After a week one outing in which they beat up the Houston Texans, the last two weeks the Steelers offensive line has taken major steps backwards, and today they were slammed by an Eagles defense that took apart Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers in a 15-6 loss. It was the first loss of the season for the Steelers, as they fall to 2-1. The Eagles improve to 2-1, coming off a setback Monday night in Dallas.
Roethlisberger ran for his life all day, as the Eagles blitzed just about every down. He ended up being sacked 8 times, was rushed all day, and never got the offense in any sort of flow. The team only managed 180 yards of offense, 14 first downs, and 33 yards rushing. Roethlisberger was 13-for-25 for 131 yards and was sacked 8 times for 35 yards. Bryon Leftwich finished up in the final drive for the Steelers, going 4-for-7 for 60 yards and was also sacked.
The defense put forth a good effort, and held the Eagles to just one TD and two field goals. Donovan McNabb started red-hot for the Eagles, and after getting hurt for a portion of the second half, recovered and led the team on a field goal drive after Roethlisberger was called for grounding in the end zone that made it 12-6. The drive that ended with a David Akers 31-yard field goal iced the game with 2:26 to go and made it 15-6.
The only Steelers points came on the foot of Jeff Reed, as he kicked a 37-yard field goal with 2:55 left in the first quarter to make it 3-0, and then bombed a career high 53-yard kick with 0:13 left in the first half that cut the Eagles lead to 10-6. Philly had scored on a McNabb pass to Correll Buckhalter that went for 20 yards and made it 7-3 at the 9:23 mark of the second quarter. Akers hit his first field goal with 2:36 left in the half to make it 10-3.
Both teams were physical, but it was the Eagles that hit just a bit harder, and came after Ben all day and forced him into poor throws and knocked him down too many times to count. The O-line should be ashamed of themselves for this type of outing, and while the Eagles are good on defense, the Steelers today made that unit look flat out great.
Next week the Steelers are at home on Monday night to take on the reborn Ravens, who are 2-0 after trouncing the Browns. The Eagles are at Chicago for Sunday night football to take on the 1-2 Bears.