The Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night, but they became one game closer to the regular season.
The Steelers took their first loss of the 2017 preseason in the first game most of their starters saw the field. With guys like Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown taking the field for the first time all season, the stars got to test their skills two weeks before Week 1.
Even with the loss, Pittsburgh proved they’re still ready for the regular season. Big Ben and AB looked great, even without scoring a touchdown. T.J. Watt came out firing again, and the defense stepped up slightly compared to last week.
Yes, no one likes to take a loss, but for the Steelers, there was enough to learn from for this loss to still count.
`1. Ben and AB are ready for the season
You could tell from the way Ben was completing passes that he has been in the league for more than a decade now. His first drive included a lot of completed passes for an intermediate gain. Although they did not test Ben’s long ball, his throws were on the money, and he didn’t even have to stay in the whole first quarter to prove he is ready for the season. The same goes for AB who caught a few passes as well.
2. Martavis Bryant is more of an all around receiver
In the early part of Bryant’s career, he was good for a lot of screens and go routes. Tonight he showed that he can catch a wide array of passes thrown at him. I think tonight showed that he added possession receiving to his repertoire.
3. Xavier Grimble has improved
Grimble has been an up and down tight end for the Steelers. He has only been a fringe roster player in his career. Tonight he caught the only touchdown and showed that he can be added to the Steelers 12 personnel sets as a receiving tight end with more certainty.
4. Cameron Sutton has the football instincts as advertised
We haven’t seen Sutton play in an NFL game until tonight, but in limited action, he showed that he has the instincts and football IQ to succeed as a corner in the NFL. I look forward to watching him develop this year. I don’t put it out of the question that he takes the #2 corner job as the season progresses.
5. Long Snapping is no longer being taken for granted
Greg Warren had been such a consistent snapper for the duration of his career but was waived after a failed physical this offseason. Colin Holba was drafted in the sixth round, but his high snap that resulted in a missed kick by Boswell has to leave the Steelers more concerned than they were last year.
Any team’s first loss is a milestone. For the Steelers, they left everything on the field even if they didn’t come away with a victory. With one preseason game left, there’s still plenty of action before their Week 1 matchup with the Cleveland Browns.
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