2. Will the Eagles linebackers continue to be exploited in the passing game?
Pittsburgh is aware of Philly’s defensive line, so look for the Steelers to attack the middle of the field with short passes against the Eagles linebackers. Though Roethlisberger’s arm isn’t what it once was, fans can still expect to see some deep shots and crossing routes down the field from time to time.
With Darius Slay more than likely lining up across from Smith-Schuster, the Steelers might target Jalen Mills’ side of the field. Fans might also see James Connor involved in the passing game more as Philly has been stout versus the run.
The Eagles. who are thin on talent in the secondary, should start off using man-to-man coverage, but if they start getting torched early, a switch to zone coverage is also a possibility. Depending on how the linebackers play, Philly might be forced to switch to zone coverage regardless. We’ll have to wait and see.
Philly will rely heavily on their defensive line to generate big plays, as they have all season. They may not get to ‘Big Ben’ early, but because of its depth and rotation, this defensive line could start to win versus the Steelers offensive line later in the game. Philly’s defense has been generating big plays over the course of the last few games, but with so many key players out, they will have their hands full this week.
Advantage: The Eagles