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Eagles loss to Steelers reveals reasons for both hope and concern

The Kist & Solak Show #200!

Philadelphia Eagles v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles move to 1-3-1 after a 38-29 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but there were positive takeaways even in a loss. Okay, perhaps not for the defense, but we’ll get to that...

Carson Wentz had his best game of the season and he did it by showing trust in his weapons to make plays. NextGen Stats had 37% of his throws going into tight coverage, by far the most aggressive quarterback of the Week 5 slate to this point and the third highest individual mark of the season. Travis Fulgham rewarded that trust and dazzled as the contested catch maven the Eagles have been missing.

Consistently put behind the chains with the offense posting a paltry 33% success rate on early downs, Wentz and the Eagles converted 71% of their third downs to keep drives alive. That’s a major testament to an offensive line who held up much better than expected when “Blitzburgh” got to pin their ears back on long passing situations over and over.

After an abysmal start, the Eagles patchwork offense that has featured 19 unique starters (a league high) is starting to come together and find ways to produce.

Defensively, things were not so sunny against an offense that ranked in the middle of the pack in nearly every meaningful category. Jim Schwartz clearly got out-coached yet again. Steelers quarterbacks coach Matt Canada’s influence could be felt all over the gameplan, with heavy motion and unique formations/designs that had the Eagles defenders thinking instead of playing.

With Schwartz’s power over personnel decisions, it’s damning that his guys continue to underperform. I’m, of course, speaking of Jalen Mills and Nate Gerry, among others. Unfortunately, the Eagles lack the depth to replace them. Rasul Douglas, Sidney Jones, and LJ Fort have all experienced success in their new homes, further showcasing the Schwartz’s inability to identify talent that “fit his scheme” and his refusal to fit the scheme around the talent.

Ben Roethlisberger took advantage of these failings by going 13-of-13 for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns on third down alone. Wide receiver Chase Claypool become the first rookie to register 4 touchdowns in a game since 1979 as the Eagles went on to surrender 38 points. Schwartz is capable of much better, but the occasional masterpiece is becoming more of an outlier than a semi-regular occurrence.

We dig more into this game and what it all means on The Kist & Solak Show #200! Listen on the media player below or click here if the player doesn’t load. New to podcasts?! Check out our guide on how to listen and subscribe to BGN! FLY EAGLES FLY!