The first half Thursday night was one to forget for Michael Vick.
The Eagles' starting quarterback completed 5 of 12 passes for 47 yards. Vick also completed three passes to Steelers defenders for a quarterback rating of 13.7.
So what happened on the interceptions? Here's a quick look at each after having re-watched them:
Interception No. 1: The Steelers showed six men in the box before the ball was snapped. One of the defenders dropped back, but Pittsburgh blitzed, sending the other five at Vick. Fullback Owen Schmitt stayed in to block and did a good job. Vick had plenty of time, but he went with his first read, looking to squeeze the ball into Riley Cooper between the Steelers' cornerback and safety down the left sideline. Vick made a bad decision and a bad throw.
Interception No. 2: The Eagles went with a slow-developing play-action pass, and the Steelers only rushed three defenders. LeSean McCoy and Brent Celek stayed in to block. Schmitt went out in his route. That meant the Eagles had three potential receivers against eight Steelers defenders in coverage. Not a very favorable matchup there. Vick was looking for Chad Hall, who was blanketed. Just a bad decision. He had plenty of time.
Interception No. 3: The Steelers showed six defenders at the line of scrimmage. Four of them rushed, and two dropped back. But safety Ryan Clark then blitzed from Vick’s left side. McCoy stayed in to block, but saw Clark late and didn't pick him up. Vick got away, scrambled, but had nowhere to go with the ball. He decided to lob one to Celek and it was deflected before Troy Polamalu made the interception.
+ The Eagles looked for DeSean Jackson deep on their first offensive play, and Vick targeted him on the first two plays. Jackson went to the sideline before the rest of the first-team offense.
+ McCoy was 8-for-10 on 3rd-and-short last year. He converted a 3rd-and-1 with an 8-yard carry tonight.
+ With 11:06 left in the first half, the Eagles' offense had been on the field for just 3:03. The Steelers had drives of 7:36 and 8:15 in the first half.
+ Did you notice who lined up at right tackle with the second team? Offseason acquisition Evan Mathis. Could he be a potential option if Ryan Harris and Winston Justice remain sidelined?
+ The first Dream Team mention came at 8:08 p.m., before the game had even started.
+ How did Jason Babin not draw a penalty for hitting Ben Roethlisberger late? He hit him low too.
+ It looked like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie played inside, not Joselio Hanson, when the Eagles were in their nickel package.
+ The Eagles plan on rotating their defensive linemen every four snaps or so. The first team was Jason Babin, Anthony Hargrove, Cullen Jenkins and Trent Cole. The second team was a surprise, with Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Derek Landri, Cedric Thornton and Darryl Tapp. Te'o-Nesheim later left the game with a hamstring injury.
+ Jenkins got called for a facemask early, but got good pressure on Roethlisberger from the interior.
+ On the Steelers' first TD, the Eagles rushed six, blitzing Rodgers-Cromartie and Nate Allen. Tapp rushed from the inside. The pressure didn’t get there, and Asante Samuel got beat on the outside. The Eagles were in their dime package and had four corners and one linebacker (Jamar Chaney) on the field.
+ On another play, the Eagles sent Allen and Chaney. Roethlisberger beat the six-man blitz with a dumpoff to Mewelde Moore for 24 yards.
+ On Roethlisberger's touchdown to Hines Ward, the Eagles rushed four and played zone coverage. It looked like Ward was Allen's responsibility.
+ Here were some instant reactions from our chatters: Andy Reid didn't have the Eagles prepared; Juan Castillo is overmatched; the wide-9 is horrible; they should have kept Kevin Kolb; and Casey Matthews stinks. Other than that, the people were happy with the Eagles' performance.
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