Tonight, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles meet for the ninth time in the preseason since 2003 and the 27th time since 1973. The bragging rights of the Keystone State are on the line.
The last time these cross-state rivals met in the preseason was August 2012 and the Eagles won 24-23; the last time they met in the regular season was October 2012 with the Black and Gold coming away with a 16-14 victory at Heinz Field.
Preseason Game #3 - Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (0-2)
Date: Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014
Kickoff Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Site: Lincoln Financial Field
Playing Surface: Natural Grass
TV Coverage: KDKA-TV 2
Announcers: Bob Pompeani and Edmund Nelson; Jeff Verszyla on the sideline
Radio: WDVE 102.5 FM / WBGG 970 AM
Additional Audio Coverage: Fans in Mexico can also listen to Steelers broadcasts on Grupo Imagen and games are heard on www.steelers.com/espanol.
Live Stream: NFL.com Preseason
The Steelers lead the pre-season series 15-11 over the Eagles. Pittsburgh owns a 120-104-1 overall record in the pre-season.
Since the marijuana possession news broke on Wednesday, it has been reported by several outlets that LeGarrette Blount did make the trip over to Philadelphia with the team while Bell paid his own way to get across the state to also be present with the squad.
The Steelers coaching staff will not get the opportunity to evaluate their overall running back depth with Tauren Poole and Will Johnson both questionable to play. However, that could open the door for Josh Harris and Miguel Maysonet to make their case to be included on the 53-man roster at the beginning of the regular season.
One question the fans may be asking is, “what does linebacker Howard Jones have in store for them this week on special teams?” The team is going to have a tough choice in deciding between the Shepherd University product and fellow outside linebacker Vic So’oto on who to keep.
Another point of interest will be watching the matchup between Eagles running back LeSean McCoy and Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier. While McCoy may get 10 carries or less in the game, it is certain that Shazier should be in the middle for at least half of the tackles to bring the former Pitt Panther down. How much we see McCoy may depend on how his left toe is holding up in the contest.
With last week’s 42-35 loss against the New England Patriots, Philadelphia’s second-year head coach Chip Kelly is just 2-4 in pre-season action.
The Green and White may have a quarterback controversy brewing as Nick Foles completed 8 of 10 for 81 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions against New England. However, former New York Jet Mark Sanchez came in and completed 11 of 12 in his pass attempts for 117 yards and two touchdowns and one interception.
One of the rookies on the other sideline to keep an eye on this evening is second-round wide receiver Jordan Matthews, who caught nine passes for 104 years against the Patriots. The Vanderbilt product is considered a lock for the 53-man roster.
The main concern for the Eagles coaching staff is the defense has allowed 79 points to go up on the scoreboard in two preseason games. Last week, the linebackers let the Patriots ground attack chew them up for 250 yards while the secondary allowed four touchdown strikes.
Time to check out Thursday Night Football under the lights.