Eagles Stock Market: Dominant Outing vs. Steelers

PHILADELPHIA -The Eagles moved to 7-0 by lowing out the struggling Pittsburgh Steelers, 35-13, on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

It may have been the most complete performance by the Eagles through the first two months of the season.

Here’s the stock report:

THE BULLS

A.J. BROWN – The Eagles’ WR1 was a monster, reaching a career-high by halftime with three touchdown receptions of 39, 27, and 29 yards.

Brown went up in double coverage to make a questionable Jalen Hurts throw into a productive one by wanting the ball more than Minkah Fitzpatrick. The other two were perfect drops in the bucket by Hurts but don’t undersell the late hands of Brown, making things difficult for the defender.

“I’m always trying to work on something and continue getting a bigger bad, building my arsenal,” he said. “I (had late hands) and I squeezed them back inside to give myself room for over the shoulder. Jalen gave me a great ball on the sideline passes.”

THE PASS RUSH – Rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett was like chum in the water for the Eagles’ pass rush, which finished with six sacks and 11 hurries, including a career-high two and a strip-sack from former Steeler Javon Hargrave. Also involved in the sack parade were Haason Reddick, Milton Williams, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, and Marlon Tuipulotu.

BALL SECURITY – The Eagles came in with a league-leading plus-12 in turnover ratio and any thought of a market correction went unheeded with the Eagles moving to plus-14 with a fumble recovery by Avonte Maddox and the fourth interception in three games by Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. The most impressive part of this run, however, is the offense’s ability to protect the football. Philadelphia has not lost a fumble in seven games and has only two INTs.  

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JALEN HURTS – Hurts’ mythical status of No. 2 in the MVP race behind Josh Allen by most betting markets has been knocked by some because of his inability to pile up TD passes. That changes today with a career-high four, all of at least 27 yards. Overall, Hurts finished 19-of-28 for 285 yards with a 140.6 passer rating before being replaced by Gardner Minshew with 9:24 remaining.

SITUATIONAL FOOTBALL – The Eagles are just out-scheming people on the offensive side of the ball, converting four of their first five third-down situations in the game and the one they didn’t was made good on fourth down. Overall, Philadelphia was 7-for-12 on third down and 1-for-1 on fourth while the Steelers were a dismal 1-of-12 on third down and 1-for-3 on fourth down.

THE BEARS

PASS PRO – The Steelers came in with just five sacks in the six games T.J. Watt has missed and found a way to generate three on the Eagles. Part of it was Hurts hanging onto the football too long and that can be the cost of doing business with a mobile QB.

Pittsburgh was also very disciplined and kept Hurts contained in the pocket for the most part, perhaps a testament to it dealing with Lamar Jackson so much in the AFC North. After the game, Hurts took most of the blame.

THE RUNNING GAME – With the trade deadline looming and many believing Howie Roseman would like an upgrade at running back, the Eagles’ played into that fodder a bit with a poor first half in the running game with just 23 yards rushing. The market correction came when things loosened up in the second half, especially with Miles Sanders (nine carries, 78 yards, one 11-yard TD run) but Roseman may still believe an upgrade in depth is needed.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Another day, another special teams miscue, as a fake punt with a direct snap to the up-back gave a desperate Pittsburgh team a first-down conversion. The Eagles have been so good the special teams stuff hasn’t mattered but the issues keep showing each week.

 -John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com’s Eagles Today and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on YouTube. John is also the host of his own show “Extending the Play” on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

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