Each week, we will provide you the five things that we will be watching in the upcoming Eagles game. Here is what we will be keeping our eyes on Sunday as the Birds face the Steelers.
1. Running the ball against another 3-4: Eagles have not had a lot of success on the ground against 3-4 schemes, particularly good ones. And the Steelers are good. They held their first two opponents, Houston and Cleveland, to 2.8 yards per carry.
2. About those tight ends: There are flash-flood warnings in the forecast for Sunday; Steelers tight end Heath Miller’s mouth will be watering. Opposing tight ends have feasted on the Eagles in the first 2 weeks, combining for 12 catches and 187 receiving yards.
3. Run, Willie, run: The Steelers are the anti-Eagles when it comes to offensive philosophy. Seventy of their 107 offensive plays in the first 2 weeks were runs. Willie Parker already has an NFL-high 53 rushing attempts. But the Eagles have been very good against the run, allowing 2.6 yards per carry.
4. The pressure on Big Ben: The Eagles didn’t have much luck turning up the heat on Tony Romo. Steelers’ offensive line isn’t quite so efficient at pass-blocking as the Cowboys. Look for Jim Johnson to blitz sore-shouldered Ben Roethlisberger a lot more than he did Romo.
5. In the zone: Both teams have been very successful in the red zone. The Steelers have converted all six of their trips inside the 20 into touchdowns. The Eagles are 7-for-11 in red-zone efficiency, including 3-for-5 vs. Dallas. Something has to give. Team with the most field goals loses.