Top Storylines from Steelers – Titans
1. Ben Roethlisberger had a few mistimed throws in his first action of the preseason but 19 plays was enough in rainy conditions for the Steelers to accomplish what they wanted to do from the first-team offense. Roethlisberger finished the night 8 of 13 for 63 yards with a touchdown, posting a 99.2 QB rating. Roethlisberger’s final pass of the night would be a 17 yard TD pass to JuJu Smith-Shuster who had 1-on-1 coverage on the outside for an easy score between what’s going to be one of the NFL’s top QB/WR Duo’s in 2019.
2. RB James Conner looked fantastic as he has all camp, showing great vision and cuts. Even in the small sampling tonight, the comfort level the O-line has with Conner is right where you want to see it entering year two with Conner as the full-time starter. Conner who had 56 yards from scrimmage, rushed for 41 yards on just 5 carries vs the Titans. The third year back is primed for a Pro Bowl type season.
3. Mike Tomlin said not to read too much into who came in at QB after Ben Roethlisberger, but its hard not to, especially with Mason Rudolph connecting with James Washington for a 41 yard touchdown strike on his first pass of the game, a great ball thrown by Rudolph in the rain. That pass seemed to be the exclamation point on the backup QB battle. Rudolph has shown the type of growth in year two that should be expected for a quarterback the Steelers claim they had a first-round grade on.
Rudolph went 6 of 9 for 75 yards with a touchdown and interception. Josh Dobbs showed his accuracy issues once again.
4. Mr. Preseason James Washington continues to show great separation on his routes, highlighted on his 41 yard TD reception where he fooled the defender on a post route than showed an impressive ability to haul in the catch as the defender closed in on him. Washington this camp and preseason showing the two strength’s that made him a second round pick; Ability to separate of the line of scrimmage and come down with combat catches.
The Steelers, though, love them some Ryan Switzer as Washington saw zero time in three-WR sets when Roethlisberger was under center.
5. The Steelers front-seven came to ball, most notably Stephon Tuitt and Cam Heyward. Both were monsters in this one and the Titans wanted nothing to do with them. With the addition of top pick Devin Bush, this is a faster, more explosive defense, and Tuitt on his big money contract is just as important as anyone in dictating how good this defense is going to be. This should be a 10 sack player.
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Dobbs was a dumb pick.