Week 3 Preseason TNF: Eagles vs. Steelers Recap
Week three of the 2014 NFL preseason kicked off on Thursday night, as the Philadelphia Eagles went to war with the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was all Philly early, but some of Pittsburgh’s starters played into the fourth quarter in a 31-21 defeat.
It’s preseason, so the score inevitably means nothing. However, week three is the dress rehearsal for teams, so what we saw here is pretty noteworthy. Let’s see what we can take away from last night’s matchup as we look ahead to week one of the regular season:
Eagles Get Injury Scares
This is why people hate preseason games. Both running back LeSean McCoy and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin sustained injuries in last night’s game, although neither ended up being serious. McCoy exited the game with a thumb injury, but X-rays came back negative and he should be fine for week one. Maclin appeared to mildly hyper-extend his knee on a play where he wasn’t even touched, and it looked like it could have been a serious injury. He was fine and the Eagles kept him out there. He needed the extra snaps, while we may have gotten a dose of his role – he was targeted eight times and caught six passes on the night.
Nick Foles Showed Up
After looking shaky earlier in the preseason, Foles turned his 2014 preseason around and looked pretty solid against a good Steelers defense. Foles started out shaky, but looked good from there, as he connected on 19 of 29 passes (65%) and threw a touchdown against one pick. It’s worth noting that he had three interceptions just during this preseason after throwing two all of last year. Eagles fans can expect a mild regression from his insane 2013 season, but he still showed enough in preseason play to believe he’s still the answer at quarterback.
Darren Sproles Still Has It
Sproles will probably be used mostly as a receiver out of the backfield in Philly, but he showed off his natural running ability last night. While catching just one pass, Sproles was impressive as a true rusher, putting up 33 yards and a score off of six carries on the ground. LeSean McCoy is still the main man at running back for the Eagles, but Sproles clearly is going to have a solid role.
Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount Played into 4th Quarter
Clearly their run-in with the law on Wednesday didn’t impact their status for last night’s game, as both Bell and Blount stayed in for almost the entire game. Whether it’s a sign of things to come or not isn’t clear, but it’s worth noting that they split the rushing load nearly 50/50. Blount ran the ball seven times for 32 yards, while Bell put up 23 yards on nine totes. Blount was oddly used more in the passing game, with three catches to Bell’s one.
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