Eagles, Steelers off to slow starts

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Eagles were in the middle of another fourth-quarter meltdown when the chant began echoing through the Linc: “Let’s Go Phillies!”

The best team money can buy may have been overhyped. Michael Vick and Co. are off to a 1-3 start, drawing the ire of fans who’ve put all their hopes on the Phillies to win the World Series.

Football has long been No. 1 in Philadelphia, but the City of Brotherly Love is a baseball town nowadays.

So, when the Eagles blew a 20-point lead and lost 24-23 to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, fans didn’t boo as much as usual.

Instead, they started cheering for the Phillies, who played Game 2 of the NL division series later that night a few blocks down the road.

Across the state, fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers don’t have the same luxury.

The Pirates haven’t reached the postseason since 1992, so there’s no October baseball in the Steel City to take attention away from the struggling Steelers.

The defending AFC champions are 2-2, and don’t look like a team that could make another deep playoff run.

It’s been 12 years since the Keystone State didn’t have a winning NFL team. With three-quarters of the season remaining, it’s still too early to panic.

“We’ve got some work to do,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said after a 17-10 loss at Houston on Sunday. “It’s not anything mystical.”

The Eagles have bigger problems. They’ve blown leads in the fourth quarter in three straight losses.

“We’ve got to make sure we fix it. I obviously don’t like what I’m seeing, and I’m a part of that problem, so we’ve got to try to fix it,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said.

“Each guy needs to take a close look at himself and I’ve got to make sure I’m looking at it even closer, because we’re not finishing games the way we’re supposed to finish games. That’s the bottom line.”

At least the Steelers are undefeated at home. They beat Seattle 24-0 in Week 2 in their only game at Heinz Field. The Tennessee Titans (3-1) will visit Pittsburgh this Sunday.

The Eagles are 0-2 at home after losing to the Giants and 49ers in consecutive weeks.

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