Good Friday to you Steelers’ Fans!
The Steelers got off to a very good start with a 31-14 win over the Eagles in Philadelphia last night. Both teams rested many of their regular starters. Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Vance McDonald were among a number of guys who didn’t play for the Steelers. What follows are my observations from the game.
James Conner had four very good runs the four times he ran the ball. He averaged over six yards per carry. He must however improve his pass protection. His poor attempt led to a big hit and sack of Landry Jones.
Stevan Ridley ran 10 times for only 14 yards but he had three receptions for 45 yards. I thought he ran very hard and showed some shiftiness.
I don’t know if Damoun Patterson will make the roster but he did everything he could to prove his worth. He grabbed six balls for 77 yards and an exhilarating touchdown reception in the back of the end zone.
James Washington has to do a better job of route running. On two consecutive plays he ran a very lethargic five-yard stop and then did nothing to sell an out and up on the next play. The good news is that those are fixable things. He also had a great tackle on special teams and made a terrific combat catch. 50/50 night for the rookie for sure.
Tweet of the Day… I think we’d agree JuJu!
— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) August 10, 2018
The offensive line I thought did a nice job in run blocking. The pass protection was another thing… David DeCastro was absolutely abused by Fletcher Cox on a first quarter sack. Cox is an all-pro but that was embarrassing for DDC.
Jordan Berry looked very much like Jordan Berry. One great punt followed but a terrible one. He has to find better consistency in 2018.
The young outside linebackers Ola Adeniyi and Keion Adams flashed their pass rushing abilities at times in extended play time. Both guys however must learn to keep contain and not give up the outside against the run.
Early on the missed tackles were glaring. From Jon Bostic to Morgan Burnett, but eventually I thought it improved.
Mason Rudolph was fine. Not great, not horrible. Has to take better care of the ball but overall was OK. Josh Dobbs’ throw to Patterson for the touchdown was easily his best throw of the night. To me, it looks like he settled for lots of checkdowns and didn’t always go through his progressions. Not a bad night for him overall though.
Tyler Matakevich is a good, young man and gives great effort on every play. That said, if he’s starting the regular season this defense is in trouble. He cannot get off blocks and struggles to break down and tackle ball carriers consistently. He had a clean shot last night on QB Nate Sudfeld and was left reaching for air.
There was a report late last night that said the Steelers were using ‘deflated’ footballs in the third quarter. I’m not even sure what to do with this. Game one of the preseason with third and fourth string QBs and we’re talking about deflated footballs.
Enjoy the weekend Steeler Nation!
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