Die-hard fans might read the headline and wonder how we can possibly have any ‘winners’ after the Steelers’ horrible Week-2 preseason game vs. the Packers. For those who think that, you underestimate me!
While the outcome of these games is truly meaningless, it doesn’t mean there wasn’t meaning in the contest for players fighting for a roster spot. Players put it all on the field and, while some played well, a lot left plenty to be desired.
I decided to take it easy and pick one winner and plenty of losers from their loss to the Packers in Green Bay.
Here we go...
If you watched the game, or went to training camp, you know what James Washington is capable of. He finished with a ridiculous stat line of 5 receptions, 114 yards and two touchdowns. On a night when few showed up, Washington showed up in a big way.
He only played on a few drives but, when he got the ball, he made the best of his opportunities. Conner won’t begin the season as the starter, but he’s proven throughout camp and this preseason that he’s ready to be the top backup behind Le’Veon Bell. Five carries for 57 yards and a touchdown is one heck of a night.
The Steelers’ starting offensive line was intact, and it showed. The holes were there for Conner, and there was time to throw. While Ramon Foster remains injured, this line still has the look of one of the best in the league when they are all together.
His first NFL action was promising. His second, and first start, was a dud. Rudolph’s first pass was intercepted for a pick-six, but he just looked afraid to pull the trigger on too many occasions. Ball security remains an issue, but the Steelers won’t be giving up on Rudolph anytime soon. While he might not be as ready as some had hoped, one bad game doesn’t end a career.
What else can you say? Missed tackles, blown assignments and a lack of preparedness describes the Steelers’ defense. On a night when the starters who were dressed played well into the second quarter, this performance won’t be much fun to watch again with coaches this week.
Mike Tomlin started his post-game press conference criticizing the punting in the game. Ouch. And Berry should be criticized. He looked awful last season, and again this preseason. Might be time to make a phone call to a punter looking for a shot.
I could go on-and-on with poor performances, but this game was just awful from the start. Sure, when Conner single-handedly took the offense down the field for a score, and Terrell Edmunds caused a fumble and recovered it on the next kickoff, things were looking up. Other than that, this game was dreadful. Not much went right, and that was on a night when the offense somehow managed to score 34 points. At a time when fans were hoping for more answers, we are all left with more questions than anything else.