Rookie quarterback Carson Wentz's strong play has been one of the biggest surprises of the month so far. Before training camp started, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said Wentz would likely be inactive at the start of the season But that thinking changed when the cub flipped Sam Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for two draft picks, including a 2017 first-rounder.
It wasn't a perfect summer for Wentz. He suffered a hairline fracture in his ribs during the preseason opener and didn’t return for the rest of the exhibition slate. But he's clearly ready to contribute at the NFL level. Through two games, Wentz has completed 60.6 percent of his passes for 468 yards and three touchdowns. And perhaps most impressively, he hasn't thrown an interception.
It's worth noting that the Eagles' schedule hasn't been all that tough so far. They faced off against perhaps the two worst teams in the NFL: the Cleveland Browns in Week 1 and then the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football last week. But as the old cliche goes, you can only play who's on your schedule. So far, the Eagles have taken care of business.
The other big plot to the Eagles' season -- and really the entire NFL -- has been players deciding to protest the national anthem. Four members of the team, including safety Malcolm Jenkins, raised their fists in the air while "The Star-Spangled Banner" was being played Monday night. By all accounts, they plan on staging a demonstration prior to Sunday's contest as well.
No Steelers have decided to protest the anthem, but nobody would accuse anybody on that team of keeping their feelings to themselves. For years, the Steelers have taken on an anti-establishment mentality, which was further exacerbated by James Harrison's public stare down with commissioner Roger Goodell over the Al Jazeera PED report this summer.
On the field, the Steelers haven't missed a beat from last season despite playing without running back Le'Veon Bell, who's currently serving a four-game suspension. Veteran DeAngelo Williams has filled in admirably for him, leading the league in rush attempts (58) and yards (237) through the first two weeks of play.
Unsurprisingly, Ben Roethlisberger is still putting up big numbers as well. He leads the NFL with six touchdown passes so far, two of which have gone to star wideout Antonio Brown. Both of Brown's touchdown receptions came in the season opener against Washington, where Josh Norman inexplicably wasn't covering him.
The Eagles don't have a cornerback nearly the caliber of Norman, and thus, should expect to give up a lot of points Sunday. But the Steelers' defense isn't elite, either. They've held both Washington and the Cincinnati Bengals to 16 points so far, but neither of those teams, especially Washington, was particularly impressive.
If Wentz plays like he has through the first two weeks, this could be a high scoring game. Roethlisberger is still the best quarterback in Pennsylvania -- by far -- but one day Wentz may take the mantle.
How to Watch
When: 4:25 p.m. ET
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson
Online: Sunday Ticket