PITTSBURGH -- A look at the highs and lows from the Eagles' 16-14 loss to the Steelers on Sunday:
↓ There’s no other way to put it: Vick’s fumble at the goal line cost the Eagles the game. The Eagles had other issues, but none as great as their quarterback’s miscues with the football. Of Vick’s 11 turnovers this season, four have come in the red zone.
↑ But Vick showed why calls for Nick Foles are premature. He bounced back in the second half and was the efficient, poised quarterback we saw last week against the Giants. Vick completed 13 of 18 passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns after the break, and engineered another four quarter drive to put the Eagles ahead.
Third and 12
↓ The Eagles defense, however, could not get off the field on the Steelers’ final drive. Pittsburgh’s pick up on third down and 12 at their own 18 was a killer. With the Eagles in zone and two safeties deep, Ben Roethlisberger hit a wide open Antonio Brown over the middle for 20 huge yards.
↓ Asomugha did not have a terrible game, nor did anyone on the Eagles defense for that matter. But he did not have one of his better halves in the first 30 minutes. Roethlisberger kept picking on the cornerback, hitting Brown four times for 46 yards. Asomugha was also whistled for holding on the Steelers’ drive before the half that netted three points.
↑ He may have been whistled for a false start in the first half, but Bell did fine work against Steelers LB James Harrison for most of the game. Harrison, who did not record a sack, was clearly not 100 percent playing in his first game of the season. But Bell continues to improve with each game and will likely be the left tackle going forward.
↑ The special teams ace made his presence felt when he dropped Chris Rainey at the 8-yard line after Alex Henery kicked off to open the second half. The Eagles’ kick return unit has been brutal, but getting Anderson back from injury helped on that play.
↓ All it took was one kickoff for the Eagles’ issues to return. Brian Rolle was cut last week and Moten was brought in, the Birds said, because he would be a better option on special teams. But Moten missed a tackle on a return that Rainey took back 44 yards.
↓ The line has been getting pressure, but it wasn’t enough against Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh’s Houdini. As tough to bring down as he is, Big Ben had been sacked nine times in the first three games. The Eagles, meanwhile, have only six total sacks this season. They had 16 at this point a year ago.
↑ One of the reasons Roethlisberger kept going at Asomugha was because Rodgers-Cromartie gave Mike Wallace little room to get open. The Steelers receiver finished with just two catches for 17 yards with Rodgers-Cromartie covering him most of the game.
↑ The Eagles dialed up the same play that resulted in Jackson’s 19-yard touchdown catch last week on a key third down on their fourth-quarter go-ahead drive. Jackson and Jeremy Maclin ran switch routes and Vick lofted a 24-yard completion to Jackson down to the Pittsburgh 10. It was a great call by offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.
Jason Babin and Trent Cole
↓ Babin and Cole each hurried Roethlisberger into a few errant throws, but the two defensive ends have been held sackless for two straight games. Casey Matthews, who played only a few downs when Mychal Kendricks left, had as many tackles as Babin and Cole combined – two.
↓ Brandon Graham and Tapp did their jobs rushing Roethlisberger into an incomplete pass in the first quarter. But Tapp lost his cool when a Steelers offensive lineman instigated him into throwing a punch. Instead of facing second and 20, Pittsburgh was granted a first down after Tapp’s personal foul. Lucky for the Eagles – and Tapp – the Steelers’ drive eventually stalled.
↑ It was nice to see McCoy produce in the passing game. The Eagles running back caught four passes for 27 yards, but the biggest was a 15-yard touchdown grab in the third quarter. McCoy was the hot receiver on a Steelers blitz, and Vick got him the ball. The tailback took care of the rest, slashing into the end zone.