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Belief Goes A Long Way For Coach Pederson


First-year head coach Doug Pederson will be heading into the bye week with a win and a smile.

The Eagles improved to 3-0 after defeating the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers, 34-3. Rookie quarterback Carson Wentz finished the victory with 301 passing yards going 23-of-31 with two touchdowns, and while Wentz has been incredibly impressive in his first three weeks, the same can be said for Pederson, who remains undefeated as a head coach at the NFL level.

In what was the biggest matchup of the season (thus far), Pederson found a way to make it work.

How? Belief.

"I told the team way back in OTAs, it just takes a little bit of belief. Belief in themselves. Trust the process," Pederson said. "Believe in the coaches and coaches believing in one another. And that's what they did tonight.

"Am I surprised? A little, but at the same time I know that locker room. I know those guys and I know what they're building."

Together, Coach Pederson and Wentz are already making names for themselves, just three games into the season. Perhaps the most important of all the stats from the first three weeks is that Wentz has made it to the bye week without throwing any interceptions.  

"I give a lot of credit to Frank Reich, John DeFilippo and a lot of credit to that offensive line," Pederson said. "I give a lot of credit to even Chase Daniel and Carson for the way they prepare during the week and get themselves ready to play."

Preparing is exactly what Wentz and the offense did, handing Pittsburgh its first loss of the season. The 34-3 win is also the largest loss in Mike Tomlin's tenure as the Steelers head coach.

It's not easy to put into words exactly how Wentz has been able to find such early success, but Pederson gave his best effort, highlighting Wentz's ability to take care of the football.

"He continues to make plays and he continues to protect the football. He protected himself tonight and so everything right now is going in the right direction," Pederson said. "He's gaining confidence every single week."

On the other side of the ball, the defense has only allowed two touchdowns and 27 points to their first three opponents. They have forced six turnovers and recorded 10 sacks. The Eagles managed to hold Super Bowl winner Ben Roethlisberger to 24-of-44 passing for 257 yards on Sunday, his lowest total for the season.

"We were able to put a little pressure on Ben with our four-man rush and do a great job with that defensive line," Pederson said. "(We were) able to just rally in the back end with our linebackers and secondary, and I thought Jalen (Mills) played extremely well."

The defense held the Steelers to a mere 29 rushing yards. In addition, Pittsburgh attempted two fourth-down conversions, but was unsuccessful.

Sunday's game was without a doubt a complete, team win over a very talented opponent. But despite the big win, Coach Pederson knows there's still a long way to go.

"By no means are we, or have, accomplished anything yet," Pederson said. "(The) season is still extremely young. But what they did tonight just proves that they're coming together as a football team."

The Battle of Pennsylvania was won by the Eagles who improved their record to 3-0 heading into the bye week.

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