The Eagles travel across the state to Pittsburgh, taking on the Steelers at 1PM on FOX. If the Eagles come away with a win, it will set them up nicely to take control of the NFC East. With pieces slowly getting back healthy, a win seems more likely than a couple of weeks ago. How do the Eagles come out of Pittsburgh with a win on Sunday? The weather may help, but let’s take a deeper look.
Run Defense and Pass Rush Excel
The Eagles have generated the most sacks (17) in the NFL throughout the first quarter of 2020. The defensive line is back to its ways and trying to cover up for a weak linebacker corps. The Steelers have given up five sacks through three games so far. If the Eagles can generate a pass rush, as they have the past two weeks, good things will happen — including turnovers.
Sunday‘s forecast is calling for rain, as Hurricane Delta makes it’s way up the country. While hurricane rain is not expected, the ball will be wet for the majority of the game on Sunday. This means that both teams will try to get their run games going. The Eagles are ranked 12th in the NFL in 2020 against the run. Look for the Eagles to bring heavy boxes if the rain begins to fall steadily.
Protect Carson Wentz, Get Ball Out Early
The Eagles (17) may lead the league in sacks, but the Steelers (15) are right on their heels in 2nd place. The Steelers also own the leagues best rushing defense, allowing less than 100 yards per game. Ideally, the Birds can get the run game going, to set up the play-action pass. However, the Eagles need to be careful with Wentz and ensure he is getting the ball out of his hands and into his receiver's hands with space. Expect the Eagles to try and get the wide receiver and running back screens going to stymy the league's best overall defense.
Go 1-0 This Week
The Eagles need to be 1-0 this week in a number of ways. First and most obvious — win the game. Also, the Eagles must win the turnover battle. Force Big Ben into throwing interceptions — something he has done in the past when pressured. Something Jim Schwartz has done at times was display an amoeba defense — so the quarterback has a tougher time finding blitzers.
With a win Sunday, and hopefully a Giants win against the Cowboys, the Eagles can find themselves with some breathing room atop the NFC East.