Eagles lose to Steelers 24-16 in first preseason game

Posted on August 13, 2021

Football in Philadelphia is back, and the Eagles wasted no time picking up where they left off last season. Despite some impressive performances from several backups, the Eagles were unable to hold on to the lead they created in the first half, eventually falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-16.

First Quarter

On the second play of the game, Jalen Hurts completed a 34 yard pass to Dallas Goedert, who created some nice separation. On 3rd and 7 that drive, Hurts threw a pass straight into the hands of Zach Ertz, but he couldn’t bring it in. Despite the missed opportunity, Jake Elliott makes the 47-yard kick. Good start for a player who struggled last season. Eagles 3-0

Following a stop by the defense on the Steelers’ first drive of the season, the Eagles started their second drive at their 2-yard line. Hurts attempted a deep pass to Quez Watkins, who beat the coverage, but couldn’t connect as it fell in front of him. Would have been encouraging to see them execute that play. The drive eventually ended in a punt.

Despite Michael Jacquet allowing a 30-yard pass, the Eagles were able to once again hold the Steelers on their second drive. Nice start by both the starters and backups on defense.

On the Eagles’ third drive, Joe Flacco came in for Jalen Hurts. Only a few plays into the drive, Flacco hit Watkins on a screen for a 79-yard score touchdown reception. Watkins really showed off his speed. Eagles 10-0

Second Quarter

Once again, strong defense to start the second. On a 3rd and 7, T.Y. McGill gets the sack. At this point, Steelers had only gained 83 yards in ten minutes of possession.

Mostly good stuff on the Eagles’ first drive of the quarter. Flacco completed 4/6 passes, and Kenny Gainwell looked good in his debut with 15 total yards. Eagles couldn’t complete a 3rd and 4, so they settle for an Elliot 47-yarder. Eagles 13-0

Late in the quarter, old friend Dwayne Haskins put together a solid drive, leading Pittsburgh to the red zone. Zech McPhearson broke up a would-be touchdown in the end zone, but was called for interference. The Steelers would then score on the next play thanks to a 1-yard run by Anthony McFarland. Eagles 13-7

With less than two minutes remaining and the offense starting at the 14, it took just over a minute for Philadelphia to get to the 50-yard line. Gainwell once again showed solid play by breaking some tackles. However, the offense couldn’t get past the 31-yard line with 17 seconds remaining. Elliott makes a 50-yard field goal, his third of the game. Eagles 16-7

Third Quarter

The Steelers were able to get things moving on their first drive of the second half. Shaun Bradley had a nice run stop on a 2nd and 3, but the Steelers were able to get the first and a 15-yard penalty on the following play.

On 3rd and 11 at the Eagles’ 22, Philadelphia had a complete defensive collapse. First, there was an offsides by JaQuan Bailey, which meant a free play. That ended up not mattering, as the Steelers were able to find receiver Anthony Johnson wide open in the end zone. Really ugly blown coverage. Eagles 16-14

Nick Mullins came in for Flacco, and was promptly pressured and intercepted by Justin Layne. It was the first turnover of the game. The Steelers capitalized, pushing down the field and scoring another rushing touchdown (courtesy of Jaylen Samuels). Steelers 21-16

Fourth Quarter

The Steelers began the quarter by continuing a drive that started late in the third. While the Eagles were able to make a stop at their 4-yard line, Pittsburgh kicked a 22-yard field goal, adding to their lead. Steelers 24-16

Midway through the fourth, Joshua Dobbs entered for Haskins. Like Mullins, Dobbs started off his appearance by tossing an interception, caught by Elijah Riley. This gave the Eagles the ball at Pittsburgh’s 29-yard line.

However, this moment proved to be fleeting. Mullins threw his second interception of the game three plays following the turnover, giving the Steelers back the ball. Mullins finished the day with a stat line of 1/5 with just 4 passing yards. A horrible showing that could cost him a roster spot come cutdown day.

The Eagles wouldn’t get the ball back, as the Steelers were able to secure enough first downs to wind down the clock. The Eagles are now 0-1 in the preseason, and unofficially 0-1 in the Nick Sirianni era.

Top Performers

  • QB Joe Flacco: 10/17, 178 yards, 1 TD, 114.3 QBR
  • WR Quez Watkins: 1 reception, 79 yards, 1 TD
  • LB Alex Singleton: 7 total tackles
  • K Jake Elliot: 3/3 FG (47, 47, 50)
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Drew Rhoades

If there’s one thing you need to know about Drew Rhoades, it’s that he knows Philadelphia sports. A graduate from Saint Joseph’s University, Rhoades has previously written about Hawk sports for The Hawk Newspaper and covered baseball at Phillies Nation. In his spare time, he loves to volunteer at his local animal shelter and bike.

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