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Steelers vs. Eagles: Report Card Grades for Each Steelers Unit

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Steelers vs. Eagles: Report Card Grades for Each Steelers Unit
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

The Pittsburgh Steelers got a heaping helping of humble pie Thursday night, falling 31-21 to the Philadelphia Eagles in their third game of the 2014 preseason.

The Steelers defense experienced a culture shock going up against the Eagles offense, which ranked second in the NFL last season with 417.2 yards per game, according to NFL.com. The New York Giants (28th) and Buffalo Bills (19th) offenses did not prepare them for this.

Philadelphia (1-2) churned out 482 yards of total offense with 36 first downs. Nick Foles completed 19 of 29 passes for 179 yards, a touchdown and an interception to lead the Eagles to a 17-0 halftime lead.

Mark Sanchez entered the game in the third quarter and orchestrated two more touchdown drives against the Steelers' first-team defense as the Eagles built their lead to 31-7 after three quarters.

Meanwhile, the Steelers couldn't get on the board until their first-team offense got a second crack at the Eagles' second-team defense.

Ben Roethlisberger completed 8 of 17 passes in the first half for 60 yards with an interception. He spruced up that line a little bit against the Eagles second-stringers in the third quarter. He finished 15-for-24 for 157 yards with a 27-yard touchdown pass to Heath Miller and the interception.

Bruce Gradkowski threw touchdown passes to Darrius Heyward-Bey and Martavis Bryant as the Steelers outscored the Eagles 14-0 in the fourth quarter. Landry Jones saw no action.

The best Steelers on the field, at least statistically, were the ones who caused so many headaches the day before. Le'Veon Bell ran the ball four times for 19 yards in the first half, and LeGarrette Blount carried five times for 22 yards in the half. Both running backs fared better against the Eagles starters than they did against the second unit.

On the injury front, which is all that really matters in preseason games, defensive end Cameron Heyward and linebackers Jason Worilds and Sean Spence all were hurt. None of those injuries appear to be serious, however.

Heyward hurt his ankle, and Worilds and Spence suffered knee injuries. Spence's injury was to his right knee, not the one that was torn up in a preseason game two years ago.

 

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