[[08.21.2014]] Philadelphia Eagles vs Pittsburgh Steelers: Welcome

[[08.21.2014_7:30pm]] Philadelphia Eagles vs Pittsburgh Steelers L:ive S:tream Week-3

The third preseason game is often viewed as the most important of all the fake games, and things should hold even more significance in Pennsylvania when the Pittsburgh Steelers make the short trip to Philadelphia to face the Eagles on Thursday. Though it was Philly that made the playoffs last season after bouncing back from a 4-12 finish the year before, the Steelers look prepared for a bounce-back year of their own in 2014.

Fans should get an extended look at starters on both sides while position battles and roster cuts become even clearer with just two weeks left until the regular season.
The Steelers lost Emmanuel Sanders in free agency and added former Saints wide receiver Lance Moore, but who will end up getting the most opportunities opposite Antonio Brown? Will it be Moore, second-year pro Markus Wheaton, or a rookie like Dri Archer or Martavis Bryant? There are a few interesting options, but Moore is coming off of an unproductive season and the others are inexperienced.

The Steelers will also get a longer look at second-round pick Stephon Tuitt as he fights for starter minutes at defensive end against veteran Cam Thomas.

On the other sideline, Chip Kelly has some big decisions to make in terms of the order of his quarterbacks. While Nick Foles is a lock to be the starter, trying his best to follow up on a season in which he threw 27 touchdowns and only two interceptions, the backup job is in serious contention between former USC Trojans Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley. All three players looked sharp in the Eagles' preseason Week 2 loss to the Patriots.

Philadelphia will also be figuring out its wide receiver situation after releasing DeSean Jackson in the offseason. Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin are sure to be the starters, but there should be opportunities for other players to get catches and touchdowns this season. Rookie Jordan Matthews, a second-round pick out of Vanderbilt who some scouts were split on in May, had a breakout performance against New England, catching nine passes for 104 yards. Can he keep that up against the Pittsburgh defense and lock himself in as the third receiver for Foles, or will he leave the door open for a veteran like Arrelious Benn or Brad Smith?

Matthews might also take snaps away from tight ends Brent Celek and Zach Ertz if he proves too talented to keep off the field.

Either way, the good news for fans of the preseason is that they could be getting at least one half of football that closely resembles a regular season game, and that's why Week 3 is probably the most important and definitely the most interesting.

Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pa.

When: Thursday, Aug. 21, 7:30 p.m. ET

TV: NFL Network, 506sports.com for local coverage

Radio: Steelers (102.5 WDVE-FM), Eagles (94 WIP)