You know you witnessed a bad game when a 63-yard punt is practically the only highlight you could dig up for your team.
The Pittsburgh Steelers had historically had problems with playing against the Philadelphia Eagles, particularly when they played them in the City of Brotherly Love. The trend would continue in Week 3, as two 2-0 teams clashed, with most fans feeling that Pittsburgh should handle the Eagles rookie QB with ease.
The loss was a loss on every level, with each conceivable thing that could go wrong, going wrong. The Steelers would get thumped 34-3, the worst Steelers loss of the Mike Tomlin era, and the franchise’s worst defeat since 1989.
Markus Wheaton returned from a shoulder injury which sidelined him for the preseason and the first two weeks of the regular season, however, this game would not be a welcoming party for him. Wheaton struggled throughout, including a dropped pass in the end zone which hit him between the numbers and would’ve concluded the Steelers first drive, if not for missing the sure touchdown catch.
The third down drop concluded with a blocked field goal, as the momentum went from promising to depressing as the game wore on. (Wheaton would eventually catch his first pass late in the fourth quarter.)
Ben Roethlisberger was sacked 4 times, for 35 yards, and hurried an additional 7 times, as he too went hot and cold. The Steelers offense wasn’t all too bad to start but failed to capitalize in key moments. Big Ben had at least two streaks in the first half where he completed four-straight, and five-straight passes. (Wheaton’s drop ending one of those). But then other dropped passes, overthrows, and a total disregard for the running game (which included a team-low yards and carries total for DeAngelo Williams, still subbing for Le’Veon Bell) crippled the offense.
The only highlight (besides the one below) was Sammie Coates making another spectacular downfield connection with Roethlisberger. It would be his third-straight game with a reception of over 40 yards.
The game ended with a “low light” of Darrius Heyward-Bey in perfect position, as well as an Eagles defender, and somehow losing a pinpoint touchdown pass from Ben, which turned into an interception.
The defense more resembled the cast of the Walking Dead before it was over.
Ryan Shazier hurt his MCL. Lawrence Timmons was sent to the hospital with a shin injury that sounded worse than it turned out to be. Mike Mitchell, Jarvis Jones, Eli Rogers, Robert Golden and Ramon Foster all left the game at some point, with several never returning.
The moves made both sides of the ball look foolish at times, particularly the defense conceding a third-and-long, where Stephon Tuitt chased down Eagles QB Carson Wentz, only to see him escape, complete a pass to RB Darren Sproles, and watch the speedy back roll to 73-yard touchdown (instead of forcing a stop, and a punt).
Such would be the case all day, as Pittsburgh appeared demoralized. The game was so bad, that even our staff didn’t have much to say about it, which is even true to this day, where reviewing the game film yielded maybe two plays of the game.