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Third Quarter Recap: Backups Extend Lead

Posted Aug 21, 2014

No one told the Eagles’ second-team offense to take it easy on the Steelers starters. So, despite the nominal mismatch in units, the Eagles extended their lead in the third quarter and lead 31-7 entering the fourth quarter of the “dress rehearsal” third preseason game, and are in position to grab Pennsylvania bragging rights.

It was Mark Sanchez’s turn to lead the Eagles offense, though running back Matthew Tucker may have been the star of the quarter. Sanchez was 2-of-4 on the first drive of the quarter for 20 yards, while Tucker notched 30 yards rushing on his own, including runs of 15 and 12 yards and the 1-yard touchdown jaunt.

On the Eagles’ second offensive drive, Tucker once again put the finishing touches on a touchdown drive, though this was more of a Mark Sanchez-to-Trey Burton highlight show, as Sanchez found the undrafted rookie tight end for a 12-yard reception and a beautiful third-down strike down the seam for 25 yards to get the Eagles into Steelers’ territory. Sanchez also tossed a nice pass while staring down the gun barrel to Damaris Johnson to set up Tucker’s touchdown.

Again, this came against the Steelers’ first-team defense.

Newly acquired running back Kenjon Barner also got his first offensive touches since joining the Eagles, with carries of negative-six and five yards. Barner also took a touchback on a kickoff return.

The quarter began with a stand by an Eagles defense that featured no starters but plenty of pressure. Vinny Curry notched a sack, Brandon Graham created pressure and first-round pick Marcus Smith II made an excellent run stop near the line of scrimmage.

Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense would bounce back on their second possession though, as Roethlisberger relied on his favorite target, Antonio Brown. The Steelers would go 79 yards on six plays, including 40 yards in receptions by Brown (and a 21-yarder that was wiped out by penalty), finishing the drive with a 27-yard touchdown toss from Roethlisberger to tight end Heath Miller.

LEADERS

Passing
Nick Foles – 19-of-29 for 179 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a 79.5 quarterback rating
Mark Sanchez – 7-of-9 for 85 yards and a 106.0 quarterback rating
Ben Roethlisberger – 15-of-24 for 157 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a 78.0 quarterback rating

Rushing
Matthew Tucker – 10 carries for 46 yards
Darren Sproles – Six carries for 33 yards and one catch for four yards
LeSean McCoy – Four carries for 24 yards and two catches for 26 yards and a touchdown
LeGarrette Blount – Six carries, 26 yards

Receiving
Jeremy Maclin – Six catches for 43 yards
Brent Celek – Two catches for 41 yards
Trey Burton – Two catches for 37 yards
Heath Miller – Five catches for 53 yards and a touchdown
Antonio Brown – Three catches for 59 yards

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