Philadelphia Eagles vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers kick off their preseason schedules as they face off in Philadelphia on Thursday night. The Eagles are -1 point favorites over the Steelers with an over/under point total set at 34.
The Philadelphia Eagles were arguable the biggest disappointment of the 2011 NFL season and they will be looking to erase the memories and move forward. Of course in game one of the preseason we can’t expect to see too much of the starters but it has been a lot of the backups making news during camp. Michael Vick is the QB of this team so no QB controversy there and Mike Kafka is the number tow but rookie Nick Foles and veteran Trent Edwards will more than likely battle for the number three spot and should see action. LeSean McCoy is the veteran in the backfield but Dion Lewis has had the best camp of any player and looks to be one of the most improved players on the roster and with rookies Bryce Brown and Chris Polk the Eagles are very happy with their backfield. At receiver look for most of the action to be from the backups with Damaris Jackson not surprising any college football fan looking like a future star along with Marvin McNutt who has a chance to make the team and contribute. Defensively the Eagles are stacked and they took a bunch of defense in the draft with Fletcher Cox, Brandon Boykin, Mychal Kendricks, and Vinny Curry. Dominique Rodgers Cromartie has looked improved in camp as well.
The Pittsburgh Steelers took an early exit from the playoffs last season and one thing this organization has done well over the years is to identify weak spots and fix them immediately. Ben Roethlisberger has taken a beating recently so strengthening the line is a priority and Mike Adams and David DeCastro will be a big part of that process. The Steelers are set with their top receivers in Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown but in this one they will go deep into the depth chart and beyond Emmanuel Sanders but I am personally hoping to see Marquis Maze who was a big play guy at Alabama though he listed at the bottom. With Rashard Mendenhall on the PUP the Steelers have a slew of backs with potential led by Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer but Chris Rainey adds a home run threat, John Clay is a bruiser, and Baron Batch was projected to be a high draft pick a few years back and could be the sleeper of this group. Defensively James Harrison is on the PUP and with the injuries to Troy Polamalu over the years look for the starters to play a limited role. I would think Ziggy Hood may be in a fight to keep his job with Cameron Heyward and Al Woods will be looking for more playing time. Keenan Lewis will be called on to try and improve a secondary that was shredded in the playoffs.
Even though this is just preseason these are teams that have met often and there is a big edge to the home team in this series. With so little to go on and so many variables the play here is the Eagles at home.
Philadelphia Eagles -1 Pittsburgh Steelers