The Pittsburgh Steelers improved their preseason record to 1-1 by scoring a late field goal to beat the Indianapolis Colts 26-24. While Andrew Luck lived up to his name sake in his second outing, the Steelers defense did something it almost never did in 2011 – intercepted passes.
Ike Taylor intercepted an Andrew Luck pass and returned it 49 yards to put the Steelers up 14-0. The Steelers had scored earlier when Antonio Brown took a short pass from Ben Roethlisberger and weaved his way through blocks provided by Leonard Pope, Heath Miller, and rookie Barron Batch.
All eyes tonight were on the Steelers running game. Jonathan Dwyer looked good as a starter, while Barron Batch continued to struggle, at least on the stat sheet. Rookie Chris Rainey also had a tougher time of it, if his numbers are any guide.
5th Receiver Emerges?
While most of the attention in preseason has focused on Mike Wallace’s absence and Antonio Brown’s contract, beneath the surface there’s been a struggle to define who’ll claim the Steelers 5th wide out spot.
Mike Tomlin has been fairly frank in expressing his disappointment that no one has separated himself from the back.
That may have changed tonight.
David Gilreath led the team with 4 catches for 78 yards. Granted, he was not playing vs. the Colts starters, but his production was impressive nonetheless.
This is Gilreath’s fourth shot at NFL glory, having spent time on various practice squads. That should not be held against him – sometimes players need to bounce around for a while before getting their footing – James Harrison certainly did.
Time will tell if Gilreath can follow a similar path.
The pundits keep insisting that Shaun Suisham is favored to make the team. But rookie Danny Harpmann is giving him a run for his money, having finished the night at 4-4 on field goal kicks, including ones of 39 and 43 yards and another that was partially blocked.
Suisham’s play hasn’t been stellar, the outing in 2010 vs. Buffalo withstanding, and and upgrade at place kicker would be welcome.