Tha Sports Junkies 101

Steelers Offense Stalls As The Philadelphia Eagles Have An Interception Party

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Landry Jones, Steelers offense struggles in second preseason game.

Going into the second week of the preseason, we knew the Steelers would be resting a lot of their starters. With Ben RoethlisbergerAntonio BrownLe’Veon Bell, and Deangelo Williams all sitting as healthy scratches, the Steelers offense was extremely stagnant.

Landry Jones starting isn’t a new sight for the Steelers, but it seemed like he was just simply not prepared for the Eagles secondary. Specifically Nolan Carroll, who broke up a deep pass to Darrius Heyward-Bey on the first play of the game. With the Steelers looking to get the ball to second year receiver Sammie Coates, Carroll took the first interception of the game back for a touchdown.

Sammie Coates was getting beat by Carroll on every play. It was a good test for the regular season, as he will have plenty of snaps with Martavis Bryant being suspended for the year. He made a tough catch in traffic across the middle, and one magnificent catch on the sideline that had to be reviewed. But things might be a little bit easier when he has Ben passing him the football, but that is yet to be seen. With Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, and Darrius Hayward-Bey set to be the top three receivers, Coates needs to take advantage of every opportunity he gets.

The third string running back position is still currently up for grabs. Earlier in the week, Mike Tomlin said that Fitzgerald Toussaint would get the start this week. With his recent playoff experience, he is the top dog to get the job. He displayed great vision in the few touches he got. He looks like the clear front-runner after this week as well as Daryl Richardson could not go anywhere but backwards while on the field.

On the defensive side, the Steelers first unit played extremely well. Despite the fact that the offense turned the ball over 4 times in the first half, the Steelers defense only allowed 3 points on a field goal at the end of the first half. The Eagles had their own offensive struggles as well, but that is an article that one of my colleagues can focus on.

The front seven picked up exactly where it left off from last season, as they were 5th in rushing yards allowed and 2nd in rushing touchdowns allowed by giving up only six touchdowns on the ground. Stephon Tuitt showed terrific lateral speed that many fans of the Irish are used to seeing. Ryan Shazier was his usual self, and found himself around the ball on just about every play.

The secondary looked good as well. William Gay only allowed one catch, and Ross Cockrell kept everything in front of him. Sharmarko Thomas got some playing time at safety and cornerback, and while he looked lost at times, it was important for him to be out there as much as possible. Thomas has been one of the best special team players in the league in the recent past, but he has not been able to make the transition from college to NFL at the safety position.

The Steelers went on to get shut out 17-0 in front of their home crowd, but luckily it was just preseason. The Steelers will meet the Eagles in Philadelphia on September 25th for a regular season match-up. Hopefully, Caleb Sturgis will wear a helmet while warming up next time.