Cheat Sheet: Steelers at Eagles

HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN

  • TV coverage: Broadcast nationally on CBS (KDKA-TV locally in Pittsburgh).
  • Steelers Radio Network - Game coverage begins at 1:00 p.m. ET; Pregame programming begins at 9:00 a.m.; Postgame coverage starts immediately following the game.
  • Don't miss a minute of the action... check out all of the ways that you can watch, listen and follow along on gameday. Click here >>>

INJURY UPDATE

The Steelers are on the road as they face the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.
Check out the most updated Injury Report: Click here >>>

SERIES HISTORY

Dating back to 1933, these cross-state rivals have met 80 times. There are three ties in series. Philadelphia has won 48 of the remaining 77 matchups. There is only one post season meeting between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, a divisional playoff win by the Eagles. Before 1940, Philadelphia won six of those 13 meetings over the then-Pittsburgh Pirates. The most recent five meetings have gone back in forth without winning streaks, but the Steelers did win the most recent meeting in 2020. Between 1964 and 2000, the Eagles won 13 of 17. And between a stretch starting in 1947 and finishing in 1954, the Eagles were 13-2. But during World War II when these two franchises combined forces in 1943, the Steagles were 5-4-1. That was that Philadelphia's first winning season as a professional football team. Mike Tomlin is 2-2 against the Eagles, winning both games in Pittsburgh and losing both in Philadelphia.

MATCHUP OVERVIEW

  • The Eagles are coming off their bye and have yet to lose a game this year. The Eagles are plus-56 in point differential compared to minus-55 for the Steelers.
  • Philadelphia's offense is producing 5.6 yards per play compared to 4.8 by the Steelers. The Eagles defense surrenders just 4.7 yards per play. Pittsburgh gives up 5.7.
  • The collective record of the Steelers' seven opponents is 26-21 going into Week 8. They also collectively have a plus-150-point differential. If you include the Eagles, that jumps to 32-21 and plus-206.
  • The average Eagles game this year ends with a final score in Philadelphia's favor of 26.8-17.5.
  • Philadelphia has won six of its last seven home games with the only loss coming in Week 18 of last year, a game in which Philadelphia rested starters to prepare for the playoffs the following week.
  • The Eagles are blowing the rest of the league away right now in turnover differential. They have taken the ball away a dozen more times than they have given it away. The next best team in the league is plus-6. They have the NFL's most takeaways and the second-most interceptions. Offensively, the Eagles have yet to lose a fumble and have thrown just two interceptions. They are the only offense in the league with under four turnovers. But only the Bills and Eagles defenses have more interceptions than Pittsburgh.
  • Since 1940, the Eagles are the only team with 14 or more takeaways and two or fewer giveaways through the first six games of the season.
  • The Steelers possess the football for 29 minutes per game. However, the Eagles are best in the league by a wide margin here. Their time of possession is 33:59.
  • In terms of rushing first downs this year, the Eagles have generated 61 compared to just 35 by their collective opponents.
  • Philadelphia's offense averages 8.2 yards per pass attempt. Their defense surrenders 5.5 yards per pass attempt.
  • The Eagles have run the ball 225 times this year. Their opponents have just 132 rushing attempts. However, Philadelphia rushes for 4.2 yards per attempt, but gives up 5.0 yards per rush.
  • The Eagles begin drives with the NFL's eighth best field position. Philadelphia's defense starts with the league's best field position. Only the Saints defense starts in a more precarious spot on the field on average than Pittsburgh's defense.
  • In the second quarter of games this year, Philadelphia has outscored opponents 112-27. That is the most points scored by any team in any quarter of play this year and the Eagles have played one less game than many teams. 70 percent of the Eagles' points have come in the second quarter of games. No other team has scored even 50 percent of their points in an isolated quarter of play.
  • Based on yardage, the Eagles and Bills are the only two teams ranked in the top five in offense and defense.
  • If the Eagles get a win on Sunday, it will be the best start in their franchise's history.
  • Since the 1970 NFL merger, rookie quarterbacks have won just three of the 15 meetings against a team that entered the game at 6-0 or better. Two of those three wins belong to Ben Roethlisberger and one his wins was against the Eagles.

WHEN PITTSBURGH HAS THE BALL

  • On a points per drive basis, only four defenses are better than Philadelphia's.
  • Philadelphia's defensive EPA is fourth behind the Cowboys, Broncos, and Bills, but their defensive EPA per dropback is only behind Buffalo. And their EPA against the run is 25th.
  • The Eagles pass defense is the best in the NFL in completion rate (56.8 percent) and is second best (5.5) in yards per attempt allowed.
  • When throwing between the numbers on Sunday night, Pickett completed 10 of his 12 attempts.
  • George Pickens is now the Steelers' leading receiver in terms of yardage. Yet three of his teammates have been targeted more frequently.
  • Pickens produces 1.35 yards per route run. Diontae Johnson comes in at 1.23 and Chase Claypool at 1.02.
  • Both Pickens and Johnson are aligning out wide on 90 percent of their snaps.
  • Pickens is averaging 18.6 yards per quarter of play with Pickett, which extrapolates out to 74.3 receiving yards per game.
  • Pickett's target distribution on his 127 career passing attempts: Johnson (31), Pickens (22), Claypool (20), Freiermuth (15) and Najee Harris (10).
  • Pickett has completed 87 percent of his passes when targeting Freiermuth. Freiermuth has been targeted on 25 percent of his routes. That is the third highest among all tight ends that have run at least 100 routes. And Freiermuth's 1.89 yards per route run is fourth-best at his position.
  • The Eagles are tough against opposing tight ends though. They allow just 5.7 yards per target to the position, which is fourth best in the league.
  • The Eagles are one of seven teams that have five different defensive players with multiple sacks. As a team, Philadelphia has the eighth most sacks in the league.
  • Philadelphia's opponents run the ball just 35 percent of the time. That is the second-lowest rate in the league.
  • Najee Harris is rushing for 47 yards per game. Over the past two games, he is gotten 89 and 83 percent of the backfield touches. Harris' 20 touches last week were his high for the season.
  • Only three defenses are worse on third downs than the Eagles, as their opponents are converting on 44.6 percent of their attempts.
  • Philadelphia's defense has been on the field for 391 snaps this year. But they only have four defensive players, Marcus Epps, James Bradberry, TJ Edwards and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson who have played 372 snaps or more.
  • Five interior defensive linemen have played between 133 and 248 snaps for the Eagles in 2022.

WHEN PHILADELPHIA HAS THE BALL

  • Only the Bills are averaging more points produced per drive than Philadelphia's offense. Three offenses are producing more points per game.
  • The Eagles rank only behind Kansas City and Buffalo in EPA per play.
  • Just seven quarterbacks rank ahead of Jalen Hurts in EPA per play. Philadelphia's 8.2 yards gained per pass attempt tops the NFL.
  • During the first four weeks of the year, Hurts was blitzed on 33 percent of his dropbacks. Since then, the opposition has brought five or more pass-rushers at Hurts at a 49 percent clip. His yards per pass attempt dropped in each of the last three games. He has a league-low 4.9 depth of target when blitzed and is 25th in EPA per dropback vs. five or more pass-rushers. His average depth of target is 7.6 yards downfield when Hurts isn't blitzed.
  • Just 7.1 percent of Hurts' passes have been 20 or more yards downfield. That is ahead of only three other starting quarterbacks this year. In fact, Hurts' average distance his pass travels have decreased by 2.1 yards from last year and his average time to throw has sped up by .36 seconds.
  • In AJ Brown (503), Devonta Smith (397), and Dallas Goedert (357), the Eagles have three pass catchers with at least 350 receiving yards through six games. Only two other teams have three pass catchers with at least 350 yards, and the Eagles have already had their bye.
  • Brown has been targeted at least seven times in every game this year. Over the past four weeks Brown and Smith have alternated getting at least a 30-percent target share. However, Brown's 30.5 percent target share for the season is the sixth highest in the NFL even though he only has 11 receptions in the second half of games this year.
  • Brown has aligned in the slot for 50 snaps, Smith for 47. Smith has lined up wide for 191 plays. Brown has been outside for 162 snaps.
  • In terms of yards per route run, Brown sits at 2.5, and Smith comes in at 1.85.
  • Goedert has played 389 of a possible 444 snaps this year. No other Eagles tight end has surpassed 178 snaps played. He has over 1,000 receiving yards over his past 17 games. His 23.8 percent target share is the sixth highest amongst NFL tight ends, and he is fifth at the position in yards per route run (1.84). He has more yardage after the catch than any tight end in the league. But Goedert only has eight catches in the second half of games this year.
  • Like Philadelphia, the Steelers have been stingy against opposing tight ends. They rank ninth in yards per target and fifth in catch rate against tight ends.
  • Since 2021, Pittsburgh produces a sack on 9.9 percent of the dropbacks that TJ Watt plays, and 5 percent when he isn't out there.
  • The Eagles run the ball 53 percent of their snaps. That is the third-highest rate in the NFL.
  • Miles Sanders is the only Eagles running back with over 100 rushing yards this year. He leads the team with 485 yards on the ground, but Hurts has chipped in mightily with 293 rushing yards of his own.
  • Sanders' 80.8 rushing yards per game ranks seventh in the league, and Hurts' 48.8 is fourth amongst quarterbacks. Sanders has 101 touches over the past five games.
  • Hurts' six rushing touchdowns are most amongst all quarterbacks and tied for second overall. He has 19 rushing touchdowns in his 25 NFL games started.
  • Since 2021, the Eagles have 38 rushing touchdowns. That leads the league during that time and is five more than any other franchise.
  • The Eagles have gone for it on fourth down on 13 occasions already this season. They have converted nine.
  • Philadelphia's offense averaged 70.7 plays run per game, the most in the league. The Steelers' opponents snap the ball on average 68.9 times per game, the highest in the league.
  • 10.8 percent of the Eagles' drives have resulted in a three and out. That is the second-best in the NFL.
  • The Eagles are first in the league in points per drive (3.51) in the first half of games. But in the second half of play, Philadelphia averages just 1.17 points per drive. That ranks 29th.

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • On kickoffs, the Eagles produce 15 yards per return. But they allow 25.6. 
  • Here is an update on the Steelers special teams snaps to date. Nine members of the team have contributed 84 or more snaps in this phase. But there are five Steelers that truly make up the core of Pittsburgh's special teams. Mile Killebrew leads the team with 129 special teams snaps, quickly followed by Benny Snell and Derek Watt at 128. Jamir Jones has played 126 and Connor Heyward has been on the field for 123 plays in the kicking game.

THE ADVANCED SCOUT PODCAST

Check out Matt's podcast preview on the Eagles: Listen Here >>>

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT

November 12th, 2000: Eagles 26, Steelers 23, Three Rivers Stadium

This isn't an easy series to find the most memorable moment-mostly because so many of the matchups took place so very long ago. This was probably the most painful Steelers loss in the series. The Eagles were down 23-13 in the fourth quarter with first year full-time starting quarterback Donovan McNabb at the helm. Philadelphia had under 100 yards of offense at the point and McNabb was struggling. McNabb caught fire and the Eagles recovered an onside kick to complete the comeback in a game that Jerome Bettis dominated with 134 yards on the ground. The Steelers had 141 yards in penalties, not helping their cause. The Steelers went on to miss the playoffs that year by a single win.

FACTS FROM NFL RESEARCH

  • Alex Highsmith leads Steelers with 6.5 sacks in 2022 (4th-most in NFL) - Career high in sacks (had 6.0 in 16 games in 2021)
  • Minkah Fitzpatrick has 3 INT in 2022 (T-3rd in NFL) - 14 INT since 2019 (T-4th in NFL, T-1st among safeties)
  • George Pickens leads the Steelers with 338 rec yards in 2022 - 6th-most by PIT rookie through 7 career games since 1950 - 26 receptions (3rd-most by PIT rookie in first 7 games since 1950) - Scored first career rec TD in Week 7
  • Diontae Johnson leads the Steelers with 67 targets & 38 receptions in 2022
  • Najee Harris leads team with 415 scrimmage yards and 3 scrimmage TD

KEY MATCHUPS

  • Eagles TE Dallas Goedert vs. Steelers S Terrell Edmunds - The Eagles can do damage through the air and on the ground. In the passing game, Philadelphia's top two wide receivers demand a lot of attention, as does Goedert, who is having a fantastic season. Defending all three is a real chore. If this offense has an area to possibly exploit, it is how they handle blitz, something Hurts has struggled with this year. If the Steelers do blitz a high percentage of Hurts' dropbacks, that most likely leaves Edmunds matched up against Goedert. No tight end in the NFC has more yardage this year than Goedert, even with last week's bye factored in. 
  • Steelers Interior OL vs. Eagles DTs - No one in the league has interior defensive linemen like the Eagles. This year's first-round pick, Jordan Davis, is just a massive human being with very rare movement skills for someone that large. On the other hand, last year's third-round pick, Milton Williams, is much smaller than Davis - but just as freaky an athlete for someone his size. Steelers fans are very familiar with what Javon Hargrave brings to the table. And he is playing better than ever right now. Fletcher Cox has a strong case for the Hall of Fame someday and greatly benefits from having this rotation to get the best snaps from the 31-year-old leader of this unit group of defensive tackles. Pittsburgh's interior offensive line is going to have its hands full and this outcome will have huge ramifications on the final score of this game.
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