Giants 20 – Steelers 16
Ben Roethlisberger played just one series, going 1 of 2 for 46 yards. The Steelers went 7 plays, 70 yards, settling for a Shaun Suisham 26 yard field goal after a failed 3rd and 2.
Roethlisberger’s one completion went to Dri Archer on a designed bubble screen where the Steelers lined Antonio Brown and Archer on the left side. The play design worked perfectly as Roethlisberger got the ball to Archer in space on a quick bubble screen and Archer went for a 46 yard gain, flashing the type of big play ability he has flashed all camp when the ball is in his hands.
The struggle for the Steelers will be once teams are actually preparing for the Steelers and will be ready for these type of play designs to Archer but it’s clear if you can get him in space, good things are going to happen.
*The Steelers first team offense had a 3rd and 2 at the Giants 7 yard line and the Steelers went with 3 wideouts, Markus Wheaton, Lance Moore and Antonio Brown. Did the lack of size from those three really standout in that situation. The Steelers are going to struggle to strike fear into defenses when Pittsburgh is in the redzone. Among reasons coaches have been exploring to see if Justin Brown could provide some of what Jerricho Cotchery gave them in the redzone.
*Le’Veon Bell has had some scratching their heads for the decision come into camp about 15 minutes lighter, but he looked powerful as a runner in his limited action, rushing for 18 yards on three carries, with a long run of 9 yards. Many of those yards were yards after contact.
*Markus Wheaton hauled in a 28 yard reception from Bruce Gradkowkski in the first half and Wheaton has all of the ability to be more of a big play threat for the Steelers than they got from Emmanuel Sanders last season, but one glaring weakness for Wheaton that showed Saturday night was his blocking.
*The Martavis Bryant fans got to see last night has been the player for much of camp. He had 1 catch for 19 yards, drew a pass interference call, fumbled twice and had two drops. It’s going to take him a while to gain the trust of the coaching staff and develop into a well rounded receiver. Bryant has big play potential and could make an immediate impact as a redzone specialist but the inconsistent hands have been problematic.
*Mike Adams looked just like he has all camp, he can’t pass block, plain and simple. The Steelers are in trouble if one of their starting tackles go down.
*Facing the Giants third team, the Steelers compiled just 81 yards in six series with Landry Jones at quarterback. Overall Jones went 11/21 for 74 yards. He continues to show little improvement for a 4th round pick pick.
*It was clear since early in camp that Jarvis Jones has looked much improved in how he uses his hands at the point of attack and his sack of Eli Manning with an inside move was among the biggest positives for the Steelers last night. Jones had no inside move last season, looks like he’s developing one.
*The Steelers nickle defense was gashed for a 73 yard touchdown run by Rashad Jennings. Cam Heyward who is playing at right defensive end this season after being dominant on the left side during the second half of last season, was blown out of his gap and Jennings was off to the races. Andre Williams also ran well against the Steelers nickle as the first team defense gave up over 100 yards rushing.
*Sean Spence got the start with Ryan Shazier not playing and in the Giants first series, Spence had a tackle, quarterback hurry.
*OLB Howard Jones has made splash plays all camp and it continued with the lights on Saturday night. Jones had two fumble recoveries and continues to show excellent speed from the outside. Coaches also got a look at him with the first special teams coverage unit. Putting himself in contention for a roster spot.
*Could the Steelers keep 10 linebackers? Jordan Zumwalt who the Steelers like, was really good with 5 tackles, including a tackle for loss on his first play from scrimmage.
*One Steelers source Sunday called Terence Garvin the Steelers best performing defensive player vs Giants. He was excellent in coverage. Garvin is putting his stamp on a roster spot.
*Jordan Dangerfield played well in the second half and had 6 tackles. Robert Golden also played very well. The sense on Dangerfield is the Steelers will hope to hide him on the practice squad this season and develop for a year.
*How you perform in practices matter. Rookie defensive end Josh Mauro outperformed Brian Arnfelt all week in practices and it was Mauro who played exclusively with the second team, playing over Arnfelt who didn’t get into the game until late in the third quarter with the third team. Not good for Arnfelt’s chances of making the team. Mauro is in the mix for a final defensive end spot.
*If Adam Podlesh isn’t back this week, look for the Steelers to bring another punter in.