Steelers vs. Eagles final score: Philadelphia routes Steelers' starters in 31-21 thrashing

Neal Coolong
SB Nation

It's back to the lab for Pittsburgh, a team that lost its second straight "dress rehearsal" preseason game.

If the Steelers' third preseason game was their dress rehearsal, there are a lot of people who will want to exchange their tickets.

Pittsburgh was humiliated by the host Eagles' first and second teams in a 31-21 win over the Steelers Thursday. The Steelers were beaten badly in three phases of the game despite their starters having played well into the third quarter. Philadelphia's second-string defenders got a stop of Pittsburgh's offense, and the second-string offense, led by quarterback Mark Sanchez, scored a touchdown as well.

Pittsburgh's only touchdown came on a 27-yard strike from Ben Roethlisberger to Heath Miller. It was one of the few successful plays in a night the team didn't get to the 200-yard mark on offense until under seven minutes left.

The Steelers' defense was flagged a dozen times in a poor performance, with cornerback Ike Taylor having picked up three of them in his time on the field. Fellow cornerback Cortez Allen had two flags of his own, and most optimism about this team's defensive ability is gone.

Very little pressure was applied to Eagles' quarterback Nick Foles who only completed 19 of 29 passes but still shredded the Steelers' grab-happy secondary.

The Steelers lost linebackers Jason Worilds and Sean Spence in the third quarter of the game. Both were playing into the third quarter after what was perceived to be a poor first half performance. Spence, who missed the 2012 and 2013 regular seasons with a knee injury, left the field with a right knee injury - the opposite leg of his previous injury.

Pittsburgh looks to leave Philadelphia with whatever they have left, a 48 hour stretch that saw two players arrested, two other key players injured and a boatload more questions to answer than they had since last week.

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