The Pittsburgh Steelers travel down south to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in what for them will be their second preseason game after participating in the Hall of Fame game on Sunday night, where they lost, 14-3, while resting most of their starters.
The Steelers will be dressing close to a full squad tonight, with the only starter in street clothes surprisingly being Lawrence Timmons. Here is a list of those who will not be participating tonight:
Lawrence Timmons (unknown)
Daniel McCullers (hamstring)
Robert Golden (knee)
Vince Williams (hamstring)
Ross Ventrone (lower leg)
Senquez Golson (PUP)
Bruce Gradkwoski (PUP)
Mike Adams (PUP)
Starters dressing for the game who missed the opener for health reasons include wide receivers Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant, safeties Shamarko Thomas and Mike Mitchell, outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, and cornerback Cortez Allen. All are dressed tonight, but reports suggest that Mitchell may not play.
quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, running back Le’Veon Bell, tight end Heath Miller, offensive linemen Maurkice Pouncey and Ramon Foster, outside linebacker James Harrison, and wide receivers Antonio Brown and Darrius Heyward-Bey were all healthy scratches in the Hall of Fame game, but are now dressed.
It’s worth noting that, with both Timmons and Williams sidelined, this likely means that Jordan Zumwalt, who left a recent practice with a hamstring injury, would likely be good to go. Including him, they only have four inside linebackers dressed, although Arthur Moats also took some reps at inside linebacker in practice due to the injury situation.
The Steelers start with the ball once again as the Jaguars win the coin toss and defer to the second half.
The Jaguars booted the kickoff out of the end zone, forgoing an opportunity to get a look at their coverage, and robbing the Steelers of getting a look at Dri Archer.
Roethlisberger took the field with a full complement of starters surrounding him, including Wheaton as the second receiver. The first play is a short pass to Brown for six yards. On second down, he found Bell to move the chains.
After a gain of two on the ground for Bell, DeAngelo Williams checked in to pick up three yards. On third and five, with Bryant in the game, Roethlisberger used play action as the second-year player burned the secondary for a long touchdown. A holding penalty on the Jaguars was declined.
The Steelers went for a two-point conversion, delaying a look at Garrett Hartley, and Roethlisberger found Wheaton to take an 8-0 lead.
Denard Robinson got out to the 36-yard line on the kick return, and checked in at tailback for a five-yard run on first down. On second down, William Gay did an excellent job of undercutting the big tight end Julius Thomas to bring him down for a two-yard gain, forcing third and three. Blake Bortles‘ pass was not held on to to force a punt.
Archer fielded the punt to net a five-yard return with not much to work with. On offense, Landry Jones checked in for Roethlisberger. Also sitting are Pouncey, Bell, Brown, and Miller.
From the 12, Jones’ first pass was high and away to the sideline for Bryant as the lone receiver in 22 personnel. On second down, Williams found little daylight off the left edge to force a third and long. With Archer in the game, Williams got the carry on the draw and showed a bit of elusiveness in the middle, but could only gain about seven or eight yards.
After a 47-yard punt from Brad Wing, the second-team OLBs, Harrison and Bud Dupree, checked in for the defense. From the 37, Robinson found space up the middle for about 10 yards. Stephon Tuitt looked to get out of his gap.
He found a crease again for about five yards on the next play. Toby Gerhart showed strength, moving the pile, with an OL assist, for four yards. On third and one, Gerhart easily plunged forward for four yards. The run defense is not impressing at the moment.
Bortles found Marcedes Lewis for seven yards on the next play with Ryan Shazier making the tackle. Harrison got around the edge on second down to sack Bortles, knocking the ball loose, but the Jaguars recovered. On third and 14 after a false start, Bortles found Allen Robinson down the field for 16 yards.
Jones and Moats checked back in, as did Cam Thomas at nose tackle on the long drive. Robinson picked up 11 on a second-down screen on a play on which it looked like Gay was held.
A hold was called on the next play, coincidentally. After a nine-yard pickup on first and 20, Shazier got a nice pop at the line for a stop on Gerhart.
Now third and long, Harrison and Dupree back in, Bortles climbed the pocket under pressure and sailed his pass into the end zone incomplete. Shazier was in on the blitz. Shamarko Thomas blitzed the play before. Also worth noting is that L.T. Walton and Ethan Hemer rotated in on the long drive. Josh Scobee made it 8-3.
Another note, Antwon Blake playing in the nickel still over Brandon Boykin.
The Jaguars waste another opportunity to get a look at their kick coverage as Scobee bounces the ball off the uprights. Touchbacks don’t mean anything in the preseason if you already know your kicker can get them. You can’t properly simulate coverage in practice. Yes, this bothers me.
Bryant and Darrius Heyward-Bey check in at wide receiver. Jones finds DHB on a crossing route and gets free for a first down thanks to a couple of nice blocks.
DHB got a pitch out for four yards to end the first quarter. Tyler Murphy checked in at wide receiver on a Williams run for four yards to set up third and two. With three wide, Williams got the handoff again and took it through a hole for a comfortable gain to move the sticks.
Back to Williams for close to five yards through another nice crease on first down. The Steelers called a timeout after the play, evidently due to some sort of confusion over personnel. The offense had been playing hurriedly, with Jones seemingly holding more command up to that point.
Williams picked up the blitz as Jones went deep to Bryant. The throw was underthrown, but Bryant came back for it. He caught it, but out of bounds. On third and six, Jones threw a better ball down the field, but cornerback Davon House made a great play on the ball in front of DHB. Wing induced a fair catch at the 17.
Boykin and Blake at cornerback. Jones and Moats at outside linebacker. Hemer replaces Cameron Heyward. Shazier missed a tackle over the middle to allow a first down. Jones set the edge and made the tackle on the next play, though Gerhart pushed the pile forward about five yards.
On second and 10 after a false start, Gerhart took a screen for a sizable gain behind a well-designed screen. From the 47, Bernard Pierce found space up the middle for six yards with Spence on the tackle. After a five-yard pass for a first down, Bortles found a man open in the deep zone, but Clay Harbor dropped the ball. The Steelers rush never threatened on the play.
Alden Darby in at safety tackled the catch after a four-yard catch from Harbor. On third and six, Arrelious Benn made a catch downfield for 27 yards, with B.W. Webb penalized for illegal contact, with was declined.
From the 11, Bortles zipped a throw to Pierce, who wasn’t ready for the ball and couldn’t hold on to it. Moats caught Pierce for a loss in the backfield on second down. Mike Thornton in at nose tackle, by the way.
On third down, Pierce jumped over Webb to get down to the five on a reception into the flat. On fourth down, Bortles scrambled and touched the pylon on a broken play for a touchdown. Webb was flagged for holding in the end zone.
For the third straight time, Scobee sailed the ball through the end zone as Archer gave a dismissive wave of his hand for his efforts.
The second-team offensive line checked, in, along with Josh Harris. Bryant with a quick five-yard route to the corner. On second down, Jones squeezed a pass to DHB for a first down.
Sammie Coates in, Harris finds his way through the hole for six. After a short gain set up third and two, the offense went four wide, with the handoff to Archer, a play that was stuffed. Wing got off a good kick, but you could see the coverage opening up before the returner even fielded the ball, and it led to another big return.
Chad Henne in at quarterback, Shayon Green made the tackle on Pierce after a 10-yard reception. Shazier, still in, closed quickly on Pierce for a three-yard reception. On second down, Ian Wild came up to hit Pierce through the hole after five yards at the two-minute warning.
After a quick first down to the 31, Henne took a shot down the field for the touchdown to Harbor. Thomas was the safety in the area with Webb the cornerback. Late rotation.
Scobee with his fourth touchback that doesn’t mean anything. Kudos, Scobee.
With a little over a minute to play, Jones hit Bryant for six yards and out of bounds. To DHB for the first down with no chance to get out, the Steelers burned a second timeout with 1:06 remaining.
Jones to Will Johnson for 10 over the middle. Quick release under pressure on the following play to Murphy. Mitchell Van Dyk allowed the rusher over the right edge.
Looked like Archer picked up a blitzer, but Jones had to roll out and throw the ball away. Now third and 10 from the 44, Jones with four wide was sacked, product of a tackle-end stunt that Alejandro Villanueva and Chris Hubbard did not execute. Hubbard never came off his man.
Coates got down the field quickly as the gunner. Wing’s punt took a favorable bounce after the Jaguars didn’t field it, pinning them at the 11, taking a knee to end the half.