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Winners and Losers from the Steelers' 38-29 win over the Eagles

Updated: 3 days ago



Winners

Chase Claypool – Claypool rushed in for a touchdown on a jet sweep from two yards out in the first quarter to give the Steelers a 7-0 lead. Claypool capped off a 14-play, 62-yard scoring drive by the offense that took 7:07 off the clock. On the next Steelers’ possession, Claypool had a 15-yard reception to move the chains on third-and-11 and then finished off the drive with a 32-yard touchdown reception to give the Steelers a 14-7 lead in the second quarter. On back-to-back drives, the Steelers scored a touchdown thanks to Claypool, one on the ground and the other through the air. Claypool is the first Steelers' rookie to have a rushing touchdown and touchdown reception in the same game since Franco Harris in 1972. He’s also the first Steelers wide receiver with a rushing touchdown and touchdown reception in the same game since Hines Ward in Week 9 of 2004 which also just happened to be against the Eagles, according to ESPN Stats & Info. Claypool would add to his impressive day when he had a 5-yard touchdown reception off a screen pass on the Steelers’ opening drive after halftime to give the Steelers a 24-14 lead. Claypool is the fourth rookie with two receiving touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in a single game since 1970. He joins Kareem Hunt (2017), Joey Galloway (1995) and Lynn Cain (1979). Galloway was the only other wide receiver to accomplish the feat. On third-and-8 at the Eagles’ 35-yard line with the Steelers leading 31-29 late in the fourth quarter, Roethlisberger completed to Claypool for a 35-yard touchdown to give the Steelers a 38-29 lead which they wouldn’t squander. It was Claypool’s fourth touchdown of the game becoming the first Steeler to score four touchdowns in a game since Roy Jefferson did it against Atlanta on Nov. 3, 1968. Claypool is the only Steelers’ rookie to ever score four touchdowns in a game. Claypool joins Jerry Butler (1979) and Harlon Hill (1954) as the only rookie wide receivers with four touchdowns in a single game in NFL history. All in all, Claypool had seven receptions for 110 yards and three touchdowns, an average of 15.7 yards per reception. On the ground, Claypool had three rushes for six yards and a score. Claypool could have had even a bigger day if not for a close review that negated a 33-yard sideline catch and then on the following drive, a weak offensive pass interference penalty against him on what would have been a 42-yard touchdown reception.


T.J. Watt - Watt continues to dominate this season and created havoc all day against the Eagles’ depleted offensive line. Watt had three total tackles, a sack, three tackles for a loss and three quarterback hits.

Ben Roethlisberger – Roethlisberger had his best game of the season, completing 27 of 34 passes (79.4%) for 239 yards three touchdowns, zero interceptions and a quarterback rating of 125.4. He now has a 10-1 touchdown/interception ratio this season. Roethlisberger as he’s been all season was efficient and didn’t force unnecessary passes. Roethlisberger was 13 of 13 for 158 yards and had two touchdowns on third down.


Ray-Ray McCloud – McCloud has been impressive when returning the ball this season and he was involved more in the offense today. McCloud had an explosive play on an end-around that resulted in a 58-yard run on the Steelers’ opening possession after halftime to set the Steelers up at Philadelphia’s 5-yard line. Two plays later, Claypool would score on a 5-yard touchdown reception.

Steven Nelson – After Claypool’s third touchdown of the day to give the Steelers a 24-14 lead in the third quarter, Steven Nelson picked off an ill-advised pass by Wentz. The offense would capitalize off Nelson’s interception and James Conner would rush in for a 1-yard score to give the Steelers a 31-14 lead. The Steelers scored 30 points for the first time since Dec. 2, 2018, against the Chargers. With the Steelers leading 38-29 late in the fourth quarter, Wentz threw up a prayer on fourth-and-20 and Nelson came down with his second interception of the game.

Stephon Tuitt – Late in the fourth quarter with the Eagles trailing 31-29 and at the Steelers’ 44-yard line, Tuitt sacked Wentz for a loss of three. Wentz had a receiver open downfield and it could have resulted in a touchdown. Jake Elliot ended up missing a 57-yard field goal on the drive. Tuitt finished the game with five total tackles, 1.5 sacks, a tackle for loss and three quarterback hits.

Pass rush – The Steelers’ pass rush continues to be impressive this year, as they sacked Wentz five times today and have a league-high 20 sacks on the year. Through four games, the Steelers are averaging five sacks per game. If they keep on this pace, they’ll finish the season with 80 sacks. With five sacks and two interceptions in their victory today, the Steelers

became the fourth team since 2000 with three-plus sacks and an interception in each of their first four games of a season. They join the 2018 Bears, 2016 Broncos and 2009 Broncos. The Steelers have recorded at least one sack in 61 consecutive games, which is tied for the second-longest streak in NFL history.


Offensive line – Going up against one of the best defensive lines in the league, the offensive line allowed just one sack and two quarterback hits. The Eagles led the league in sacks with 17 heading into the game.


Third-down offense – The Steelers were an impressive 11 of 15 on third down. No third-down conversion was bigger than Roethlisberger's 35-yard touchdown pass to Claypool to close out the game on third-and-8.

Losers

The defense – After the Claypool rushing touchdown, Miles Sanders on a draw rushed for a 74-yard touchdown on third-and-9. The draw play on third and long really just caught the Steelers off guard and Sanders had good blocking downfield by his wide receivers to break off the big run. Mike Hilton missed a tackle on the play which would have prevented Sanders from even making the first down. Sanders' 74-yard touchdown was the longest run allowed by the Steelers since Leonard Fournette's 90-yard rushing touchdown in 2017. On the next Eagles possession after another Claypool touchdown, the Steelers let the Eagles drive down the field on a 10-play, 76-yard drive that was capped by a 1-yard rushing touchdown by Sanders. The drive was kept alive when Bud Dupree missed a sack on Wentz and he completed to Travis Fulgham for nine yards on third-and-3. On top of that, Vince Williams was called for roughing the passer. The Eagles would take advantage of the Steelers’ mistakes and Wentz completed to Fulgham for 18 yards on the very next play and would complete to Zack Ertz for six yards on third-and-4 to set up first-and-goal and Sanders’ rushing touchdown. Down 31-14 in the third quarter following the Steelers two consecutive touchdowns, Wentz completed to Fulgham for 31 yards on third-and-12. Joe Haden got called for pass interference to give the Eagles the ball on the Steelers’ 16-yard line and would proceed to get beat by Greg Ward for an 8-yard touchdown. Wentz would complete to John Hightower in the back of the end zone on the two-point conversion to cut the Steelers’ lead to 31-22. Fulgham had five receptions for 44 yards on the Eagles’ 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive that was capped off by Fulgham’s 4-yard touchdown reception to bring Philadelphia within two points with the score being 31-29 in the fourth quarter. Fulgham had 10 receptions for 152 yards and a touchdown against the Steelers.

Third-down defense – Philadelphia was able to keep a lot of their drives alive by making plays on third down, especially on third-and-long situations. The Eagles converted 10 of their 14 opportunities on third down.

Eric Ebron – With the Steelers leading 31-29 in the fourth quarter, Eric Ebron fumbled after a catch and the Eagles recovered. Luckily for Ebron, the defense held their ground and forced a 57-yard field goal by Jake Elliott which was no good. On the next offensive possession, Ebron almost made a crucial mistake again as the initial ruling on the field was an interception after he couldn’t haul in the catch. The review on the play deemed that it was an incompletion instead of an interception. Overall, it was just an ugly day for Ebron.

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