The Pittsburgh Steelers entered the second week in the NFL Preseason with their first, and only, road contest of the exhibition season by traveling to Florida to play the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Steelers opened with the football for the second straight game, and it looked like for the second straight game the team put together a scoring drive to open the game. However, with Mitch Trubisky running for his life on more than one occasion on the drive, the 53-yard Chris Boswell field goal attempt went off the upright and was no good.
Trevor Lawrence and company took over with tremendous field position, but despite a clutch third down conversion were unable to turn the drive into points. The 51-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right, giving the ball right back to Pittsburgh.
With 9:31 left in the first quarter, the Steelers’ second drive was far worse than their initial drive. A three-and-out put Pressley Harvin III on the field for the first time, punting the ball back to the Jaguars.
The Jaguars’ second drive was much better as they converted on several first downs on their way into Pittsburgh territory. A holding penalty stalled the drive, but the Jaguars were able to convert on a 53-yard field goal to make the score 3-0 with 2:16 left in the quarter.
Trubisky remained in the game for a third drive, but it was more of the same. Despite converting on a third down, an offensive pass interference call on Diontae Johnson doomed the drive and forced Harvin on to punt for the second straight drive.
Despite the score, the Jaguars had dominated the play throughout the majority of the first half. The last drive was a beauty by Lawrence and the Jaguars offense, converting on four third downs, until they reached the end-zone. With Lawrence misfiring in the end-zone, it was another field goal which made the score 6-0 with 6:06 left in the half.
Kenny Pickett entered the game in the waning minutes of the second quarter, but his first series lasted just three plays after more penalties pushed the unit back. Giving the ball back to Jacksonville saw another drive get into Pittsburgh territory until they failed on a 4th and 6 on the cusp of field goal range.
With two timeouts remaining and 1:05 left in the half, Pickett and the offense came in and started moving the football. Pickett completed passes to Diontae Johnson, and two third down conversions to Pat Freiermuth to move the ball into the red-zone. After it looked like Pickett hit Johnson for a touchdown, a penalty negated the play. On the next play Pickett hit Benny Snell in the flat and the Steelers touchdown.
SNELL YEAH‼️ @kennypickett10 to @benny_snell #PITvsJAX on @KDKA | NFL+: https://t.co/C6T9f39EAk pic.twitter.com/eORqXGVBAD— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 21, 2022
August 21, 2022
Chris Boswell’s extra point was good, making the score 7-6 at halftime.
The Jaguars received the kickoff to start the second quarter, but with the majority of starters out of the game the drive ended in a quick punt. With Mason Rudolph in the game to play the second half, the Steelers matched three-and-outs to open the half.
Following another Jacksonville punt, the Steelers started their drive pinned deep in their own territory. On a second down play, Rudolph was pressure up the middle and threw the ball to the boundary. It was deemed there wasn’t a receiver in the area and was ruled intentional grounding. With Rudolph in his own end-zone, it equated in a safety, giving the Jaguars an 8-7 lead.
Jacksonville was unable to do anything with the free kick following the safety, and Rudolph and the Steelers’ offense looked to take advantage. When the drive reached midfield, Mike Tomlin chose to go for it on 4th and 1, and the jet sweep to Gunner Olszewski resulted in a fumble which was recovered by the Jaguars.
Aided by a roughing the passer penalty, C.J. Beathard was able to get the Jacksonville offense into the red-zone. Beathard ended up doing most of the heavy lifting himself, including a rushing touchdown from the 6-yard line on third down. The first Jacksonville touchdown made the score 15-7 with 12:17 left in regulation.
Mason Rudolph put together one of his patented Mason Rudolph drives, the ones where the Steelers offense is able to move the ball down the field, but falter when it matters most. This drive resulted in a Nick Sciba 38-yard field goal, making the score 15-10 with 6:20 left in the 4th quarter.
It looked as if the Jaguars were going to ice away the game on their next drive, but a Justin Layne interception showed the Steelers weren’t going to go quietly. After back-to-back completions to Tyler Vaughns put the ball in a first-and-goal situation, Rudolph found Tyler Snead on fourth down to make the score 16-15. A failed two-point conversion gave the ball back to Jacksonville with 1:52 left in the 4th quarter.
The Jaguars offense moved the ball methodically into Pittsburgh territory, but the drive stalled just inside midfield. With the game on the line, Doug Pederson put his placekicker Santoso on the field to make a 57-yard field goal. The kick was no good, giving the Steelers the win.
Pittsburgh now goes back to Acrisure Stadium next week for a Sunday matchup with the Detroit Lions in the preseason finale. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers.