Sunday, August 10, 2014

And So It Begins: Steelers Lose


After seven long months, we finally get back to football. Despite a brief broadcasting scare because KDKA didn't know what to do if the PGA Championship ran late, it was time to go.

The Giants win the toss and take the ball first.

Sean Spence gets the start at inside linebacker and makes his presence felt by blowing up a run play then getting pressure on 3rd down to force a punt.

The Steelers 3-headed beast in the backfield makes a big statement on the opening drive. The Prescription makes two solid runs up the gut before a bubble screen to Dri Archer turns into a footrace down the sideline when he cut back across the field.
Blount gets a few carries to get us inside the 10. A 3rd down fade for Lance Moore falls incomplete and Suisham bangs home an easy one.


I'm open to other suggestions too, but rolling with this for now.

On the first play, the Steelers forget to defend the middle of the field against the run and get gashed by Rashad Jennings. Yikes. 


Gradkowski takes over on the second drive, because it's preseason and Ben has nothing to prove. A holding penalty on the Giants gives the Steelers a first down. An end-around to Wheaton and a pass to Brown move the Steelers across midfield. The drive stalls out after The Prescription can't quite get to the sticks on a screen pass on 3rd and long. Brad Wing drops in a seriously good punt.

Jarvis Jones darts inside on first down and drops Eli inside the 5 for the first sack of the preseason. The Giants don't do anything else.

More backups start to filter into the game as Tauren Poole takes over at running back. A penalty sets things back and the drive stalls out.

The first team defense stays out to close out the quarter.

Second Quarter

The Giants can't seem to stop taking penalties and all of a sudden it's 2nd and 28. The Giants are content to run it twice against the Steelers nickel defense and punt.

The Steelers don't do anything and Brad Wing makes a terrible punt, giving the Giants great field position.

Ryan Nassib, who everyone was convinced the Bills were going to take in the first round last year because Doug Marrone used to coach him at Syracuse, came in at QB for the Giants. Nothing happens and the Giants kick a field goal.


The Steelers finally start to open it up and Justin Brown makes a nice catch behind his body then Wheaton draws a penalty to keep things moving. After converting a 3rd and short on the ground, Gradkowski converts another by floating a pass to Wheaton. The drive screeches to a halt after two bad throws from Bruce. Suisham misses from 38. Good thing we didn't sign him to a big extension this offseason or anything.

The Giants respond by going to the air and working the ball to their tight ends. They are able to move across midfield before the two minute warning. Nassib hits Randle on a slant to get the Giants into Field Goal range. The Giants don't do much else but some dude hits a long field goal.


Archer gets two carries to run things out before the half.

Third Quarter

Landry Jones takes over under center for the Steelers. Edmund Nelson reveals that he's the only person in America that didn't know Landry Jones was named after Tom Landry.

Nassib runs a little no huddle for the Giants and moves the ball across midfield, but that's pretty much it. Shamarknado laid a big hit on a running back on a swing pass somewhere in there.

The Steelers go 3-and-out but the Giants muff the punt and Howard Jones falls on it to give the Steelers their first turnover of the preseason. A holding penalty sets things back but Jones completes two passes to give Suisham redemption from 38.


The defense is able to force a 3-and-out. On 3rd down, undrafted free agent Josh Mauro blows up a running back on a stunt and throws the back into Nassib, forcing a bad throw. Martavis Bryant juggles the punt but is able to recover the loose ball.

Some football happens on the field, but the real story is the interview the weatherman did with Lance Moore. Because KDKA somehow lacks a single person in their sports department capable of being a sideline reporter, the job falls to weatherman Jeff Verzyla. He led off his interview with Lance Moore making a joke about how short Moore is. Stay classy, KDKA.

Oh, and Edmund Nelson said this:

Fourth Quarter

Landry tries to air it out for Bryant who doesn't make a great play on the ball but does draw a pass interference call to give the Steelers the ball in the red zone. Unfortunately, the offense still can't find the end zone. Suisham connects.

The Giants start to put a drive together and get out near midfield. On 3rd down, Nassib tries to throw a swing pass that gets batted down by Vic So'oto. The Giants stop, thinking the play is dead but Howard Jones scoops up the ball and runs it into the end zone.
In some weird form of karma to make up for the bizarre touchdown the refs gave the Giants when they ruled a Ben incomplete pass a fumble 2 years ago, the Steelers are given the touchdown.

Suisham hits the 33-yard extra point.


Curtis "MS Paint"er, who you might remember as being the guy who stunk it up for the Colts when Peyton was hurt that enabled them to draft Andrew Luck, came in at quarterback.
Painter drove the Giants right down the field going 6-for-6 and gets the Giants to the doorstep. For some reason, they ran it twice before letting Painter throw. On third down, Painter lobbed a perfect ball to some tall receiver who towered over Isaiah Green and caught the fade.


Landry Jones completes two passes to get the Steelers out near midfield then gets a gift of a defensive holding call to pick up an automatic first down at the two minute warning. Two drops put the Steelers in 4th and 6. Jones hits Bryant down the middle and he makes the catch but gets the ball knocked out while trying to fight for extra yards.

The Giants recover and essentially close the book on this one. Tomlin uses his last two timeouts to stretch it out but the Giants pick up a first down and end it.

Players of the Game
Offensive Game Ball: Dri Archer
Defensive Game Ball: Howard Jones
Honorable Mentions:
Sean Spence
Josh Mauro
Shamarko Thomas
Jarvis Jones
Brice McCain

Final Thoughts
  • Brutal night for Martavis Bryant. Muffed a punt and fumbled after his only reception. 
  • Great to see Sean Spence flying back around the field. 
  • Dri Archer is not Chris Rainey.
  • Do we really have no one other than Antonio Brown that is capable of returning a punt?
  • Josh Mauro represented himself well as second string defensive end. He probably passed Brian Arnfelt in the race for the 4th defensive end spot.
  • Not a great night for Brad Wing. Had a bad punt that set up a Giants field goal.
  • The Steelers are extremely thin at running back after the top 3, but those top 3 are something special.
  • Special teams coverage units did a very good job. 
  • Gradkowski seemed to be throwing off his back foot a lot, which made his passes sail high. If he steps into his throws he'll be right on the money.
  • Solid night from Brice McCain, the free agent pickup from Houston. He played well on Special Teams and had a pass deflection. Strange to see #25 out there making tackles for the Steelers.
  • Markus Wheaton made a good catch on a very nice route but is totally unwilling as a blocker.
  • We have to listen to Edmund Nelson for 3 more games. Next time you're complaining about Chris Collinsworth, remember that Edmund Nelson broadcasts preseason games.

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