In a game dedicated to Garrett Reid, it was the Eagles' third and fourth-stringers who saved the day. If we didn't know any better, we would have thought Nick Foles and Trent Edwards were the first and second string quarterbacks.
Michael Vick and Mike Kafka were dreadful as the first and second team offenses failed to score a single point and barely managed a first down. In fact, the first team offense led by Vick went three and out on their only two series of the game.
Vick completed three out of four passes for exactly six yards while LeSean McCoy contributed -5 yards on one run and one reception. That's a net value of one yard between our two star players!
Actually, the entire first team offense accumulated a net of -3 yards in their two series.
And to throw some salt on the festering wound that was our No. 1 offense, it only took six plays into the 2012 preseason to get our first injury scare for Vick. In his last pass attempt of the game, Vick whacked the thumb on his throwing hand against the back of Jason Kelce's helmet.
He came of the field clutching his hand in pain. We had to wait until half-time for him to get an x-ray to see if there was anything to worry about. Luckily, the x-ray came back negative and we saw Vick grasping a football on the sideline in the second half.
However, it just goes to show you what we all know already: Vick is seriously injury prone and it's likely that we will see the backup quarterback in action at some point this season.
The second-team offense fared only slightly better than the first team. Mike Kafka went 5 for 9 for 31 yards and one really boneheaded interception. If you didn't see the game, Kafka basically threw the ball blindly (turned around and didn't survey the field) and threw it directly to a defensive lineman.
Dion Lewis flashed a little bit in the run game by carrying the ball 4 times for 22 yards. The entire second-team offense netted 57 yards in their two possessions.
So, through one-half of football the Eagles netted 54 yards of offense and 0 points.
Fear not, though, the second half featured the third and fourth teams. Who cares if they were playing against Steelers' farm team, it was backups against backups, right?
Nick Foles came in and did his impression of Joe Montana...okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit here, but, compared to what we had seen earlier, Foles was a sight for sore eyes.
He went 6 for 10 for 144 yards and two very impressive touchdowns.
On the first TD, the Eagles' first points of the game, he bought some time by rolling to his right and then finding a wide open Damaris Johnson down the field. Foles fired a laser which Johnson caught and sped past the Steelers' defenders to the end zone to complete a 70-yard touchdown play.
On the second touchdown play, Foles did remind you a little bit of Montana by putting a nice touch on a 44-yard pass down the left sideline that Mardy Gilyard hauled in and crashed over the pylon to put the Eagles up 14-13.
At this point, Eagles fans started going a little crazy over Foles. Hell, things went so far that Mike Florio over at PFT put up a quick post saying "The Nick Foles Era Begins."
Alright now Mike, let's just slow it down a little bit, okay? Foles looked good in his Eagles debut, but I need to see more -- a lot more -- before I'm ready to utter the words "Nick Foles era."
Bryce Brown, who is currently the Eagles' third-string RB, looked good as well in carrying the ball 3 times for 33 yards and adding 16 more yards on 2 receptions. Put it this way, if Brown can bone-up on his pass blocking skills, he will all but lock-up a spot on the roster.
The Eagles were down 20-14 when fourth-string QB Trent Edwards entered the game. However, this set the stage for the dramatic finish.
Edwards went 12 for 20 for 106 yards and one touchdown. His stats should have been better if not for some dropped passes, particularly by Arena League call-up Tiger Jones.
However, Edwards displayed some veteran wisdom in his decision-making and the way he ran the offense. He led the Eagles on a touchdown drive that culminated with a 16-yard TD pass to Jamel Hamler on a 4th and 2 play from the Steelers' 16 yard line.
It was a great individual effort by Hamler, though, that made the play. He weaved and juked his way past a few defenders before leaping into the end zone for the score.
This put the Eagles up 21-20 with about 5 and 1/2 minutes to play.
The Steelers then drove the ball down into field goal range and took back the lead at 23-21. The Eagles got the ball back with just under 2 minutes to play.
Edwards then calmly drove the Eagles down the field, which included a crucial first down conversion on a 4th and 4 play at the Steelers' 39 yard line.
They ran the clock down to about 15 seconds or so before Alex Henery came on the field to attempt a 51-yard field goal. Henery delivered by splitting the uprights and having plenty of distance.
This set off a great display of emotion on the Eagles' sideline, highlighted by DeSean Jackson jumping on Andy Reid and giving him a big hug. It was great to see and an obvious sign of the relationship those two have.
The Eagles won the game 24-23, in honor of Garrett Reid, thanks to some unheralded guys that delivered when it mattered.