If you keep track of this sort of thing, the Pittsburgh Steelers moved to 2-0 on the preseason with a ‘thrilling’ 16-15 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. If you’re like me and you’re more interested in how the team and the players performed then let’s get to it.
-The O-line was atrocious and that’s being nice. The Jags consistently got pressure with just four guys and completely stifled the run with Benny Snell too. Dan Moore has had two poor weeks in a row. As they transitioned to second and third team players, they were able to stabilize things a bit but make no mistake, the starters have a lot of work to do.
-The first couple of snaps for Kenny Pickett (6/7 76 yards 1TD) resulted in motion penalties and a timeout. Then he promptly led the Steelers down the field and finished with a TD pass to Benny Snell. That was after he threw a TD to Diontae Johnson but it was called back due to offsetting penalties.
-Why Pickett only had eight snaps tonight is beyond me.
-Pencil me in for Jaylen Warren over Benny Snell. Why? He’s a better blocker in blitz pickup. He catches the ball better and he’s a bigger threat running the ball. Snell is good on punt coverage but that shouldn’t be a reason to keep him any longer. Kudos to Snell for a solid effort on his TD reception but I think Warren is more dynamic.
-Hard to evaluate Mitchell Trubisky’s (5/8 60 yards) night. He made one poor decision on a scramble that nearly led to a pick but he was under pressure on literally every throw. I believe he remains on track to start week one but Pickett didn’t make it easy.
-Quiet night for George Pickens (2 Rec 6 yards) but with Diontae Johnson(2 Rec 33 yards) and Chase Claypool(1 Rec 29 yards) playing that made sense.
-Say what you will for Mason Rudolph(17/21 127 yards 1TD) but he’s a true professional. After being relegated to the third spot this week, he went out and played well. He was forced into an intentional grounding from his own end zone which resulted in a safety but he bounced back to lead the Steelers to a field goal and the game-winning touchdown pass to Tyler Snead.
-Tyler Vaughns isn’t going to make the roster but he’s done some really nice things through two games. After several catches and a game-winning catch last week, he caught four balls for 56 yards last night.
-Third down defense was bad in the first half. They gave up four straight conversions before getting a stop in the red zone. It was much better with the reserves in the second half.
-Terrell Edmonds continues to be really good in the box. Wrap up man!!
-Devin Bush started well. He was aggressive and assertive. He even had a blitz up the middle where he bulldozed a blocker. And then he suddenly reverted to what we’ve become used to. I’m at a loss.
-Robert Spillane got a ton of reps last night and I’m not sure why so many of them came on third down. Steelers played a lot of zone which suits him but that still seemed out.
-T.J. Watt was quiet, then destroyed the blocker, got a sack and went to the sidelines for the rest of the night.
-Hopefully a sign of things to come but the defense has forced turnovers late in games to create opportunities for the offense.
-Mark Robinson plays like a hammer. Yeah, he’s limited in coverage but when he gets a chance to hit you watch out.
-Damontae Kazee has been a really nice surprise. He’s shown both good tackling and good coverage ability as well.
Special Teams Observations
-Chris Boswell missed a 51-yarder which clanged off the left upright in the first quarter. No, I’m not concerned.
-We have yet to see Gunner Olszewski return a punt which is why I thought he was signed. He did return a kick 27 yards but Anthony McFarland also had a return that went for 38 yards.
-Pressley Harvin III (4 punts 44.3 yard AVG) seems to have found the consistency he was lacking last season. So far so good.
The Steelers host the Detroit Lions in the preseason finale. I am really curious to see how Mike Tomlin handles the QB rotation. Last night seemed like the old “third game of the preseason” where the starters got some solid minutes and then rested. I would not expect to see many of the defensive starters but if I were Tomlin that starting offensive line would get significant minutes.
Feature Image courtesy post-gazette.com