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Game Blog: Steelers at Eagles

Two-Minute Warning.

Fourth Quarter: Steelers 31, Eagles 14
Scoring Play: Chris Boswell 38-yard field goal.
Scoring Summary: 9-36-5:39

Damoun Patterson, who had a TD reception in the first half, was injured and the last play. Patterson left the field on his own. He returned to the game a play later.

End of Third Quarter: Steelers 28, Eagles 14

Third Quarter:  Steelers 28, Eagles 14
Scoring Play: Chris Boswell 41-yard field goal.
Scoring Summary: 8-58-4:54

Teammates reunite: Mason Rudolph connected with his Oklahoma State teammate James Washington for a 35-yard gain.

WATCH ALERT REMINDER: For the first time, fans located in most Steelers preseason affiliate TV markets can also watch a live stream of the game on their desktop computer. CLICK HERE to see if this live stream is available in your market.

Mason Rudolph has his first completion, a 14-yarder to Damoun Patterson.

Third Quarter:  Steelers 25, Eagles 14
Scoring Play: Chris Boswell 32-yard field goal.

Turnover Alert: Olasunkanmi Adeniyi forced a fumble and Keion Adams recovered.

Halftime: Steelers 22, Eagles 14

Second Quarter:  Steelers 22, Eagles 14
Scoring Play: Joshua Dobbs 29-yard pass to Damoun Patterson.
Scoring Summary: 9-75-1:40

After the score, Patterson scored a perfect 10 with a backflip to celebrate.

B.J. Finney is shaken up on the last play. Walked off the field under his own power, but limping. Finney valuable with Ramon Foster out right now.

Second Quarter:  Steelers 15, Eagles 14
Scoring Play: Nate Sudfeld 63-yard touchdown pass to Shelton Gibson.
Scoring Summary: 3-82-1:17

The Steelers are called for illegal formation on the extra point, the Eagles take the penalty and go for two. The defense holds, and the Eagles take a point off the board by accepting the penalty.

And just that fast the Eagles picked off Joshua Dobbs and got the ball right back.

Turnover Alert: Another interception for the defense. This time Cameron Sutton with the interception and 13-yard return.

Second Quarter:  Steelers 15, Eagles 8
Scoring Play: Fitzgerald Toussaint three-yard touchdown run. Toussaint added the two-point conversion.
Scoring Summary: 11-75-6:08

The Eagles were hit with a 15-yard penalty for leading with the helmet. It's the first time we have seen that penalty tonight. Here is a little more about the rule.

* * *

The rule has been put into place for one reason.

Safety.

The NFL sets the standard for football, and the rule that was put into place this offseason regarding lowering of the helmet, is one that is now the standard in the game.

The rule, approved by NFL ownership in March, states it’s a foul “If a player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent.” The rule goes on to say that contact does not have to be to an opponent’s head or neck area. The foul is lowering the head to make contact with the helmet anywhere, including the opponent’s torso, hips, and lower body.   

The immediate action will be a 15-yard penalty and a first down. It could also result in ejection based on the following standards:
 

  1. Player lowers his helmet to establish a linear body posture prior to initiating and making contact with the helmet
  2. Unobstructed path to his opponent
  3. Contact clearly avoidable and player delivering the blow had other options

To teach the techniques, the NFL established ‘NFL Way to Play,’ an education series about the proper use of the helmet to protect players from injury on all levels. It includes instructional videos from NFL head coaches and former players, as well as offseason training for coaches and NFL officials visiting team’s training camp to educate the players.

“The helmet thing is for all 22 players,” said Tony Steratore while visiting Steelers training camp. “Quarterbacks can’t lead with the crown of their helmets into a defender. No other player on the field, nobody at any time, can legally lead with the crown of their helmet and initiate contact on an opponent to any part of his body, which the video also referred to. This isn’t just for crown to helmet, helmet to helmet. That stuff has been in. That hasn’t changed. That’s going to continue obviously, but this also goes, you can’t lead with the crown of your helmet into the chest of a player or into the thigh or hips of a player. Obviously, that protects the guy who’s making the hit as well as the guy who’s receiving the hit. So when they talk about linear posture – and that’s something that we’ll be looking at as officials that we can do in real time – when we talk about linear posture we’re saying your spine, your neck and your head. If we see that in a linear, horizontal posture, if you see that player who’s looking down at the ground, he’s going to get himself in a linear, dangerous position. We want that out of the game.

“We’re behind that 100 percent. I think a lot has been made of the rule from difficulty in officiating, consistency, all those sorts of things, and I can tell you in 19 years, every single play in this League is a difficult play. It’s difficult to officiate. These guys are some of the best athletes in the world. But we’re looking forward to the challenge from an officiating standpoint to do our part to make the game safer and better for everybody.”

Second Quarter:  Steelers 7, Eagles 8
Scoring Play: Nate Sudfeld 15-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Goedert.
Scoring Summary: 6-46-3:07

The Steelers are called for illegal formation on the extra point, the Eagles take the penalty and go for two and convert.

End of the First Quarter:
Steelers 7, Eagles 0

Landry Jones stats in the first quarter: Completed four of four passes for 83 yards and a touchdown and a 158.3 passer rating.

Josh Dobbs now in at QB for the Steelers.

First Quarter:  Steelers 7, Eagles 0
Scoring Play: Landry Jones 71-yard touchdown pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Scoring Summary: 4-88-2:02

Nice read by Jones on the play seeing the one-on-one coverage.

Coach Tomlin said Landry Jones would play one or two series. With the offense going three-and-out the first two series, he is back for a third series.

It's Game Day Steelers Nation and you have come to the right place for all the latest.

Follow along throughout the night for updates and more from tonight's preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Steelers defense held and we remain scoreless in the first quarter.

Another three-and-out for the offense. Couldn't do anything following the interception.

Landry Jones was sacked on the first series for a loss of nine yards and the Steelers went three-and-out.

Tonight's Weather: Sunny Temp: 91° F, Humidity: 45%, Wind: W 11 mph

WATCH ALERT: For the first time, fans located in most Steelers preseason affiliate TV markets can also watch a live stream of the game on their desktop computer. CLICK HERE to see if this live stream is available in your market.

QB Plan: According to Coach Mike Tomlin, Landry Jones will start at quarterback and will play a series or two. He will be followed up by Josh Dobbs, and then rookie Mason Rudolph will play in the second half.

Butler's Take: The Steelers open the preseason tonight against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field, and while there is still a way to go, defensive coordinator Keith Butler likes what he sees from his unit.

“I think the communication is good,” said Butler. “There is some decent tackling going on. We could be better at that. What we need to do is find out who we’ve got and what they do best.”

That tackling is something that has been a point of emphasis this training camp, especially after the defense finished in the bottom tier in the league in missed tackles last season. It was something that to say the least ticked Butler off.

“Yeah. Very much so,” said Butler. “We could have ended up a whole lot better than we were, possibly help us get to where we want to go. Our goal is the Super Bowl, to get there we have to tackle.

“We practice all of the time. It has to be part of our everyday routine of practicing. It should show up in the game if we keep committing time to it.”

Butler is anxious to see what some of the young players and newcomers can do once the take the field, but one who has impressed him already is first round pick Terrell Edmunds.

“I think Terrell has done a good job for us,” said Butler. “He likes the challenge of it. He does a good job of talking. He understands that he is a young guy, he is growing and listening to the veterans. He has done well. “

I think Morgan Burnett too. We didn’t see him a lot, but what we have seen of him he has done a good job for us. He brings versatility. Not just playing on first and second down, but maybe playing in the box on third down and stuff like that. We have to see if our guys can do that.”

Thursday will be the first real test for a lot of others, and what they put on tape can make a huge difference in the eyes of the coaches.

“We have to find out what we’ve got and what they do best. We’ll find out in the preseason,” said Butler. “I just want to see our young guys, see them compete, see if we have somebody on this team that deserves to make the team. I am going to cater to them as far as how we practice. The other guys are going to do the stuff we are going to do during the season, the younger guys are going to do the stuff we do in the preseason.”

Roster Check: It's the first game of the season and we get it. Everyone is still learning names and numbers, so this link to the Steelers roster will help you as you watch tonight's game. Steelers 2018 Roster.

Rookies Ready: It’s what they have been waiting for since there were drafted by the Steelers a few months ago. An opportunity to go out on the field and show what they are capable of not in a practice setting, but in game action.

The Steelers open the preseason on Thursday night against the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field, and for the team’s rookie class it will be the first time they will have the opportunity to impress in game action.

“I am looking forward to it a lot, just to see how I am feeling before the game starts,” said James Washington. “I know my nerves will be up. That is part of the process, how it goes. It shows how much you care. It gives you that adrenaline rush to start out fast and play aggressive.”

That adrenaline rush is something all of the rookies said they will have. It’s a natural thing.

“It’s exciting. It’s always been a dream of mine to play in the NFL,” said Marcus Allen. “It will be exciting for me. I will have butterflies. I always have butterflies, even when I step on the field. It always happens.”

Coach Mike Tomlin hasn’t announced the rotation at quarterback yet, but Mason Rudolph is looking forward to any opportunity he gets.

“It’s going to be fun to go out there with my new coaches and teammates,” said Rudolph. “It’s exciting. It’s going to be fun. I think we have a good plan together. I feel great. I feel like I am a lot more comfortable. It’s slowing down a lot more. It’s a credit to Coach (Randy) Fichtner, Coach (Matt) Symmes, and the whole offense staff for helping me along.

“People always ask players do you still get nervous. I am such a perfectionist, every game, in warmups, the first drive you are always a little nervous because you expect so much from yourself because you want to rise to the occasion. Once you get in there it’s football, the same game you have been playing for a long time.”

And after weeks, and really the whole offseason of going against their teammates, going against another team is going to be a good change of pace.

“I am excited,” said Chukwuma Okorafor. “Everything is going good. I am learning things, playing better every day. It will nice to finally be able to go out and play a different team. I can’t wait for it.”

A 2018 Preseason game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday August 9, 2018.

The return of football is something the players are looking forward to and will be a welcome opportunity to hit someone other than their own teammates.

Several of them, including some newcomers to the team this offseason, gave their take on game day returning.

Nat Berhe: “I am excited. We finally get to go out there and hit somebody other than ourselves. I am excited about playing defense I am excited about special teams. I can’t wait. Being with a new team, how they warm up, just going through the cycle of being with a new team is really fun.”

Jon Bostic: “As a defense we know we have a long ways to go. We have to keep building each and every day. I am excited to go out there and play with my teammates. We have been grinding since OTAs, into summer, into camp, all this building we have done we are excited to put it on film.”

Tyler Matakevich: “I can’t wait. It’s been a long time since I have had two good arms. I am excited. You are getting to that point where you are hitting the same person every day. I am anxious so I can get out there and hit somebody else, hit someone in a different jersey.”

Mike Hilton: “This is the time we are preparing for. It means the season is around the corner. It’s time to put what we are focusing on on tape and get ready for the regular season. It’s a different type of energy when you are going against your teammates than another opponent. The energy is going to turn up.”

DEPTH CHART - Click for the current depth chart to get a full look at the competition at each position -- DEPTH CHART.

Rule changes: NFL officials have been at Steelers training camp helping the team to understand the rule changes in the league this year, which include the use of the helmet rule and the new kickoff rules. But just like player evaluation, getting accustomed to the new rules is also going to be a focus in the preseason.

“Even the day that we had officials, it was not a full crew, so the perspective on the play of the 22 men is not as thorough as it is in-stadium,” said Tomlin. “The only real opportunity that you get at that is in-stadium and in preseason games. So that is one of many reasons why I say that the preseason games are weighed differently. The cleanliness of the play, the fundamental approach that you take, your hand usage in terms of being clean will be highlighted more so in-stadium than it is out here. Quite frankly because there are more appropriate and professional eyes on you in the stadium from an officiating standpoint. That is just one of the many reasons why I said what I said regarding the weight of the two environments.”

Mason’s first shot: Tomlin didn’t indicate what the rotation would be at quarterback, the only thing he is certain of is Ben Roethlisberger won’t play. But the plan is to get some playing time for rookie Mason Rudolph to see what the rookie can do.

“Mason’s done a really good job, but again, he hasn’t been hit,” said Tomlin. “There will be attempts to hit him on Thursday night, so stay tuned man because that’s another one of the reasons why this is weighted differently. An offense’s ability to maintain possession of the ball, or ball security, is much more difficult in-stadium than it is in a training camp environment because a training camp environment is controlled in a lot of ways, you don’t touch or get close to the quarterback for instance. So, a quarterback’s ability to secure the football really doesn’t get tested until they play preseason football in-stadium. That’s why these opportunities are so precious because that is a big element of the evaluation process of the position.”

A 2018 Preseason game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday August 9, 2018.

Evaluation process: The Steelers open the preseason against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field, and it will be the first opportunity for some young players to take what they have shown on the practice field at Saint Vincent College into a stadium where the evaluation process changes some.

“You only get four of these opportunities to state a case for yourself,” said Coach Mike Tomlin. “We recognize that what they do in-stadium is weighted a little bit differently than what happens out here. That is just the nature of this evaluation process. This preseason is about moving from 90 to 53. It is a big day for us. This first time out is about playing good, clean, fundamental football. It is about what we do and the quality in which we do it as opposed to who we are playing and their motive attack and so forth.

“What happens out here (in practice) counts because what usually happens out here is a pretty good indication of what is going to happen in the stadium. Very rarely are you drastically surprised, positively or negatively, and see a performance in-stadium that is not in some way revealed to you out here. I do not want to make more out of it than what it is. It is weighed differently but they are interrelated. They are tied to one another. This sets the stage for what happens in stadiums. Not only in terms of performance, but I am looking for displays of awareness, situational awareness. We worked a lot of situational football particularly over the last week that we have been up here. I want to see that awareness show in stadiums as we are moving the ball and playing legitimate football.”

WATCH

Local broadcast on KDKA-TV – Game coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET; Pregame coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on Pittsburgh’s CW; Postgame coverage starts immediately following the game on KDKA-TV

  • Bob Pompeani (play-by-play), Charlie Batch (color) and Missi Matthews (sideline) are on the call.
  • Not in the Pittsburgh market? Click here to see a list of the Steelers preseason TV network affiliates.
  • For the first time, fans located in most Steelers preseason affiliate markets can also watch a live stream of the game on their desktop computer. The online stream is not available in Hawaii or Alaska.
  • Not in any of the Steelers preseason TV affiliate markets? Watch LIVE preseason games and replays of all regular season games online with NFL Gamepass.

LISTEN

  • Steelers Radio Network - Game coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET; Pregame programming begins at 3:00 p.m.; Postgame coverage starts immediately following the game.
  • Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play), Tunch Ilkin (color analyst) and Craig Wolfley (sideline) are on the call.
  • Fans in the Pittsburgh area can listen locally on WDVE 102.5 FM & WBGG 970 AM.
  • The Steelers Radio Network will broadcast the game live through our radio affiliates. Click here for a list of our radio affiliates.
  • The game broadcast is also carried on Steelers Nation Radio (SNR). SNR is streamed on Steelers.com and the Official Steelers Mobile App. Fans can listen to the game broadcast on SNR from anywhere in the world on Steelers.com. NFL geographical restrictions apply to the Mobile App stream.

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