The Pittsburgh Steelers (2-5) will travel intrastate to battle the Philadelphia Eagles (6-0). This cross-conference game is always a fight for Pennsylvania pride, and this season's matchup is even more critical for the Eagles as they look to stay ahead of the Giants and Cowboys in the division.
Series Record: The Eagles lead the overall series 48-29-3 and are 26-8-2 at home.
Opponent Scouting Report
QB: The Steelers' 2022 season started off with Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback, but coach Mike Tomlin has since handed the role to rookie Kenny Pickett to see what he has to offer as the signal-caller.
Pickett has had some growing pains in his four appearances and three starts this season. With 771 pass yards, two touchdowns, and seven interceptions, he's still finding his footing.
RB: Najee Harris, coming off a stellar rookie season, has gotten off to a slow start in 2022. Through seven games, Harris is averaging 47.1 yards per game on the ground, totaling 329 yards on 100 carries. He's also managed to get into the end zone only once so far. An offseason Lisfranc injury has limited Harris early, but the metal plate has now been removed, and it could allow him to be more comfortable running the ball.
Although Pickett is still developing as an NFL passer, he has helped tremendously in the run game, where he has 61 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. Of the top three runners on the Steelers, Pickett and his average of 5.1 yards per carry is the highest of the group. His two touchdowns are also the most on the team through seven games.
WR: Diontae Johnson has taken over as the WR1 for Pittsburgh in 2022. With 38 receptions on 67 targets, he leads the team in both categories. His 337 receiving yards place him second on the team. Although his receiving numbers are impressive, Johnson has yet to find the end zone.
George Pickens leads the team in receiving yards; he's found success quickly for the Steelers after being drafted in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. With 338 yards and one touchdown on 26 receptions, Pickens has started to showcase the abilities he showed in college at Georgia. Even after missing much of his final college season, he returned down the stretch for the Bulldogs and helped them to the National Championship.
With Chase Claypool having 266 yards and one touchdown on 28 receptions, the Steelers have three dependable wide receivers they can go to in crunch time.
TE: Despite missing a game due to injury, Pat Freiermuth is tied for second on the team with 28 receptions on the season. Freiermuth has converted these catches into 310 yards and one touchdown as the checkdown receiver, first for Trubisky and now for Pickett. When fully healthy, Freiermuth is a difference-maker in any game.
Defensive Line: With 16 tackles, two sacks, and one forced fumble, the defensive line of the Pittsburgh Steelers revolves around defensive tackle Cam Heyward. In his 12th NFL season, Heyward is still near the top of his game for the Steelers.
Alongside Heyward, Larry Ogunjobi is the prototype run stuffer at 6-foot-3 and 305 pounds.
Linebackers: Myles Jack leads the Steelers team in tackles with 42. Along with Devin Bush and Alex Highsmith, the Pittsburgh Steelers have a solid linebacking group who can cover the entire field from sideline to sideline. This group will only improve when reigning Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt returns from injury.
Secondary: All-Pro Minkah Fitzpatrick is heralded as one of the best safeties in the NFL. With 23 tackles, three interceptions, and five passes defended this season, he is exemplifying his defensive prowess once again. He has a knack for finding the ball, and with Terrell Edmunds also contributing at safety, the Steelers' secondary presents a challenge in executing the pass game.
12: Through six games, Jalen Hurts has 12 total TDs. Six on the ground and six through the air.
4: After zero TDs in 2021, Miles Sanders has four so far in 2022.
17.5: The Eagles' defense has only given up an average of 17.5 points per game, while the offense has scored 26.8 points per game.
14: The Eagles have a league-high 14 takeaways in 2022.
9: The Eagles are 9-0 at home vs the Steelers in the Super Bowl era.
Minkah Fitzpatrick vs. Jalen Hurts
Minkah Fitzpatrick has three interceptions and five passes defensed this season; he'll be one of the Steelers' secondary players to keep an eye on against Jalen Hurts and the Eagles' offense. Hurts is no stranger to Fitzpatrick, the two played together at the University of Alabama. They both were known to spend their weekends putting in extra hours at the weight room and on the field.
"Knowing him personally, knowing the type of man he is, the character he has, and the work he puts in, I remember a lot of nights where it's a Saturday night or a Friday night and everybody's out and I'm thinking I'm the only one going to the weight room or to the field to do extra work, but Minkah was there, too," Hurts said.
"He played defensive back, and he'd go out there and run routes for me. That's how versatile he was. Again, a lot of respect for Minkah. He's been making big-time plays ever since I've known him."