This matchup has it all as the Pittsburgh Steelers of the AFC North take on their interstate rivals in the NFC East’s Philadelphia Eagles. It gets more enticing the deeper into this rivalry you go and we’re going to take you there. Not only do these teams share the same state, but their fanbases turn this rivalry into a powder keg that could explode at any moment. Let’s not forget some of the big names in this matchup such as Terry Bradshaw and Reggie White. Continue reading for a detailed picture of this dazzling fantastic NFL matchup.
One of the coolest facts about this classic clash is how far back it goes. We’re talking close to 100 years at this point with both the Steelers and Eagles being founded in 1933. Speaking of which, for 32 years these teams played each other twice a season between 1934-1966 (with the exception of 1944 and 1943 due to World War II) From 1967 until the AFL/NFL merger, the teams still met once a year but once they joined the NFL, the series became a rare occasion since the teams usually play each other once every four years. Fun fact: In a matchup dating back to 1933, these teams have only squared off once in the postseason (1947). Fun fact #2:In 1943, due to a shortage of players as a result of WWII, the teams combined to form one team that season, aptly named the Steagles.
They have had some excellent games, however, with one of the best coming in 2000 when McNabb and the Eagles were in Pittsburgh. McNabb would get Philadelphia into field goal territory where kicker David Akers nailed a kick to tie the game at 23 apiece as time expired. In overtime, the Eagles would prevail on another Akers’ kick, winning the only overtime game in the history of this series. A high-scoring affair in 2020 resulted in 67 combined points with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger leading the Steelers to a 38-29 victory over the visiting. Both teams scored a touchdown in every single quarter of a game that had nine total touchdowns scored, including three by Roethlisberger to wide receiver Chase Claypool.
The Odds and Ends
Let’s look past the first 67 years of this rivalry when it comes to the numbers because, well, there is far more data to work with. Starting with the merger in 1970, the teams would play two one-sided contests averaging 18.5 points apart. Over the next six games, however, from 1974-2000, the teams played each other far tighter, with the winner edging out the loser by an average of five points. From 2004-2020, however, the games were not as close as they were decided by an average of 15 points a contest. Check out the totals with this matchup because these teams tend to keep games under 50 points as only three games since 1970 have reached that total or above. In the ‘90s, the teams combined for a low 32.3 points a game while the years 2000-2020 had a little more offense as the teams averaged 39 points combined per contest, aside from the 2022 game which resulted in a 48 points, crushing 13:35 Eagles win over the Steelers.
Why You Should Watch It
Interstate rivalries are always a blast so that should be the first thing to hook you in here. In addition, this is one of the oldest rivalries in the NFL, giving you a little extra incentive to park your butt on the couch to watch. Let’s not forget about the die-hard fans for each team with their Terrible Towels and “Fly, Eagles, fly” monikers. This is a matchup featuring history, tradition, and a battle for state bragging rights. What more could you possibly want?