It's not easy to win a game in the NFL. Especially against a team like the Steelers who are 1-2, at home, and desperate to avoid falling into a 1-3 hole in the AFC North…
This game likely shapes up as a defense-dominated affair, with both teams playing for pride and bragging rights as "Pennsylvania's Team"…
Eagles at Steelers — Week 5
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh (turf, outdoors)
When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Spread: Steelers by 2.5
Forecast: Temperature in mid-40s; 40 percent chance of rain; wind, WSW at 9 mph.
Records: Eagles (Overall: 3-1; NFC East: 1-0); Steelers (Overall: 1-2; AFC North: 0-0)
Past results: Two most recent meetings — Sept. 21, 2008: Eagles 15, Steelers 6; Nov. 7, 2004: Steelers 27, Eagles 3. Series record: Eagles lead 47-27-3.
The Steelers are not the dominant run defense they have been in years past, standing only 14th in the NFL vs. the rush. Like Polamalu’s return in the secondary, though, getting back rushing linebacker James Harrison (29 ½ sacks the past three seasons) from offseason knee surgery should provide a push on the outside. LaMarr Woodley leads the team with two sacks at OLB and ILB Larry Foote leads the squad with 23 tackles. Up front, DEs Ziggy Hood, Brett Keisel and DT Casey Hampton have yet to register a tackle in the backfield. For a team used to pressuring the QB, the Steelers have just five sacks thus far.
The Steelers enter Sunday’s game just 30th in the league rushing the ball, but they get top back Rashard Mendenhall back from an ACL injury. Though Mendenhall’s presence will help, the line has not been exactly stellar in opening holes or providing protection for Roethlisberger. Maurkice Pouncey is a standout at center, but tackles Max Starks and Marcus Gilbert will require help on edge rushers Jason Babin and Trent Cole. Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks will be tested in containing Roethlisberger and covering tight end Heath Miller over the middle.
Enough from me—now for the real intelligence reports coming in from our esteemed Lifefyre correspondents.