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Three pivotal plays in the Eagles' win over the Steelers


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Three pivotal plays in the Eagles' win over the Steelers

PhillyVoice Staff
Eagles-AJ-Brown-Jalen-Hurts-Steelers-October-2022BILL STREICHER/USA TODAY SPORTS

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts and wide receiver A.J. Brown celebrate one of their many touchdowns.

Two months into the season, I have yet to write a story that includes the headline "Three pivotal plays from the Eagles' loss." As the Birds move to 7-0 following their 35-13 win over the Steelers, I'm not quite sure when I'll first have to write that. A problem for the Eagles for another day!

As I do, here are three huge plays that turned things in the Eagles' favor in their latest win...

 Eagles ball, 2nd and 10, Pittsburgh 39, 9:31 remaining in the first quarter, Eagles 0, Steelers 0

To kick off the game, Jalen Hurts' wasn't having his sharpest afternoon. A couple of throws went low. He rectified that quickly, however, and delivered one of his best performances ever as a passer. His first touchdown toss of the game came on a bomb to A.J. Brown. It was the archetypal "throw that thing up there and let your superstar wideout make a play" move. Brown, as he did all day, came through:

[NOTE: click on link to article below to view all videos]

This is why you trade for A.J. Brown. He's a perfect blend of size and speed, a huge contested-catch threat who can body defensive backs when tracking the ball as easily as he can race past cornerbacks. Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is a multiple-time First-Team All-Pro player and Brown made him look like Jaiquawn Jarrett. 


This is why you surround your young quarterback on a rookie contract with as much talent as possible to maximize a championship run. This is a dream start to the 2022 season for the Eagles and they couldn't be getting better performances from QB1 and WR1. 

 Steelers ball, 3rd and 7, Philadelphia 18, 1:13 remaining in the second quarter, Eagles 21, Steelers 7

Things were about to get dicey for the Birds at the end of the first half. The Eagles had taken a two-touchdown lead following another Hurts-Brown TD. On the next Steelers drive, a couple of Kenny Pickett runs and passes spread around the Pittsburgh offense and had the Steelers deep in Eagles territory. 

A third-down pickup leading to a Steelers touchdown would've killed the momentum the Eagles had created with all of these A.J. Brown touchdowns. Second-year defensive tackle Milton Williams stepped up to the plate though and delivered a hit that would make Bryce Harper blush, sacking Pickett and killing their TD hopes:

After an encouraging rookie campaign, Williams hasn't had much of a chance to shine in 2022 given how deep (and good) that defensive tackle rotation is. With Jordan Davis out and potentially missing time going forward, defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon is going to need more of that from Williams. Props to ever-steady vets Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham for helping collapse that pocket on Pickett too. 

 Steelers ball, 1st and 10, Philadelphia 46, 13:12 remaining in the fourth quarter, Eagles 28, Steelers 13

This game wasn't as over as it felt early in the fourth quarter. The Steelers were driving with an opportunity to cut things down to a one-score Eagles lead. This ferocious defensive line came up big again, causing hell for Pittsburgh's rookie quarterback. This time, it was former Steeler Javon Hargrave having a Revenge Game, sacking and stripping Pickett:


Avonte Maddox recovered, picked up eight yards and put the Birds in a position to put the nail in Pittsburgh's coffin. Another chunk play to Brown and a Miles Sanders touchdown later and the Eagles wrapped this baby up. The next time the Eagles' offense took the field, the backups were in. Gardner Minshew is this year's version of the human victory cigar. 

Philadelphia: Not a bad place to be right now.



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