The Pittsburgh Steelers host the Detroit Lions in the Preseason Opener tonight at Heinz Field. Welcome back football!!!
What: Detroit Lions 0-0 at Pittsburgh Steelers 0-0
Where: Heinz Field Pittsburgh, PA
When: Friday August 12 7pm ET
Weather: 81 degrees with a chance of rain throughout the day and evening.
Line: Steelers -3.5
TV: KDKA TV Bob Pompeani, Charlie Batch with Missi Matthews and Richie Walsh on the sidelines
Radio: Steelers Nation Radio/WDVE Bill Hillgrove, Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley on the sidelines.
Rabble TV: Not Broadcasting tonight
Key Injuries: PIT Ladarius Green continues to be on the PUP list.
Availability: Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, DeAngelo Williams and Maurkice Pouncey are unlikely to play.
Final 2015 NFL Ranks : Lions 20th total offense ( 32nd Rushing/ 9th Passing)/ 18th total defense ( 19th Rushing/ 15th Passing)… Steelers 3rd total offense (16th Rushing/3rd Passing)/21st total defense (5th Rushing/30th Passing)
What You Need to Know: The Steelers and Lions play for the sixth time in the preseason since 2000. The Steelers have won three of the last five.
What’s at Stake: Not a damn thing.
All-Time Series: Steelers lead 16-14-1 in the regular season.
Series Highs: Preseason not available
What to Look For: In this space in the regular season, I’ll provide you with three keys to a Steelers’ win. Thus, “Three-Point Stance.” For the preseason, I’ll give you what we’re watching for.
Offensively, we know the Steelers are approaching this game as they should when it comes to the preseason; they are concerned about staying healthy. With so many stars out that means we need to see improvement in the game of Landry Jones. It’s not that he doesn’t have ability, it’s that he struggles to get through his progressions and that leads to hurried throws under pressure and sacks. We’ll also be watching guys like Eli Rogers, Xavier Grimble and Jerald Hawkins.
On defense, there are numerous guys who bear watching. First and foremost for us will be Anthony Chickillo at outside linebacker and Javon Hargrave, the rookie defensive tackle. Both have had very good camps to this point and we’re anxious to see if that continues. Certainly other rookies like Sean Davis and Artie Burns will be worth watching but Burns may not play because of injury.
The bottom line in this game as it will be with all preseason games is to keep the team healthy. While that’s easier said than done, it remains the goal while the team works to get everyone on the same page heading into the regular season.