The most dangerous thing about preseason games is taking them too seriously. Even first teams rarely line up with their true starting 11, coaches are toying with everything and veteran players really don’t care that much.
All that said, seeing the Steelers come up with 3 interceptions, including one returned by Ike Taylor 49 yards for a touchdown, was a very welcome sight after the Pittsburgh defense failed to produce turnovers last season.
Daniel Hrapmann kicked 3 field goals for Pittsburgh, including a partially blocked 22 yarder with 20 seconds left to seal a 26-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
Prized Colts rookie QB Andrew Luck played well overall, but tossed two interceptions, including the one to Taylor. His counterpart Ben Roethlisberger didn’t fair any better, throwing an awful interception on the first drive of the game. Roethlisberger only attempted nine passes on the night.
The highlight of the game came on a 59 yard catch-and-run from Antonio Brown in the 1st quarter. Brown cut back across the field on a short screen pass, dodging several tacklers on his way to the endzone. It was the exact kind of splash play that earned Brown a contract extension this offseason.
Chris Rainey continues to be a major focus of the offense, in both the running and passing games. I still have my doubts on whether or not Rainey can withstand the pounding that an NFL running back must take…he got banged up again tonight on the first drive and briefly went to the locker room for a concussion test. WR David Gilreath and RB Jason Ford were both impressive in the second half. The Steelers don’t have a lot of depth at either of those positions right now so there’s at least a half decent chance one or both will make the final roster.
As an aside, the Colts are a team that has real potential to be a rival for the Steelers beginning this season. They feature a number of ex-Ravens including their head coach, former Steelers including their offensive coordinator and players with Pittsburgh connections. Gateway alum Justin King starts at cornerback for them and they have a reserve linebacker named Greg Lloyd. Something to keep an eye on.