The Pittsburgh Steelers enter the third quarter of their second preseason game trailing by a score of 17-8 after the first-team offense jumped off to a fast start but the defense struggled.
Blake Bortles scrambled for a five-yard touchdown, Chad Henne took advantage of a mixup in the secondary for a 31-yard connection, and Josh Scobee added a field goal to get to that score.
That was all after Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers jumped out to an 8-0 lead early on a 44-yard connection with Martavis Bryant. Markus Wheaton was good for the two-point conversion.
Landry Jones fielded the offense from that second drive all through halftime, producing zero points. He has produced just one field goal in essentially six quarters minus one short drive, although that is certainly not entirely his fault.
Gerod Holliman made the tackle on special teams, at the 21. On first down, Bernard Pierce found room for four yards. Ryan Shazier, still playing, did a nice job to track down the tight end after a four-yard reception. On third and two, Henne converted to the right sideline with Bud Dupree in coverage.
After a three-yard pickup, Henne found his receiver on a quick pass for a first down. Across midfield, Storm Johnson picked up about two yards up the right side of the defense. Ian Wild may have induced a drop crossing the field on a deep route. On third and eight, Spence blitzed, and Shazier held the catch to five yards to force a field goal attempt, which was wide left from 57 yards.
Jones remained in at quarterback. Mitchell Van Dyk false started to minimize the solid starting field position just a bit. On first and 15 now, a screen to Jawon Chisholm had little chance to succeed, and he had to leave his feet to make the catch, but he maneuvered for two yards.
Jones checked down to Chisholm in traffic behind the line of scrimmage for a loss on second down. Dumping it down to Will Johnson, he got past the original line of scrimmage, but not much more. Certainly a very disappointing drive. Jesse James downed the punt at the 16, which traveled just 33 yards off the foot of Jordan Berry.
Doran Grant entered the game and couldn’t finish the tackle on the throw to his coverage. After a penalty made it second and six, Storm Johnson gained back the penalty yardage to set up third and one. False start.
Among those in the game are Jordan Zumwalt, Terence Garvin, and Anthony Chickillo. Third and six, Chickillo got pressure off the right edge initially and the defense wrapped up for the sack.
Josh Harris left the game with a foot injury.
Kenzel Doe was dragged down on the tackle after a three-yard punt return. Offsetting penalties, including one on Holliman, negated that return.
The Steelers start with good field position for the second drive in a row. From the 40, Chisholm got the handoff for four yards through a hole. On second down, Jones completed to Sammie Coates to move the chains.
From the 48 across midfield now, Johnson pulled for a misdirect with Chisholm going the other way. He lost five yards and Chris Hubbard held. Penalty was declined.
On second and 15, Jones found Murphy for about 12 yards to set up third and three. There was clear miscommunication on third down with Shakim Phillips. Going for it on fourth down, Jones’ pass to James was hot and off his hands, but the linebacker in coverage was flagged for holding.
Chisholm made a quick cut to get around the right edge for six yards. He picked up another three yards to set up third and one. Chisholm was hit for a loss behind the line of scrimmage as they let a linebacker come in unblocked. Garrett Hartley was perfect from 48 yards out.
The Steelers special teams coverage once again allowed a sizable return after the field goal. The Steelers did a nice job stopping a pair of carries for minimal gain to end the third quarter to set up third and long. Johnson dropped the ball on a pass as Dupree got walked up the arc.
Doe got a decent return after a long kick, but Howard Jones was penalized for a hold.
Jones still in the game. Hit as he threw, producing a wobbly pass. Alejandro Villanueva allowed the pressure. On second down, Jones fired one deep and well out of bounds to Coates. Pretty bad. On third and 10, Chisholm was blown up for a loss on a screen. Miles Dieffenbach way late getting out.
Berry’s kick reached the 39 and was tackled at the 45. 46-yard net.
Jordan Dangerfield came up from his safety position to lay a hit on the back after a five-yard gain to midfield. On second down, Johnson found the edge for another four. On third and one, Howard Jones came off the edge to make the tackle for a loss in the backfield. Unblocked, I believe.
Doe called for the fair catch, but muffed it, with the Steelers recovering. Watching him through the first two games, you knew this was bound to happen at some point, and his college statistics supported that.
Phillips dropped a pass down the field as he looked to run before pulling the ball in. The next pass, slightly high, was off the hands of Coates. James finally came up for the rookies with a crucial catch down the field, taking a shot in the back as he went down. Jones did a nice job climbing the pocket.
After a short completion to Coates, Jones’ pass to Phillips was incomplete, but the Jaguars were flagged for holding in the secondary.
After the first down, Jones launched one for Coates, which fell incomplete in front of the receiver in the end zone. On second down from the 49, Chisholm got a head of steam through the hole for seven yards. Looked like he took a hard shot to the head or neck area. On third down, the corner climbed the back of C.J. Goodwin to deflect the pass, but he was flagged for holding before the pass. He also interfered on the throw, should have been called.
Phillips let a ball go through his hands down the field over the diving attempt by a defensive back. Phillips again couldn’t hang on, but there was another flag in the secondary.
Jones stepped up looking for Coates inside the 10, but the pass led the receiver too much. On second down, Goodwin hung on downfield taking a hit to bring in the pass for his quarterback. Nice throw, nice catch. Good play for both players.
From the 11, Jones tossed the ball away with nothing there on first down. On second down, Archer checked into the slot, but Jones’ pass over the top was a bit too much. On third down, Jones was spared an interception by Goodwin in the back right corner. Disappointing finish to the drive for Jones.
On special teams, Shayon Green stripped the ball on the kick return and Coates fell on it for the recovery. Jones back in action with great field position.
Chisholm got the handoff for the first play of the drive, but Dieffenbach was flagged for holding and the Jaguars netted a personal foul, offsetting.
On first down once again, Jones found Roosevelt Nix, who got past one would-be tackle for seven yards. After a delay of game, the first for Jones on the night, he found Coates for nine yards and a first down to set up the first first and goal of the game.
Chisholm dove up the middle but for just two yards with the defensive line hanging tough. From the four-yard line, Jones found Goodwin short, who got into the end zone. He took a big hit and held on after fumbling in the first game. Jones’ first touchdown pass in a while.
Nix made the special teams tackle on the kickoff, but the Jaguars were called for an illegal block in the back. Garvin made the tackle on the first play from scrimmage. The Jaguars back pinballed off of several players on the next play for a nice gain.
Another quick pass for chunk yardage crossed midfield, but a holding call on a scramble moved them back to the Steelers’ 43. On first and 20, Chickillo got pressure and forced an early throw that was incomplete down the field.
Holliman was flagged for a personal foul on an incomplete pass down the field. Looks like a dubious call. After another scramble and a hold, the Jaguars are on the 14.
Jordan Sullen was flagged on back-to-back plays, this time for pass interference in the end zone. On first and goal from the one, the quarterback missed a chance to put a ball on the numbers of his receiver, resulting in an incompletion. Kevin Fogg defended an underneath route to break up the ball, though he got away with a bit of contact. On third down, a quarterback sneak found the goal line for the touchdown. Looked like Cam Thomas was pushed off the line by a solid double team.
Jones has just under three minutes now to make a comeback, down 23-21 after the Steelers stopped a two-point conversion attempt.
The drive starts off with a failed hook up to Coates, but Villanueva false started on the next play. Phillips got 12 yards to set up second and three. Archer took a delayed handoff for the first down.
Just before the two-minute warning, Jones threw one quick to Murphy for four yards. He couldn’t hook up with Phillips on second down. On third and six, he found Ray Hamilton, the tight end, but short of the first down. Pittsburgh used its first timeout.
On fourth and two, Jones’ pass was high and off the tips for his tight end. Bad throw and bad way to effectively end the night.
With the Jaguars still going, it looked like they broke open a long run, but the fullback was flagged for a hold to bring it back. On first and 20, Morris threw behind his receiver. L.T. Walton made the tackle on second down, with Tomlin using his second timeout. For some reason the Jacksonville announcers didn’t think he would use the timeouts. They don’t know Tomlin.
On third and 18, Chickillo made the tackle to set up fourth down to give Jones about a minute and the ball. The punt rolled into the end zone for a touchback.
On third down, Jones was flushed to his left and found Coates at the sidelined, who got his feet inbounds to move the chains. Nice throw and catch. The quarterback was inaccurate on the next throw. Jones and Phillips got mixed up to set up third and 10. The pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage to get it to fourth down. The game ended with a sack to force a turnover on downs around Kelvin Palmer.