big time against Pittsburgh..and knocking a total of ten passes out of the air played a big factor in the dominant Defensive display.
Time of possession:
For the third consecutive week, the Eagles amassed over 35 minutes of possession..which against an offense so powerful is beyond impressive. The birds lead the league in this category and it’s contributed greatly to their incredible Offensive success..but it cannot be overlooked.
Pederson’s game management and ability to balance risk with reward in order to keep the Steelers Offense on the sidelines was just as important as the accuracy of Wentz or unrelenting motor of Schwartz and his Defense.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports