The Eagles beat the Steelers 24-23 Thursday night in their preseason opener thanks to a late 51-yard field goal by Alex Henery.
But the result on the field took a back seat to what happened before the game and then to the quarterback during it.
The Eagles, Steelers and fans at the Linc stood for a moment of silence before the game as they stopped to remember Eagles coach Andy Reid’s son Garret who died Sunday at Lehigh.
Reid stood with his players on the sideline for the moment of silence before the game.
Once the game started, starting quarterback Michael Vick left it with a left hand injury.
The Eagles first-team defense and offense both struggled. The Steelers really exploited the Birds' D on the opening drive of the game as Pittsburgh's QB Ben Roethlisberger led Pittsburgh on a 16-play, 52-yard field goal scoring drive that took 9:48 off the clock.
The Eagles defense then allowed a TD on the Steelers' second drive. All the while Vick and the Eagles “dynasty” offense managed negative-2 yards in two 3-and-outs.
The last of Vick’s two drives ended with him banging his throwing hand on the helmet of his center Jason Kelce and leaving the field wincing in pain. He spent the rest of the second quarter on the sideline icing his left thumb. The Eagles announced after the half that X-rays on Vick's injured hand came back negative.
Vick remained on the sideline for the entire second half even gripping a ball at points to seemingly test how his thumb was doing.
"He hurt this thumb, but you saw him gripping the ball, and he was fine by the end of the game. He just hit the nerve on the top there -- like a stinger on your thumb," said coach Andy Reid.
As for the game itself, the Eagles got over their bad start thanks to some big plays by third-string quarterback Nick Foles. Foles threw for 144 yards and two scores on 6-for-10 passing (a 143.8 passer rating) including a 70-yard touchdown pass to rookie Damaris Johnson and a 44-yard bomb to Mardy Gilyard that was originally not called a touchdown but later overturned.
Bryce Brown led the Eagles in rushing with 33 yards on three carries. Starting running back LeSean McCoy lost two yards on his only carry.
Johnson led Birds receivers with 85 yards on four catches.
"I am just trying to take advantage of opportunities that are given to me," Johnson said. "They gave me the chance to return the first punt tonight. I caught the ball well. I will just try to take it like that every game."
Fourth-string QB Trent Edwards led the Eagles on an impressive 11-play, 46-yard drive that led to Henery’s winning kick.
Rookie defensive end Vinny Curry led the defense with five tackles. Fellow D-end Phillip Hunt had two of the Eagles’ seven sacks.