Eagles-Steelers evaluation: The unstoppable A.J. Brown-Jalen Hurts connection strikes the Birds to 7-0 - The Philadelphia Inquirer

After their bye week, the Eagles picked up correct where they left off.

Any notion of rust became promptly dispelled in the Eagles’ 35-13 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at Lincoln monetary field. It’s the 2d time in franchise heritage the Eagles have began 7-0 and the primary seeing that 2004.

right here’s our evaluation on the online game:

Brown’s big day

After catching his third landing pass of the primary half, it gave the look of A.J. Brown ran out of celebrations.

In lieu of an intricate dance or stunt, Brown with ease counted both shielding backs Pittsburgh deployed to sluggish him down, tons to the disapproval of the nearest legitimate. The big name receiver elicited a 15-yard penalty on the following kickoff, but it surely became a drop within the bucket in comparison to the bevy of huge-time catches Brown pulled off to give the Eagles a decisive early lead.

There became the 39-yard landing trap whereas double-coated on the Eagles’ opening force. The circulate seemed like it became overthrown initially with Steelers defender Minkah Fitzpatrick monitoring it, however Brown ripped the ball out of the air before the All-professional defense could comfy it.

» study more: A.J. Brown is stacking â€" and wearing â€" Benjamins, and he become money for the Eagles in beating the Steelers

The pass on the next touchdown became tailored for Brown as he sprinted down the sideline with Ahkello Witherspoon trailing in coverage. Brown caught the ball in stride for a 27-yard ranking. The next sequence, Brown obtained previous Witherspoon again and found the conclusion zone on a 29-yarder as Fitzpatrick bounced off the 6-foot-1, 226-pound receiver.

Brown’s stat line become shocking halfway during the 2d quarter. He had 5 catches for 113 yards and three touchdowns with six minutes left in the first half. He entire with six catches for a career-excessive 156 receiving yards and three touchdowns after constructing a second-half scoring force with an astounding run-after-trap that netted 43 yards.

Brown is the first Eagles vast receiver to have three touchdown catches in a video game considering the fact that Riley Cooper in 2013.

After the online game, he noted he changed into disappointed he didn’t have more, pointing to a 2nd-half drop and just a few overlooked opportunities.

“It’s my ball or no one’s ball,” Brown referred to after the video game. “... I’m truly kind of upset right now as a result of i know â€" I had a large day, however I may have had an excellent larger day if I made probably the most of these alternatives, so there’s in reality room for improvement.”

The 25-12 months-ancient has been productive all season however hadn’t surpassed 100 receiving yards on the grounds that the season opener against the Detroit Lions. towards the Steelers, Brown as soon as once again proved that he can take over games for stretches together with his ball-profitable potential and prowess after the seize.

“I’ve considered all of those guys do mind-blowing things,” quarterback Jalen Hurts observed after the game. “I’ve seen DeVonta Smith do loopy things in school, I’ve considered A.J., as a friend, as a fan, take slants 70 [yards]. I’ve considered Dallas Goedert make the craziest catches within the video game or in follow. So when I see them make these plays within the online game, better yet, when I’m twiddling with them in the online game, I’ve got my popcorn able after I throw them the ball.”

Hurts stays sizzling

Hurts continues to reveal progress. He had a handful of completely positioned passes against a Steelers secondary led by Fitzpatrick, his former Alabama teammate. He complete 19-for-28 for 285 yards and had profession highs of 4 touchdown passes and a a hundred and forty.6 quarterback rating.

Hurts has usually been correct on deep passes, and each of the second-quarter touchdown throws to Brown were put in spots the place only Brown could make a play on the ball. Even on an incomplete circulate to Brown halfway through the third quarter, Hurts threw an excellent ball.

“I consider it’s about being capable of be a danger in numerous techniques,” Hurts talked about when requested about his growth this yr. “That’s whatever that a man like me has the means to do. Naturally being in a position to run, we’ll call it a dual possibility however i love to call it a triple threat. You have to be capable of kill them together with your legs now and then, make the throws for those who deserve to in the passing online game, and kill them together with your intellect and with what you see and the way you react.”

» examine more: In Eagles’ rout of Steelers, Jalen Hurts continues proving how some distance he has come as a QB

The explosive plays aside, Hurts additionally endured successful within the different category the coaching workforce perpetually harps on: zero turnovers. apart from a center-container throw that Fitzpatrick almost jumped on in the first half, Hurts infrequently put the ball in harm’s way.

“He went out there and he finished today in the air,” coach Nick Sirianni spoke of. “He threw some superb deep balls and skim the defense neatly. He just continues to develop.”

2nd-half surge

For the primary time all season, the Eagles stored their foot on the fuel.

After taking a 21-10 lead into halftime, the Eagles all started the 2d half with a scoring force and kept the offensive onslaught coming right through the the rest of the half.

Offensive coordinator Shane Steichen known as a play-action move that led to Zach Pascal being broad-open downfield on the opening series of the 2d half. Hurts hit Pascal for a 34-yard touchdown, the receiver’s first of the season.

Sirianni spoke of the team of workers spent the bye week identifying areas of development and probably problematic tendencies. the lack of second-half production turned into possible among the things explored and the early returns on the plans for more desirable execution are encouraging.

“i thought we performed a fine looking comprehensive online game and we essential to these days to close that out,” Sirianni observed. “We actually desired to emphasise how we delivery the second half. We had some 2nd-half woes, and we actually traced it again to how we all started 2nd halves. It changed into first rate to be capable of go down and execute nowadays to beginning issues off and set the tone.”

Staying aggressive even with a double-digit lead may be critical for the Eagles against the more suitable teams in the league, although it might be a while before they face one among them.

Sack birthday party

The Eagles’ new-look move rush is off to a high-quality beginning.

Newly acquired part rusher Robert Quinn performed a handful of snaps in his first game in view that the Eagles sent a fourth-circular decide upon to the Chicago Bears for him last week. On one in every of his first plays, he become a part of a personnel kit that lined up Haason Reddick over a shield.

Reddick looped around the formation on a stunt and became rewarded with a beeline to Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett for a sack on the online game’s opening possession. The Eagles went again to the appear within the second half and acquired Brandon Graham a pressure, however the play changed into negated by means of a protective maintaining penalty.

The Eagles entire with six sacks, together with two by protective tackle Javon Hargrave against his former crew.

“It feels outstanding,” Hargrave pointed out. “To simply have a day in opposition t the ancient group, i will’t really clarify it.”

Davis leaves early

protecting handle Jordan Davis left the game early with an ankle injury to be able to reportedly sideline him four to 6 weeks.

in line with an NFL network record, Davis has a excessive ankle sprain. He went in the course of the locker room on crutches with a going for walks boot on his right leg after the game.

the first-round rookie’s absence should be a difficult one to masks for the Eagles protection. Davis is the lone authentic nostril tackle on the energetic roster and had become a staple of the bottom five-down fronts the group uses peculiarly regularly in opposition t the run. Hargrave can play nostril tackle and did so a great deal remaining yr, but the team might need to add an extra stout indoors lineman to the roster while Davis heals.

The Eagles used on the whole even fronts devoid of Davis in the second half, which Hargrave spoke of turned into partly due to Davis’s absence and partly since the Steelers had been throwing more often to are attempting to make up the deficit.

“I consider it’s a bit little bit of both,” Hargrave observed. “With Jordan being down, we have been short with our base entrance, we didn’t have a lot of people to rotate with. That really performed an incredible part.”

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