Steeler Nation , the first pre-season game is now in the books. The Steelers fell to the New York Giants 18-13 in a sloppy mistake filled game. On the bright side it was only the first pre-season game. Mistakes are expected, but let’s hope this is not a sign of things to come.
Probably the most disappointing part of the night was rookie running back Le’Veon Bell not playing because of a sore knee. We will have to wait at least another week for Bell’s much anticipated debut.
The Steelers starting offense had its moments . Ben Roethlisberger(4-8 for 36 yds) and Emmanuel Sanders(3-27 yds) continued to show good chemistry. The Steelers did establish the run in the first half and it unexpectedly came from new running back Larod Stephens-Howling
Now lets take a look at the Good , the Bad and the Ugly of the Steeler’s first pre-season game. Remember this is only the first pre-season game of the year and all of these performances good or bad should be taken with a grain of salt . Lets start with the Good…
The Good: At first glance one may think there was not much good but after further review you can find some starting with DE Al Woods.Woods led the team with nine tackles,that included two tackles for loss against the run, one sack and a QB pressure against the pass. He was a disruptive force most of the night and may be making a real push in the defensive line competition .
Running Back LaRod Stephens-Howling was another bright spot. Stephens-Howling showed he may be much more than just a special teams threat. He rushed 7 times for 40 yards and looked very comfortable in the offense. He seems to be in the lead as the change of pace back.
The young group of Steelers linebackers as a whole did well. Outside Linebacker Jarvis Jones had a fumble recovery and just seems to have a knack for finding the ball. Jones is only going to get better with time.
Rookie inside linebacker Vince Williams is a physical hitter that so far has shown great football instincts. He had 3 tackles,one for a loss , a quarterback pressure ,and a sack.
Inside linebacker Marshall McFadden continued to impress .McFadden had five tackles on defense and a special teams tackle.
Rookie wide receiver Justin Brown led the team in receiving 4 catches for 32 yds. Brown has looked good at camp and continued in the game .
Now a look at the Bad….
The Bad: Lets Start with Quarterback Landry Jones . Jones started off the game with a bad hand-off in the end-zone that resulted in a safety. Jones looked tentative and confused most of the game. Lets hope he improves because that performance showed little promise.
Linebacker Jason Worilds had two personal fouls in the last 30 seconds of the half. A veteran player like Worilds must show more control.
The Steelers secondary on the Victor Cruz 57 yrd TD catch. You can not give up big plays like this if your going to be a great defense.
The Steelers had too many penalty flags and the offense failed to score a touchdown .
Now for the Ugly
The Ugly: The Steelers special-teams was anything but special. They played horrible most of the night. The Steelers had a punt blocked , a fumble on a return, and a slew of penalties that cost them field position .One could say special teams ultimately cost the Steelers the game.
New Special-Teams coach Danny Smith and company have a lot of work to do to improve on this ugly performance.