Brent Celek helps out on covering James Harrison

Posted: October 08, 2012

Here are some observations and ruminations about the Eagles-Steelers game:

 PITTSBURGH - Tight end Brent Celek caught a clutch, 2-yard touchdown pass to put the Eagles ahead in the fourth quarter. Earlier in the game, however, with their offensive line battered and facing a blitz-happy Steelers defense, the Eagles had to keep Celek in to block.

Celek provided a lot of help for left tackle Demetress Bell against linebacker James Harrison. But with Celek staying in, Michael Vick didn't have his second-leading receiver as an option.

The tight end had only one pass thrown in his direction in the first half - a throwaway - and didn't record a catch until the third quarter.

He ended with just three catches for 9 yards.

 

- Jeff McLane

  

More Havili

Stanley Havili's growing role in the Eagles offense was on display on Sunday.

The Eagles continue to use the fullback in multiple packages and not just as a lead blocker. He lined up as an outside receiver, as an extra tight end, and was used in the running game and the passing game.

The Eagles rave about his versatility, and Havili is turning into a complete fullback.

 

- Zach Berman

 

Targeting Asomugha

With Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie blanketing Mike Wallace for most of the first half, Roethlisberger continued to look and throw at Nnamdi Asomugha.

The Eagles cornerback has increasingly been targeted by opposing quarterbacks this season. Roethlisberger hit receiver Antonio Brown for a couple of medium-length pass completions and then found the receiver in the end zone after he beat Asomugha.

Brown, though, couldn't hold onto the ball, and Asomugha dodged a bullet. In the second half, he was again on Brown when Roethlisberger hit the receiver for 6 yards on third and 6.

 

- J.M.

 

Inconsistent punting

When the Eagles signed Mat McBriar two weeks ago, special-teams coordinator Bobby April said he wanted consistency. It has not come yet.

McBriar, a two-time Pro Bowler, might be a better long-term answer than Chas Henry this season, but there haven't been immediate benefits. His 56-yard punt went into the end zone for a touchback, and he missed on a 39-yard punt that could have pinned the Steelers deep into their territory.

He had four punts Sunday for an average of 44 yards.

- Z.B.

In and then back out

The Steelers got healthy during the bye and welcomed safety Troy Polomalu, Harrison, and running back Rashard Mendenhall back into the fold for Sunday's game.

But Polomalu reinjured his calf in the first half and did not return. The Steelers also lost linebacker LaMarr Woodley, their best pass rusher in their first three games, to a hamstring injury. The Eagles did little to capitalize on their absence in the first half.  

- J.M.

 

Work in progress

Rookie linebacker Mychal Kendricks deserves the praise he's earned this season, but he whiffed on two one-on-one tackling possibilities in Sunday's first half.

The first was a Roethlisberger run when the Steelers QB faked a pitch and Kendricks bit. It was a human reaction, but it looked as if Kendricks thought the option was actually an option, and he missed a difficult shoestring tackle on Mendenhall's 13-yard touchdown run.

 

- Z.B.

 


Contact Jeff McLane at jmclane@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @Jeff_McLane.

 

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