Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Landry Jones made his first career start Sunday in the team’s 23-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs and the third-year player certainly can’t be accused of not trying to throw the ball down the field during the game.
Jones, who completed just 16 of his 29 pass attempts in the game, threw the football 10 or more yards in the air past the line of scrimmage a whopping 14 times on plays that weren’t cancelled out by a penalty. Of those 14 throws, Jones completed seven of them.
Jones’s first start was unfortunately highlighted by his two interceptions. His first came with 36 seconds in the first half when he attempted to hit wide receiver Martavis Bryant with a pass in the middle of the field.
Curiously enough, that play was the same one that the Steelers offense used last week that ended with Bryant catching it from Jones for a 23 yard gain on a 3rd and long. On that play, Jones was able to get the football over the head of a sinking inside linebacker. On Sunday’s attempt, however, Jones failed to get the ball over the head of Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson. Luckily, that interception didn’t result in points.
Jones’s second pick of the game came after he seemingly appeared to hit wide receiver Antonio Brown on a slant across the middle. Brown, however, couldn’t secure the tipped pass and it bounced forward nine yards and right into the waiting arms of Chiefs safety Eric Berry. The Chiefs went on to convert that turnover into 7 points.
Jones would go on to turn the football once more in the game as he fumbled when sacked by Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali with 2:11 left in the game.
With starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger expected to return next, it will be interesting to see if Jones showed enough to the coaches during the Steelers last two games to secure the backup job once Mike Vick is fully recovered from his hamstring injury.
We will be further breaking down Jones’s first career start in a future post.