The unbeaten Steelers fresh off an unexpected bye week welcome their 1-3 Pennsylvania neighbour Eagles to Heinz Field.
The Steelers got an early bye week after the well documented COVID-19 issues the Titans are having but were rolling through 3 weeks before that. The Defense is elite ranking 2nd in the NFL in Sacks with 15 and lead the league in QB pressures (reminder, they’ve played a game less than anyone else not named the Titans) against the pass they allow a completion % less than 60 and they’re also league best against the run giving up only 2.7 yards per carry and less than 55 yards per game and in TJ Watt have one of the leagues premier defensive players. On Offense the Steelers have no issue moving the ball and putting up points with Big Ben under centre and a dangerous selection of pass catchers and they’re also running the ball well with James Connor having back to back 100+ yard, TD games.
The Eagles finally got their first win of the season on SNF against a beat up San Francisco Forty Niner side but were far from impressive on offense with Carson Wentz still struggling to make anything happen instead it was the defense showing up Sacking Nick Mullens 5 times and picking him off twice including a Pick Six. Those 5 Sacks took the Eagles to 17 on the season and they’re the only team who have more than the Steelers so it really is QB’s beware in this matchup and with Philly already allowing Carson Wentz to be Sacked 14 times so far this season I’m especially worried for his well being heading into this matchup but maybe the fear of this Steeler Pass Rush might wake something up in Wentz who has been nothing short of awful to start this year. Wentz has thrown for 4 TD’s, 7 INT’s, a measly 5.8 yards per attempt and a league worse 66.9 Quarterback Rating so unless he discovers the form that made him a MVP candidate a few years ago I don’t like his chances of making much of a dent in this Steeler Defense and I’m not sure exactly how much help Miles Sanders will be facing the best run stuffing D in Football.
I can’t see past the Steelers here and the Eagles will have to beat a team bot destroyed by injury before I think about taking them to win a game. An interesting take away from the Eagles first four games has been their inability to stop Tight Ends, In three of the four they have given up TD’s to Tight Ends including a Hattrick to the Rams’ Tyler Higbee and in the one game they didn’t give up a score to a TE, vs the Bengals, they gave up two TD’s to the big bodied rookie, Tee Higgins which tells me the Eagles have trouble defending big pass catchers and the Steelers have a big pass catching rookie of their own in Chase Claypool, the Wide Receiver was touted as a potential Tight End in the NFL because of his size and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him find the End Zone in this one and with the value being offered I like it. James Connor U/O 16.5 Rush Attempts is even money with SkyBet and although I like it a couple of things put me off, Connor’s injury history is excessive and whilst I try to not let that sway me he’s already been pulled early from a game this year with a niggle and also the fact that this Eagle side rank 8th in rushing yards allowed whilst the Steelers rank 8th in rushing yards so I’d expect the Steelers to focus on the bigger mismatch they have in the passing game and target the Eagles secondary instead of the front 7 in the run game.
PREDICTION: STEELERS 28 – 16 EAGLES
BEST BET: Chase Claypool Anytime TD @ 16/5 with Betfair. 0.5 point bet.