Steeler Nation, the Pittsburgh Steelers kicked off the 2014 preseason with a loss to the New York Giants 20-16. As with most first preseason games there was a lot of sloppy play. Lets take a look at the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the Steelers first preseason game of 2014.
Lets start the good off with the return of inside linebacker Sean Spence. After a terrible knee injury sidelined him for two years,Spence made his return starting the game and looked very good. He totaled 3 tackles in limited action . Sean Spence looks completely recovered. His story just keeps getting better.
The Steelers starting offense looked good during the first drive. The running game looked strong with both Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount having nice performances in limited action. The starting offensive line deserves some credit in this area also as they won the battle in the trenches and created space.
The offensive star of the night had to be versatile wide receiver /running back Dri Archer who had 2 catches including a short pass that Archer turned into a big 46 yard reception. He also had two runs for 9 yards. Archer continues to show big play ability and should be a factor when the regular season kicks off.
On defense, outside linebacker Jarvis Jones had a nice sack but the biggest plays came from a somewhat unexpected source with undrafted free agent outside linebacker Howard Jones returning a fumble for the Steelers only touchdown. Jones also recovered a muffed punt and made his presence known on special teams. If Howard Jones can maintain this momentum he will make it hard for the coaches to let him go.
Usually in the first preseason game there is plenty of bad to go around and this one did not disappoint. The Steelers defense gave up a 73 yard touchdown run by Rashad Jennings in the first quarter that brought back flash backs of 2013. Punter Brad Wing had good hang time but also was inconsistent punting a 21 yard punt that looked very bad.
Kicker Shaun Suisham missed a 38 yard field goal, a kick he usually makes. The Steelers offense as a whole was unable to score a touchdown looking underwhelming most of the night after the starters left the game.
Rookie wide receiver Martavis Bryant didn’t have the best debut juggling a punt return,dropping a pass and fumbling the ball away on the Steelers final drive.
Lets begin by saying preseason football in general is ugly. So many different player and no continuity is just a recipe for disaster. So sloppy play usually rules the day. Another ugly fact is the Steelers have now lost their 5th straight preseason game. Although the preseason means very little, this young Steelers team could use a taste of success .