The marquee matchup for the NFL in Week 3 proved to be a one-sided affair, as the Philadelphia Eagles obliterated the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-3 on Sunday afternoon. The game seemed to be a family affair on offense and defense, with just about every key Eagles player contributing in some fashion. The Eagles were led by wunderkind Carson Wentz, who put together another amazing outing, going 23 for 31 with 301 yards passing and 2 touchdowns and again, no interceptions thrown. Wentz has thrown the ball 102 times over the first 3 games of his NFL career without any interceptions, a record until Cowboys rookie QB Dak Prescott broke it during Dallas’ Sunday night tilt with the Chicago Bears. Until one of them throws an interception, they will continue to battle for the record.
The Eagles had some new faces running the ball in 5th-round pick Wendell Smallwood who led the team with 79 yards on 17 carries and a score, along with Kenjon Barner who contributed 42 yards on 8 carries with another touchdown. Not to be outdone by his position mates, wily vet Darren Sproles was the Eagles’ leading receiver, with 6 receptions for 128 yards, which included a beautiful 73 yard touchdown catch and run in the 3rd quarter. Brent Celek, Nelson Agholor, Jordan Matthews, Dorial Green-Beckham, and even Josh Huff all contributed with catches.
Seemingly the only Eagle not contributing on offense was Ryan Mathews, the catalyst of so much of the Eagles’ scoring over the first two weeks of the season. After the game it was revealed Mathews’ ankle was giving him problems and kept him from playing for most of the game. Mathews had 2 carries for -5 yards Sunday.
The defense was stout; the new normal under new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who kept the prolific Steelers offense under wraps most of the game. The Steelers running attack, traditionally the cornerstone of the franchise, was largely ineffective Sunday, being held to just 29 yards rushing on 10 carries. Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers’ Super Bowl winning quarterback, seemed like he was lost all game. Though he managed to complete 24 passes on 44 attempts for 257 yards, drives would stall once the Steelers got to the Eagles’ side of the field, and the Eagles defense surrendered only a meager 3 points throughout the entire contest. Ben turned the ball over twice, once on a fumble and once on an interception by Rodney McLeod, and was sacked 4 times throughout the contest. The only productive Steeler was wide receiver Antonio Brown, who had the quietest 12 catches for 140 yards ever seen. Even the Eagles’ special teams contributed in large fashion, blocking a Chris Boswell kick.
Before the game started, it had a big fight feel similar to the matchup between the two teams in 2004, Roesthlisberger’s rookie season. The 7-0 Eagles traveled to 7-1 Pittsburgh and were blown out on the road. This game featured the infamous Terrell Owens – Donovan McNabb sideline sideshow, a foreshadowing of things to come in Philly. Ultimately, it featured the same result of that game: a blowout victory by the home team. The Eagles take Week 4 off and return at home against the Detroit Lions on October 9.