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Inside Analysis: Steelers fall to Eagles 15-6

Including the playoffs, Pittsburgh has allowed 49 sacks in its last 13 games (Source: ESPN Research)
The X-Rays on Ben Roethlisberger hand came back negative. He will be re-evaluated tomorrow.
How did the Dallas Cowboys put up 40 points last week against the Eagles? Tony Romo was not sacked once compared to today’s game where Ben Roethlisberger was sacked 8 times. Romo used quick efficient passes to elude the Eagles pass rush but another factor was his offensive line controlled the Eagles blitz

The Steelers offensive line was horrid. There was confusion on all ends. Justin Hartwig looked dazed and confused throughout the game and there was a few occasions where he didn’t block a single player because he didn’t know who to take.
The Steelers wide receivers failed to create separation at the line of scrimmage and when Ben Roethlisberger had time to throw which wasn’t often, Roethlisberger was off target. The Steelers couldn’t get any kind of rhythm.
The running game failed to get anything going to take pressure off Roethlisberger and the passing game. Willie Parker rushed for only 20 yards on 13 carries
The Steelers need to get Rashard Mendenhall more touches. It was clear Willie Parker couldn’t get anything going today. Mendenhall showed his playmaking ability late in the game when gained 11 yards on a screen pass that should have been an incompletion. Even though Mendenhall has barely played since week 1, this was a game where a game changer was needed. He has that ability
The Steelers defense came to play and made the needed adjustments following the first half. The secondary was playing too soft at the line of scrimmage but in the 2nd half the Steelers changed their approach and played much more aggressive. They pressured McNabb and forced him to get rid of the ball earlier than he wanted to.
Troy Polamalu has made a world of difference for the Steelers this season. Polamalu playing at 100% has 3 Interceptions in three games and is playing at a pro bowl level
Bryant McFadden has shown some big play ability since making two starts in place of Deshea Townsend. McFadden has 2 interceptions in the past two games
Lawrence Timmons made two key plays late in the first half. He pressured McNabb on consecutive plays which led to an incomplete pass and a Bryant McFadden interception which set up a 53 yard Jeff Reed field goal. Expect to see his playing time gradually increase on a week-to-week basis. The Steelers need to get him on the field a bit more
The Steelers host the 2-0 Baltimore Ravens next week who statistically have one of the league’s top defenses. The Steelers have only scored 16 points in the past two weeks and the offensive line came back to earth today. Are they as bad as they played today? Most likely not but it’s possible the O-Line was playing above their head against Houston and Cleveland. The Eagles gave the Ravens a blueprint of how to neutralize the Steelers dynamic offense. Jam their receivers at the line of scrimmage and use a lot of different blitzing schemes.
Photo Courtesy of Inside Pittsburgh Sports
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