It was a night to remember for deep roster hopeful WR David Gilreath.
Mired toward the bottom of an underachieving pile of potential fifth receivers, Gilreath vaulted himself to the top of that competition in the second half of Pittsburgh's 26-24 win over Indianapolis in Pittsburgh Sunday night.
In a game where the Steelers offense mustered just one touchdown, a 57-yard shock of electricity by Antonio Brown, the Steelers back-up players struggled quite a bit. It was another poor outing by second-round pick OT Mike Adams, who surrendered another 2.5 sacks and was nearly bowled over by a third-string Colts pass rusher on other play.
While RB Baron Batch did not rack up yards or make any big plays with the ball, he ran noticeably harder in this game compared to the Steelers first preseason game. He also got way down field on Brown's touchdown, making a block that could have been the last Colts attempt to prevent him from scoring.
RB Chris Rainey, the hero from the first game, fumbled on his first touch and took a significant hit on the play. He left the field for a few plays. He returned but did not make a major impact rushing or receiving.
Johnson, on the other hand, looked significantly better, and may have given himself a chance to unseat veteran third-string QB Batch. He was 4-for-5 passing, including the big gainer to Gilreath, and led the Steelers to the game-winning field goal with less than a minute to play.
The Steelers' starting defense flummoxed rookie QB Andrew Luck for the first portion of the game, leading to a few poor throws through strong coverage and pressure. Luck regained his composure and carved the Steelers - mostly consisting of their non-injured starters - up for much of the second quarter. He led the Colts to two touchdown drives and a last-second field goal despite throwing two interceptions.
One of those picks - the one returned for a touchdown by CB Ike Taylor - was on him. The other was a dropped pass directly in the receiver's hands that he tipped in the air. CB Cortez Allen plucked it out of the air for the turnover.
The Steelers will travel to Buffalo for their third preseason game Aug. 25.