The Eagles' top two picks in the 2009 NFL Draft made Eagles fans hold their breath, but both Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy allowed fans to enjoy the first half of action against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Philadelphia went into the halftime intermission with a 17-0 lead. Quarterback Nick Foles was 19 of 29 for 179 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The Eagles' offense outgained the Steelers 251-96 and was successful on five out of eight third-down opportunities.
Running back Darren Sproles' 1-yard touchdown capped off a 13-play, 77-yard drive to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead with 12:34 left in the first half. Foles was a perfect 6 for 6 on the drive.
McCoy scored the game's first touchdown in the first quarter, but exited the game to have X-rays performed on his right thumb. They were negative. McCoy returned to the sideline, but his night was complete.
Following Sproles' touchdown, Nolan Carroll II, who made his preseason debut for the Eagles after missing the first two games with a groin injury, introduced himself to Eagles fans by making a diving interception on a Ben Roethlisberger pass attempt. Linebacker Mychal Kendricks blitzed and forced Roethlisberger to rush the errant throw.
Maclin's scare was on the first play after the interception. He ran down the right sideline and it appeared as if his right knee buckled and he went to the ground without contact. Maclin walked off the field under his own power. As Maclin was being examined, Foles went to throw a screen to Sproles, who fell, and it was intercepted by Steelers safety Troy Polamalu.
The Steelers started at the Eagles' 31-yard line, but on third down safety Malcolm Jenkins made a beautiful diving pass breakup of a Roethlisberger attempt to wide receiver Antonio Brown to force a field goal attempt. Kicker Shaun Suisham missed from 46 yards out.
Maclin returned much to the delight of Eagles fans on the offense's next drive and caught a pass for 9 yards on the first snap.
The Eagles rounded out the scoring in the first half with a 36-yard field goal by Alex Henery. Linebacker Brandon Graham nearly added some more points late in the half with a sack of Roethlisberger and a forced fumble deep in Pittsburgh territory, but Steelers tackle Ramon Foster recovered it.
The two newest Eagles - running back Kenjon Barner and kicker Cody Parkey - played in the second quarter. Barner went in the game to return a punt and Parkey hit a kickoff into the end zone.