3 things to know as Eagles face Steelers on the road in Week 5 originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Eagles are hoping to get their second consecutive win as they face the Steelers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon.
The Eagles are 1-2-1 after beating the 49ers in Week 4. Meanwhile, the Steelers are 3-0 and coming off a surprise bye week after the game against the Titans last week was postponed.
Here are a few important links:
And here are three important things to know:
1. Carson Wentz started to play a little better in Week 4 and the Eagles will need that to continue. The problem is that Wentz won’t be getting any extra help. Both DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery are out for this game, which means Wentz will be throwing to a receiving corps that includes Travis Fulgham, Greg Ward, John Hightower and, yes, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who makes his return this week.
The good news is that Wentz has been getting practice reps with all these guys so at least they’ve been able to build a rapport. The Eagles have to hope Wentz can recapture the type of magic he had late last season when he led a bunch of practice squad call-ups into the playoffs.
2. If the Eagles want to win this game, it’s going to be all about the defensive lines. They’re going to need their DL to put pressure on Ben Roethlisberger and they’re going to need their offensive line to slow down the Steelers’ impressive defensive front. That last one won’t be easy. While the Eagles lead the NFL with 17 total sacks, the Steelers have 15 in just three games.
The Steelers’ pass rush really starts on the edges with T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree. Watt normally rushes from the left side of the D-line, which means he’ll see Lane Johnson. Johnson says his ankle is feeling better after getting a cyst drained this week. So the Eagles will live with that 1-on-1 matchup. The other side is a different story. They’re probably going to need to help Jordan Mailata, in his second career start, a lot with Dupree.
3. The Eagles are 7-point underdogs after opening up as 7.5-point underdogs, according to PointsBet. According to our own Michael Gatti, that’s the largest point spread ever between the Eagles and Steelers dating back to 1978.
The Eagles are 7-3 overall and ATS vs. the Steelers and the Eagles have covered 5 of their last 6 games ATS against the Steelers.