Travis Fulgham's breakout encouraging for Eagles, even in loss to Steelers

Shortly after Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Travis Fulgham hauled in a fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Carson Wentz, CBS analyst Jonathan Vilma said incredulously:

"How do you lose sight of that guy? How do you lose sight of Travis Fulgham?"

That's all you need to know about how quickly Fulgham's stock has skyrocketed.

Fulgham, the former Old Dominion walk-on who has already been cut from 2019 teams (the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions) since coming into the league in 2019, exploded for 10 catches and 152 yards in a 38-29 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. This performance is on the heels of a Week 4 game-winning touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football.

His encouraging play is starting to feel like more than a fluke, and that's huge for the Eagles, who have been snakebit at receiver the past couple seasons. With his emergence, Philadelphia suddenly has a potentially promising one-two punch for the near future once first-round pick Jalen Reagor returns from a UCL tear in his thumb. And it lessens the need for the Eagles to depend on the health and production of 33-year-old DeSean Jackson (hamstring) and 30-year-old Alshon Jeffery (Lisfranc).

It's been a slog on offense for much of the season to date this season, just as it was in 2019. There was some electricity running through it thanks to Fulgham and running back Miles Sanders, who had two touchdowns, including a 74-yard touchdown run, in his return to his hometown of Pittsburgh. That's a significant development even in a loss. Because while the Eagles are now 1-3-1, they'll be in contention all season in the awful NFC East. They still have a decent chance of winning the division title if their offense can keep pace.

QB breakdown: Wentz completed 20 of 35 passes for 258 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, upping his league-leading total to nine. He is the first Eagles QB with nine interceptions through five games since Ron Jaworski had 10 in 1977. One pick came when tight end Zach Ertz was bumped off his route, and the other late in the contest on a desperation heave, but they count nonetheless.

Pivotal play: Trailing by two late in the fourth quarter, coach Doug Pederson sent Jake Elliott out for a 57-yard field goal attempt on fourth-and 5 from the Pittsburgh 39-yard line. It drifted wide right, and the Steelers scored a TD on the ensuing possession to seal it.

Troubling trend: The defense yielded four touchdowns to rookie Chase Claypool. The Eagles came in leading the NFL in sacks (17) but managed just one on Ben Roethlisberger, who finished with a 125.4 QB rating.

Up next: A rough stretch continues as the Eagles head home to take on the high-powered Baltimore Ravens on Oct. 18.