Wentz impresses again, Eagles beat Steelers 34-3
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Carson Wentz threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns, a fierce defense shut down Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown and the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-3 on Sunday to remain unbeaten.
The rookie No. 2 overall pick connected with Darren Sproles on a 73-yard, catch-and-run TD and tossed a 12-yard TD pass to Jordan Matthews.
“Everyone has confidence and high expectations for themselves,” Wentz said. “We’re playing inspired football.”
After beating the Browns and Bears in the first two games, the Eagles (3-0) proved they could compete with the big boys.
The Steelers (2-1) averaged 31 points the first two weeks and are considered Super Bowl contenders.
Pittsburgh was 19-2 against rookie quarterbacks since 2004. But Wentz is no ordinary rookie.
Everyone is jumping on the Wentz wagon in Philadelphia. And he was the No. 3 quarterback until Sam Bradford was traded to Minnesota just eight days before the season opener.
“What he’s doing is special and it’s a testament to his preparation and demeanor,” Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said of Wentz.
Sproles finished with six catches for 128 yards and Kenjon Barner and rookie Wendell Smallwood each had their first career rushing TDs.
Roethlisberger had 257 yards passing, one interception and no TDs after tossing six in the first two games. Brown caught 12 passes for 140 yards, most of which after the outcome was decided.
“This is a very good NFC team,” Roethlisberger said. “They got after us and made us one-dimensional.”
THEY SAID IT: Steelers coach Mike Tomlin: “We lost just about every aspect of that one. It was a poor performance by us, and I mean all of us. It starts with me. They outcoached us. They outplayed us. They were better fundamentally. We were highly penalized. We didn’t get it done and they did.”
FAST START: The Eagles scored on their first drive for the third straight game. Caleb Sturgis’ 29-yard FG put them up 3-0. Wentz tossed a TD pass to Matthews on the next possession to make it 10-0. Sturgis kicked a 38-yard FG on Philadelphia’s third drive for a 13-3 lead.
MISSED OPPORTUNITY: After Pittsburgh’s Markus Wheaton dropped a TD pass in the back of the end zone on the game’s opening drive, Bennie Logan blocked Chris Boswell’s 36-yard FG attempt.
INJURIES: Steelers LB Lawrence Timmons injured his left shin in the first half and was taken to a hospital for evaluation. He returned to the locker room after the game with a huge bandage on his shin. SS Robert Golden (hamstring) and LG Ramon Foster (chest) also didn’t return in the second half for Pittsburgh. WR Eli Rogers injured his toe in the third quarter and didn’t return. ... The Eagles were missing two starters for the second straight game: TE Zach Ertz (rib) and CB Leodis McKelvin (hamstring).
BOTHERING BIG BEN: Fletcher Cox had two sacks, including one that forced a fumble recovered by Brandon Graham. Logan and Graham also had sacks as the Eagles put plenty of pressure on Roethlisberger. The Steelers allowed only two sacks in the first two games combined.
NIFTY MOVES: The speedy, elusive Sproles left Artie Burns on the ground by zig-zagging his way into the end zone after catching Wentz’s pass down the right sideline near the Philadelphia 48, cutting to the middle of the field, back to the right and then scoring down the middle.
STATS: Wentz is the first rookie in NFL history without an interception in his first 100 pass attempts to begin a career. ... The Steelers are 0-9 in Philadelphia since their previous win here in 1965. ... Eagles RB Ryan Mathews carried only two times for minus-5 yards. ... Barner had 42 yards rushing, including an 8-yard TD. ... Smallwood had 79 yards rushing, including a 1-yard TD.
ANTHEM PROTEST: Jenkins and CB Ron Brooks were the only players to raise their fists during the national anthem. Last week, they were joined by DEs Marcus Smith and Steven Means.
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