W2W4: Philadelphia Eagles

August, 21, 2014
Aug 21
12:00
PM ET
PHILADELPHIA -- The Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) and Philadelphia Eagles (0-2) play their third preseason game Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field.

1. The Eagles need to make a case with their defense. After allowing 76 points in their first two preseason games, they could use some signs of life. Yes, the coaches have been more focused on evaluating players in base defensive alignments, but the preseason is also about building some momentum for the regular season. With starters likely to play little or not at all next week, this is the last chance before the season opener for the defense to make a statement.

2. Nick Foles should have a full toolbox. The quarterback played better against New England than he did in Chicago a week earlier, and that’s certainly a positive. But this will be his first and likely only chance to get some in-game work with Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper lined up at wide receiver. You can make up for a lack of preseason work on the practice field to some degree, but if these games mean anything, then Foles should seize this opportunity to get the offense into some kind of rhythm.

3. The Steelers represent the home office. While the Eagles have allowed 76 points in two games, Pittsburgh has allowed just 36. The Steelers run the kind of 3-4 defense that Eagles coordinator Bill Davis is trying to build. So it will be instructive to compare how the Steelers do things with the way the Eagles' defense is operating in its third preseason game. And it’s also good for the Eagles' offense to get some work against an odd-man front. They do in practice every day, but the Steelers are a little ahead of the Eagles at this point.

Phil Sheridan

ESPN Philadelphia Eagles reporter

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