PITTSBURGH — Chase Claypool found the endzone three times and was a key part of the Steelers offense moving the ball all day as Pittsburgh moved their record to 4-0 with a 38-29 win over the Eagles at Heinz Field on Sunday.
The Steelers entertained their fans, who were able to attend a game in person for the first time all season.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 239 yards on 34 pass attempts with three touchdown passes.
Claypool continued to show why he’s one of the best receivers from this year’s draft class by recording seven receptions for 110 yards. He also added 6 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown.
While the Steelers defense certainly did not have a dominating performance, the unit did enough hold Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz in check, at least early in the game. Woodland Hills and Penn State product Miles Sanders carried most of the scoring load for Philadelphia in his Pittsburgh homecoming.
Philadelphia, who has been playing without several key offensive weapons, was able to make it close late following a touchdown from Wentz to Travis Fulgham towards the beginning of the fourth quarter.
It was then up to the Roethlisberger, James Conner and the Steelers offense to churn the clock and put one final nail in the coffin, something Pittsburgh was on the way to doing before tight end Eric Ebron fumbled the ball with 6:29 left in the game while trying to pick up extra yardage.
Despite the turnover, the Eagles failed to secure points as the drive ended with Jake Elliott missing a 57-yard field goal.
On the next Steelers drive, Claypool just about sealed the victory with his fourth touchdown of the game, which set a franchise rookie record.
The win gives the Steelers the franchise’s first 4-0 start to a season since 1979. Pittsburgh will host division rival Cleveland at Heinz Field next Sunday. Kickoff against the Browns is scheduled for 1 p.m. and it will broadcast on CBS.
Report: Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey Has Told Teammates He’ll Retire
Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey has told teammates that he will retire, according to a report by Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Former Steelers guard Ramon Foster, now of DK Pittsburgh Sports, reported on Jan. 12 that Pouncey was “50-50” on whether he would return for the 2021 season.
The 31-year-old Pouncey just finished his 11th season in the NFL, all of which have been with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has one year remaining on his contract, which would pay him $14.475 million if he returns. Just $6.475 million of that is guaranteed. The Steelers would save $8 million in cap space if he retires.
Pouncey made the Pro Bowl for the ninth time in 2020 and has also been a five-time Associated Press All-Pro. He was also a member of the NFL’s 2010s All-Decade Team, largely giving him Hall of Fame credentials.\
JuJu Smith-Schuster Asks Fans to Give him Space
JuJu Smith-Schuster is experiencing the negative side effect of living so much of his personal life in the public eye. The Steelers receiver, who is looking for a new NFL contract, took to Instagram to ask fans to leave him alone.
This stems from allegations that fans are showing up to his family home in California while he is there. Obviously, fans have no right to show up unwelcome anywhere to stalk an an athlete or celebrity, but this is just another example of the polarization of Smith-Schuster’s career. While he’s received much criticism, most notably this past season, for his sometimes over-the-top behavior and seemingly prioritizing his brand at all times, he also has many avid supporters who would stop at nothing to defend one of their favorite players.
Smith-Schuster is set to be a free agent in March for the first time in his professional career. If the Steelers should try to bring back the receiver has become a hot debate among Pittsburgh fans, so much so Smith-Schuster himself addressed the situation during a live Twitch sessions with fans.
Even Smith-Schuster’s play on the field is often up for debate. He totaled 97 receptions, but for only 831 yards with an average of just 8.6 yards per catch, which is significantly lower than his average from past seasons, including 15.8 his rookie year and 13.1 in 2019.
When it comes to JuJu Smith-Schuster, it’s always best to just stay tuned.
Steelers’ Vance McDonald Reflects on Stiff Arm Moment, Relationship with Ben Roethlisberger
Steelers tight end Vance McDonald spoke to the media after officially announcing his retirement from the NFL. McDonald responded to a question about the play he’s most synonymous with by saying he embraces the famous stiff arm moment. He also detailed his interaction with Ben Roethlisberger when he told his quarterback he was planning to retire.