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Knee Jerk Reactions to the Steelers 34-9 loss to the Panthers in Week 3 of the preseason

There was very little to keep fans tuned in to the end of the Steelers final preseason contest of 2021.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Knee-jerk Reactions are immediate responses to a situation without taking the time to analyze the situation. That’s something as sports fans that we typically do. Especially if you are a full blood Yinzer, or even just a part Yinzer, who am I fooling it’s more like if you are a Steeler fan in general. As is the custom, I compile my knee-jerk thoughts and publish them immediately after each Steelers game (my son Kyle might have a few things to say as well). It’s my version of running my mouth first and apologizing later. So with that being said, I’m going to employ that philosophy here during Week 3 of the NFL Preseason. Yes this is only a preseason game, but it's still football.


1st Quarter

  • Steelers win the toss and take the ball.
  • I guess the bright side of that first down play was at least there wasn't a false start.
  • Three and out on the first possession. That kind of sucks.
  • The offense started slow and the defense is getting gashed. What a great start.
  • After a drive that seemed like it was a million plays, the defense holds up on a fourth and two. Steelers take over without giving up any points.
  • Steelers go incomplete, run for two yards, pass for two yards, punt. That's not getting it done.
  • After a couple of first downs the defense holds and Carolina hits a 52-yard field goal that doinked off the upright and still went through.
  • Given what I've seen so far the Steelers are lucky they are only down three to nothing.
  • First play coming back Haskins throws high and behind Derek Watt and the ball gets intercepted. Everybody screaming that Haskins was the answer at quarterback might be thinking differently right now.
  • Jamir Jones with the sack. Making quite the case for himself to make the 53 roster.
  • End of the first. Panthers 3, Steelers 0.

2nd Quarter

  • They called that an incomplete pass but I'm not so sure it wasn't a fumble. The Steelers challenge to play.
  • The play was ruled and incomplete pass. But Joey Slye misses a field goal so the score remains Panthers 3 Steelers 0.
  • Hey now we're talking first down. It only took 16 minutes.
  • Followed up the first down with Haskins fumbling the snap. He needs to be much sharper than this.
  • After one first down the Steelers are punting again. Jordan Berry pins them around the 10-yard line, but a holding call against the Steelers moves it out. Still quite a battle going on between Berry and Big Press.
  • Tre Norwood should have had an easy interception there. But at least it's 4th down and the Panthers will punt.
  • Everything went wrong for the Steelers on that punt. Buddy Johnson runs into the kicker by getting kicked in the face, Matthew Sexton muffs the punt and Carolina recovers.
  • That was too easy on a quick screen. Carolina had five guys out there to block two Steelers. Touchdown Panthers.
  • Nice throw and catch to Ray-Ray McCloud but he doesn't get his second foot down in bounds, so it's incomplete.
  • After seeing nothing from Benny Snell most of the first half he does bust for 17. Still not sure it's going to be enough to get him a spot on the roster.
  • Chukes was burned bad on that third down, causing Haskins having to throw under pressure.
  • It becomes more obvious every week that Spillane is not able to cover running backs out of the backfield.
  • All this vanilla defense by the Steelers is really getting to me. They are leaving their inside linebackers trying to cover wide receivers. I know we don't want to give any good stuff on tape, but we can't expect inside linebackers to cover like that.
  • At the half Panthers 17, Steelers 0.

3rd Quarter

  • Even when the Steelers knocked the ball away the guy ends up catching it.
  • That was a very porous defense from the Steelers. Not many guys playing well enough to make their case to make the 53-man roster.
  • Haskins was given another drive in the second half, but the Steelers go three and out also a decline penalty on Ray-Ray McCloud for offensive pass interference. Neither Haskins nor Ray-Ray have had a particularly good game tonight.
  • Steelers get the ball back, but it's on the one yard line. Okay so during the break they reviewed the kick and the Steelers end up with a touchback. That might be the play of the game right now, gained 19 yards.
  • Dobbs comes in to play quarterback and proceeds to help lead the Steelers to yet another three and out.
  • I know that there are people out there that some way, somehow will blame the lack of movement on the offense on Mason Rudolph.
  • I know there are people who are going to be very sad that Matthew Sexton played his way off this team tonight.
  • Ray-Ray McCloud has dropped an awful lot of balls tonight.
  • 52 yards from Chris Boswell finally gets the Steelers on the board...... Speaking of board, this game's gotten pretty boring.
  • Finally the end of the third quarter has arrived. Panthers 24, Steelers 3.

4th Quarter

  • 4th quarter starts with the Steelers holding the Panthers forcing the punt. Fair caught by Sexton, at least he didn't muff it.
  • I want to be excited right now, but watching what's going on in the game there's not much to be excited about.
  • The backups on defense continue to look way overmatched as they give up a longer TD run to the quarterback.
  • On the bright side this game there's going to be plenty of film to break down for the battles at punter and long snapper.
  • It's gotten very lonely sitting here watching this game. My wife abandoned me in the first quarter, and Kyle got ready and went to bed right before halftime. All of my complaining has been heard by nobody, which is never as fun.
  • Wow. They want to see Big Press so much they opt to punt again.
  • One thing continues in this game, and that is Mike Tomlin's luck when it comes to challenges. Even when they change the call he still loses.
  • Haskins back in as Dobbs is getting checked out. It didn’t last long as a fumble by Brooks-James on what was a decent run gives it right back. It kind of sums up the night.
  • And another Panthers field goal. Does anybody care at this point?
  • And Ray-Ray McCloud scores a touchdown, Boswell misses the extra point and I know nobody cares at this point.
  • Wait? Was the miss due to the hold? Don’t tell me Harvin loses the punting job on a hold in the last minute of a blowout.
  • It wasn't very pretty, but at least I can say this game is over. It's time for the regular season.

There you have it, my knee jerks. Sure it was preseason, but it was Steelers football so I will sit on this for a day or two and then sit and wait for two weeks when we finally get back to regular season football! CAN’T WAIT!!!!!