Thursday, August 21, 2014

Birds come up big in home preseason tilt against Steelers


Philadelphia, PA -- LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles scored touchdowns in the first half and the Philadelphia Eagles grabbed a 31-21 preseason victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday in South Philadelphia.

McCoy caught a 22-yard score in the first half, but the team got a bit of a scare as he exited the game with a thumb injury. X-rays taken on the thumb, though, came back negative.

Nick Foles ran the first-team offense for the first half and led the team on three scoring drives, going 19-for-29 for 179 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper were together on the field for the first time in the preseason and 
combined for nine catches for 68 yards as the Eagles won for the first time in their exhibition slate after dropping their first two games. Maclin stayed in the game after going down on a non-contact injury early in the contest which brought back memories of his torn ACL from last season, but recovered quickly.

Ben Roethlisberger played into the third quarter and finished the game 15- for-24 for 157 yards, one touchdown and one interception for the Steelers, who are 1-2 on the preseason. 

Twin running back threats LeGarrette Blount and Le'Veon Bell dressed and played more than 24 hours after their arrest and citation on marijuana charges in the Steel City suburbs. Blount traveled with the team. Bell paid his own way to join the squad, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. They combined for 55 yards on 16 carries. 

The Eagles found the end zone on their second possession of the game as McCoy caught a short pass out to the right and ran into the end zone for a 22-yard score and a 7-0 lead with 6:12 left in the first.
Philly added to its lead on its next touch as the team drove the ball 77 yards on 13 plays, with Sproles punching the ball in up the middle from a yard out for a 14-0 lead.

The Eagles got a 36-yard field goal from Alex Henery late in the first half to take a 17-0 lead into the break.

Philly added to its advantage on its first touch of the third quarter as Matthew Tucker finished off a nine-play drive with a 1-yard score, but Pittsburgh got its offense together on its ensuing possession as Roethlisberger tossed a pass into the end zone that Heath Miller came down with for a 27-yard score.

Tucker added another 1-yard run late in the third quarter for a 31-7 lead.

Darrius Heyward-Bey caught a 33-yard score from Bruce Gradkowski, and Martavis Bryant caught a 3-yard score from Gradkowski to make the game respectable for Pittsburgh.

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