College Football Pick’em
Week 8 Recap
Talking the business of sports
PHILADELPHIA — As the city embarks on its biggest sports week in decades, A.J. Brown got the fireworks going with a dominant performance to keep the Philadelphia Eagles the lone unbeaten team in the NFL. Brown finished with a career-high three touchdowns in a convincing 35-13 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers to get the Eagles to 7-0 — matching the best start for the franchise in their 90-year history.
Brown finished with six catches for 156 yards and the three scores, becoming the first Eagles player to have three receiving touchdowns in a game since Riley Cooper in 2013. All of Brown’s receiving touchdowns came in the first half, as he also became the first Eagles player to have three receiving touchdowns in the first half of a game since Kevin Curtis in 2007. All of the touchdowns were 25-plus yards, the first Eagles player to accomplish that feat since Ben Hawkins in 1969.
Jalen Hurts finished 19 of 28 for 285 yards and four touchdowns and no interceptions (140.6 rating), all were 25-plus yards. He’s the first Eagles player to throw for four touchdowns of 25-plus yards since Norm Snead in 1969. Three of those were to Brown and the fourth was to Zach Pascal, whose 34-yard touchdown put Philadelphia up 28-10 in the third quarter.
Brown almost had a fourth touchdown catch, but Minkah Fitzpatrick tripped him up on a 43-yard catch-and-run at the Steelers’ 11-yard line. Miles Sanders scored a play later to put the Eagles up 35-13 early in the fourth quarter. He finished with nine carries for 78 yards and a score.
Kenny Pickett had two turnovers for the Steelers, a lost fumble on a sack in the fourth quarter and a C.J. Gardner-Johnson interception late in the game. The Steelers were 1 for 12 on third down and Pickett was sacked six times. Pittsburgh is 2-6 for the first time since the 2013 season.
Here are some takeaways from Philly’s convincing win over Pittsburgh.
The Eagles’ passing game turned in their best performance of the season, highlighted by Brown’s three touchdown catches and the four touchdown passes of 25-plus yards by Jalen Hurts. Averaging 10.2 yards per pass on the day, Hurts threw a career-high four touchdown passes as he finished 19 of 28 for 285 yards with a 140.6 passer rating. All of Brown’s touchdown catches were for 25-plus yards as he averaged 26 yards per catch on the afternoon. Zach Pascal also had two catches for 57 yards and a score, including a 34-yard touchdown catch to put the game out of reach in the third quarter.
The Steelers just weren’t a match for the Eagles’ passing game, as the secondary arguably turned in their worst performance of the year. Brown taunted the defense all day with the long touchdown catches (even getting a penalty for it) on his third touchdown catch of the afternoon. Pittsburgh allowed 400 yards of offense and 7.6 yards per play, not having an answer for the Eagles’ high-powered passing game of Hurts and Brown. The Steelers also allowed six sacks as the offensive line didn’t make life easy for Kenny Pickett.
The Eagles are one of the better teams in the league and the Steelers are in a transition phase. All there is to it.
A.J. Brown had three touchdown catches in the first half, but his 29-yard catch in the second quarter that gave the Eagles the lead for good showcased he was in for a monster afternoon. On third-and-8 from the Steelers’ 29-yard line, Hurts went over the top to Brown in the corner of the end zone as Brown corralled the pass to give Philadelphia a 14-7 lead.
Jalen Hurts with an ABSOLUTE DIME to A.J. Brown! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/dzNp8Coj9h
Akhello Witherspoon gave a good effort, but Brown wasn’t going to be denied on a perfect ball from Jalen Hurts. The Eagles had the deep ball going all afternoon.
Jalen Hurts’ first touchdown pass to A.J. Brown may have caught Brown by surprise that the ball was coming to him, but Brown bullied the ball away from Minkah Fitzpatrick to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead. Hurts went to Brown — who said he was trying to open up the field to DeVonta Smith — and the Eagles receiver beat Fitzpatrick to the catch point for the 39-yard score.
GET THE CAPE#PITvsPHI | #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/INFwctCQ4t
That was the start of Brown’s dominant afternoon.
“It’s super fun. You remember games like this, you and your teammates in the end zone, dancing and having fun. You’re gonna always remember it, but the elite teams gonna move on and get ready for the next one. We gotta put this to bed.” — Zach Pascal on the Eagles’ convincing victory over the Steelers.
The Eagles had a few touchdown celebrations after their long touchdowns Sunday as they kicked off what could be a huge week for Philadelphia sports with the Phillies in the World Series. They’re the last unbeaten team at 7-0.
The Eagles (7-0) face the Houston Texans on “Thursday Night Football” this week while the Steelers (2-6) have their bye week in Week 9. They’ll face the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, Nov. 13.
Only 1 QB in the 90-year history of the Eagles has won 10 consecutive starts.
C.J. Gardner Johnson has his third INT in two games. The Steelers are 1 for 12 on 3rd down and Kenny Pickett has two turnovers. This offense has a lot of work to do.
Miles Sanders scores a play later. He has 9 carries for 78 yards and a TD.
A trip by Minkah Fitzpatrick literally stopped A.J. Brown from getting his 4th TD. 43 yards on the catch. Brown has 6 catches for 156 yards and 3 TD.
Say what you want about Kenny Pickett, he has no fear.
The Eagles defense has been near him most of the day and he’s still keeping his composure.
This offense is so much better with Pickett running it.
The Eagles special teams may not be good, but Zech McPhearson is a very good player on that unit. That’s a heck of a play to pin the Steelers at their own 1 in a 28-13 game. Giving Pittsburgh little room for error.
6:58 off the clock so Mike Tomlin could kick a FG when the Steelers were 4-for-4 on 4th down — and in the red zone.
Think the Eagles would take that decision.
Have to figure the Steelers are going for it on 4th down in the red zone, but Mike Tomlin will kick. It’s 28-10. I don’t understand this decision — even if its technically a two-score game.
28-13 Eagles now.
Jalen Hurts is the first Eagles QB since the merger to have 4 TD passes of 25+ yards in a game.
The last Eagles QB to do this was Norm Snead in 1969. Against the Steelers of all teams.
Jordan Davis is OUT (ankle). Left the game in the second quarter. Big loss for the Eagles defense today.
Jalen Hurts TD passes today
He’s 17 of 25 for 235 yards with 4 TD passes
Career-high 4 pass TD for Jalen Hurts.
Say it with me: QB1.
Miles Sanders had 21 yards on that last run. Had 10 yards the whole first half.
A.J. Brown is the first Eagles player to have 3 receiving TD in a game since Riley Cooper in 2013.
A.J. Brown just caught his 3rd TD pass of the first half. This is unreal. Another ball on the money by Jalen Hurts.
A.J. Brown has 5 catches for 113 yards and 3 TD in the first half. His first career 3 TD game.
Kenny Pickett was trying to play hero ball on those three passes.
He doesn’t have to do this in a 14-7 game. Should have been picked twice.
Not much to write home about on that Eagles drive. Alex Highsmith shut down DeVonta Smith on that screen and cost him to lose 10 yards.
He deserves some All-Pro votes.
Most 25-yard receiving TDs since 2019.
Tyreek Hill — 15
A.J. Brown — 11
Brown has 2 of them today.
That’s the 4th multi-TD game of A.J. Brown’s career — first since 10/18/2020.
He’s good folks.
What a throw from Jalen Hurts to A.J. Brown.
Brown is owning the Steelers secondary today.
First multi-TD game with the Eagles. He has 4 catches for 84 yards and 2 TD — with 12:48 left in the 2Q.
DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert were wide open on those last two Jalen Hurts completions.
Eagles got 25 yards on those plays.
A.J. Brown has 3 catches for 57 yards and a TD in the 1st quarter. Eagles and Steelers tied at 7 after 1. Kenny Pickett 6-of-7 for 53 yards.
Chase Claypool just threw a 1-yard TD pass to Derek Watt for the Steelers first offensive TD at Lincoln Financial Field.
Not Kenny Pickett — trick play on WR sweep, but Claypool threw pass.
Eagles penalty by Brandon Graham set up that TD after PIT was set up to kick FG.
Kenny Pickett has completed his first six passes for the Steelers today. Steelers have a lot of open looks in the middle of the field.
The Steelers are going to have to get off quick passes
Because Kenny Pickett is running for his life when they don’t.
Jalen Hurts deep ball to A.J. Brown. That 39-yard TD was right on the money to Brown — great snag by Brown over Minkah Fitzpatrick to give Philly the early 7-0 lead.
Eagles going for it here on this 4th-and-2 at the Steelers 44. I like the decision, especially since it was a quick rollout to Dallas Goedert. The Steelers are pressuring Hurts well on the edge.
Haason Reddick drills Kenny Pickett on third down. No Robert Quinn in that first series.
5.5 sacks on the year for Reddick.
Eagles win the toss. They will defer. Steelers will get the ball first.
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