After his performance in the first quarter of the dress rehearsal, the league’s reigning rushing champ sure seems ready for opening night. LeSean McCoy opened the scoring for the Eagles with a 22-yard screen catch-and-run on 3rd-and-10 to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead. The touchdown capped a methodical 11-play, 80-yard drive. McCoy was helped downfield by a nice block from Jeremy Maclin. The biggest play to set up the score came courtesy of Brent Celek, who once again invited the contact while losing his helmet and fighting on.
McCoy, though, would leave the game after the second drive to get an X-ray on his right thumb. His return has not yet been decided.
With Darren Sproles and Matthew Tucker rotating at running back in McCoy’s stead for the third possession, the Eagles are driving down the field into Steelers territory.
The Eagles’ first drive began promisingly after a 28-yard Damaris Johnson kickoff return with consecutive first downs on a Foles pass to Riley Cooper and a trademark 15-yard run by McCoy. But the drive would stall on the Eagles’ 46-yard-line before Donnie Jones punted away for the first Steelers possession.
The Eagles defense, meanwhile, held tough without both Cary Williams and Brandon Boykin. In their place, Nolan Carroll II got the start at corerback alongside Bradley Fletcher. Defensive coordinator Bill Davis continued to rotate his players on defense, with Jaylen Watkins and Roc Carmichael seeing the field in the secondary and defensive linemen like Damion Square, Beau Allen, Brandon Bair and Vinny Curry rotating in.
They forced a Steelers punt on the opponent’s first possession that was highlighted by a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty on DeMeco Ryans, who hit Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell over the middle.
Pressure from the pass rush would also end the Steelers’ second drive after only two first downs, one of them coming on an illegal contact penalty by Fletcher.
Nick Foles – 8-of-14 for 98 yards, one touchdown and a 102.7 quarterback rating
Ben Roethlisberger – 2-of-7 for 15 yards and a 39.6 quarterback rating
LeSean McCoy – Four carries for 24 yards, two catches for 26 yards and a touchdown
Matthew Tucker – Three carries for 15 yards
Le’Veon Bell – Three carries for 11 yards
Brent Celek – Two catches for 41 yards
Riley Cooper – Two catches for 18 yards
Heath Miller – Two catches for 15 yards