After failing to register a preseason win in their first two games of the 2016 preseason at the friendly confines of Heinz Field, the Pittsburgh Steelers took their 90-man show on the road to play the New Orleans Saints in the 'Big Easy'. Both teams were looking for their first preseason win of the year, but only one would leave the Superdome victorious.
With this being the third week of the preseason, it is the proverbial "final dress rehearsal" for teams looking to put the finishing touches on preseason work as they rest their starters in the final week of exhibition games. For the Steelers, it was the first, and likely only, game the team would deploy some of their major offensive pieces in the preseason. With Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams all suited up, it was time for the team, and their global fan base, to see what this unit had to offer.
And what a show they put on for fans everywhere.
With the Steelers choosing to receive the opening kickoff, Ben Roethlisberger was able to orchestrate two near perfect drives which equated in touchdowns. The first score was a strike to tight end Jesse James deep in Saints territory, with the other a beautiful touch pass to Antonio Brown to make the score 14-0.
Roethlisberger and Brown played two drives, and Roethlisberger went 12-17 for 148 yards and 2 touchdowns in an extremely crisp and effective outing. However, what most fans feared was when Landry Jones took over in the second quarter, but the offense didn't miss a beat. Jones continued the standard set by the starters, and put together his own drive which resulted in a Sammie Coates touchdown reception.
The Steelers starting defense continued to play well in the first quarter, but did surrender a touchdown pass to Drew Brees and company before the starters started to call it a night. At the time this took place, the Steelers led 21-7.
What happened after the first half was somewhat diminished by injuries to both Cameron Heyward and Marcust Gilbert. Heyward suffered an ankle injury while Gilbert sustained an elbow injury.
What took place after these events resulted in a final score of Steelers 27 and the Saints 14; however, It should be noted Landry Jones played the majority of the game an racked up 206 yards going 19-22 with a touchdown pass. Antonio Brown led the team receiving with 4 catches for 87 yards and a touchdown, and the defense was able to force three turnovers throughout the contest.
The Steelers improved their preseason record to 1-2, and 3-12 in the last 15 preseason games, and will conclude their preseason with a trip to play the Carolina Panthers in Week 4 on Thursday.