Steelers early impressions by the numbers in Week 5 contest vs. Eagles
Breaking down the week five matchup of the Pittsburgh Steelers vs Philadelphia Eagles, added incentives are at stake other than who’s the best team in PA.
The prolonged wait for another Pittsburgh Steelers game is no more. Week four marked their earliest bye week since 2010, and the only wish is that they can achieve even more success than they did that season.
The second is their run at the NFC East division in 2020, which is at a remarkable three combined wins, it’s the battle of Pennsylvania at Heinz Field against the Philadelphia Eagles. A bizarre 1-2-1 start, Philly has struggled mightily to find any continuity out of their QB Carson Wentz, and entirely as a team.
Steelers strength on defense promotes an ugly night for the Eagles offense
At this point, has too much been said about the Steelers front seven? It’s not even that there are members of this team that are actively in media presses or on social media demanding a certain level of off respect. Still, each week it’s impossible not to detail their impact.
Eerily dominating at a rate that surpasses their numbers in 2019 spells trouble for the Eagles. According to the metrics of ESPN’s “Pass Rush Win Rate” (PRWR) & newly introduced “Run Stop Win Rate” (RSWR), the Steelers rank first in each category. Able to compare their PRWR to last year, Pittsburgh is atop the leaderboards with a 60% win rate, a massive plus ten jump from 2019.
As injuries are ravaging rosters across the league, Philadelphia feels its wrath in the trenches. Consequently, although more is to attribute to why their offense has not resembled anything we have seen in the recent past. As a unit, they rank 26th in points, 28th in yards, & 31st in turnovers.
Missing the team’s top three expected starters at wideout & featured running back helps no quarterback, but things have been head-scratching for QB Carson Wentz. In a desperate situation with the talent that surrounds him, the numbers are even worse.
Shuffling aside the yard totals & attempts, Wentz has accounted for four passing touchdowns & seven interceptions. Since his rookie season, he has never thrown more than seven INTs in a season, & to make matters worse, lucked sort of already played its hand from him not surpassing that so soon this year.
Stand this up next to the facts that Wentz is also ranked 6th in bad throw percentage (19.9), 29th in on target percentage (73.5), 32nd in yards per attempt (5.8), & 33rd in QB rate (66.9).
Could have anyone guessed that an offense chaperoned by Eagles HC Doug Pederson would statistically nearly match to one run by Giants OC Jason Garrett? Even though nine drops have already been attributed to the pass catchers in Philadelphia, is the blame resolved? Synonymously or on a lone person?
It’s like this. Knowing the injuries the Eagles have at offensive line, Wentz is still tied for the third-most pocket time (2.5), but has taken the fourth-most sacks (14 sacks) & is currently the least accurate passer in the NFL!
Ok, so back to the point. The Steelers defensive line has a chance to affect a game more substantial than any other so far on the season. And it’s not only them. DB Mike Hilton & LB Vince Williams deserve their round of applause for the work they have done around the LOS, combining for 12 tackles for loss, 6 QB hits, & 4 sacks.
A class performance that could be put on by Pittsburgh’s front seven purely off what has been done & the situations surrounding this game, the bulletin board material is an added factor.
The best defensive line in PA?
There’s nothing wrong with a player or team having confidence in themselves. For an Eagles defensive line with DT Fletcher Cox, DT Malik Jackson, DE Brandon Graham, and the beloved DT Javon Hargraves, they hold a concrete argument. Though numbers tell us the Steelers DL win like none other in the NFL, the Eagles blitz-heavy scheme under DC Jim Schwartz is evident.
Pittsburgh has nine different players that have been tallied with at least half a sack in contrast to Philly’s twelve, who each have a QB hit as well. However, as fine as that sounds, opposing teams are still averaging 26.8 points per game.
The signing of CB Darius Slay was to subside the easy pickings of Eagles DBs, but much hasn’t changed. Holding his weight on the field, TE Eric Ebron & WR Diontae Johnson could be in for a day against the others. Both OLB Nicky Gerry & CB Nickell Robey-Coleman of the Eagles allow a completion percentage greater than 90 on more than ten targets each and given up at least a touchdown.
Sure areas where they can be exposed, things have fared a bit better defensively on the ground for Philadelphia, as they have only allowed 435 rushing yards (21st) on 3.8 rushing yards per carry (26th). Steelers don’t have to pinpoint their focus in forcing the run (a miracle if they don’t) but it will be interesting to see this matchup pan out as they are tied-seventh (30.0) in rushing attempts per game.