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Two Winners, Four Losers from Steelers Fall to Eagles

There was not much positive to draw from the Pittsburgh Steelers' latest loss.

The Pittsburgh Steelers fell in blowout fashion to the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles, 35-13, at Lincoln Financial field. It was largely the same story that has been told for the first seven weeks of the season - the offense couldn't score and the defense got worn out as the Steelers got outclassed by a better opponent. 

That makes this week's winners and losers predictable. Few Steelers are worthy of praise and many more will be disappointed when they review the film next week. 


Cam Sutton

Sutton was one of the few Steelers defensive backs that weren't being victimized by Hurts and Brown routinely. He rarely had to match up with Brown, the Eagles' top receiver but he was stout in coverage of Philadelphia's secondary options. 

Sutton finished the afternoon with four tackles, good for a six-way tie at second on the team, and two pass break ups. He was one of the lone bright spots in a Steelers secondary that was clearly outgunned, even at its healthiest. 

Jaylen Warren

The bulk of Warren's work came in garbage time but he was impressive when he carried the ball six times for 50 yards. He also caught three passes for 25 yards. 

Warren demonstrated all the traits that made him a fan favorite while he was getting limited action as a reserve. He hit holes hard and showed some burst while also embracing the physicality of finishing runs between the tackles and pass-protecting. 

As Najee Harris continues to struggle in front of him, Warren could see a golden opportunity to break through as a regular contributor on offense for the Steelers. He's gotten better with each passing week and a breakout game can't be far off. 


Minkah Fitzpatrick

As transcendent as Fitzpatrick has been manning center field for the Steelers this season, this was his worst game of the season. He was one of the defensive backs victimized by Brown and Hurts routinely. In the first quarter, he let Brown steal an interception out of the air because he didn't attack the football and later, Fitzpatrick was burned on a deep crossing route for a long gain. 

Stars need to play like stars if the Steelers want to win football games and Fitzpatrick was far from his typical star form against the Eagles. 

Ahkello Witherspoon 

Jalen Hurts took advantage of Brown's matchup on Witherspoon early and often. All three of his touchdowns were on receptions of 25 yards or more and each occurred while Witherspoon was defending him. 

It was an embarrassing afternoon for Witherspoon that got so bad that Brown picked up a flag for taunting after catching his third touchdown pass midway through the second quarter. He was eventually benched for James Pierre. 

Witherspoon is tall for his position at 6'2 and boasts great length, but he did not bring enough weight to this fight with the ultra-athletic A.J. Brown. Witherspoon was outmuscled all afternoon in his first game back from a hamstring injury. 

Kenny Pickett 

Pickett suffered through a miserable afternoon while throwing for some unspectacular numbers. He completed 25 of 38 passes for 191 yards and no touchdowns. The team scored one passing touchdown and receiver Chase Claypool threw it. 

While the game was out of reach by this point, Pickett has still continued to struggle with ball security in the fourth quarter. The rookie committed two second-half turnovers - a fumble and an interception, his sixth in the fourth quarter this season. 

One could have easily predicted that the rookie quarterback would struggle against the undefeated juggernaut forcing the most turnovers in the NFL, so this performance doesn't have to be the end of Pickett's career. If nothing else, he's making these mistakes early and in low-stakes environments. This was a bad game but there's time to improve. 

Chukwuma Okorafor 

The Steelers offensive line committed four of the team's nine penalties against the Eagles and Okorafor was certainly not the only offender but he was the most penalized player in the game for Pittsburgh. That's not to mention all the hard sacks that he and his unit allowed Pickett to take throughout the game. 

The offensive line had exceeded expectations through the first half of the year but they looked like the unit that many pegged as the worst in the NFL prior to the start of the season as they got manhandled by a formidable Eagles front. 

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