Traditionally, the Pittsburgh Steelers next-to last preseason game is their dress rehearsal for the regular season. In recent years, Mike Tomlin has not even dressed let alone played most of his starters for the final preseason game.
- Steelers Nation had better hope the Steelers preseason effort vs. the Bills was not preview of things to come
The highlights, from a Steelers perspective, were short and sweet. DeAngelo Williams ran strong albeit for all of three carries. Michael Vick looked like he’d ran the Steelers offense for a decade and Martavis Bryant played like a stud instead of a stoner. Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell avoided injury.
Outside of that, the game was a total disaster for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Dean of the Steelers press crops summed it up this way:
Steelers new defense designed to keep big plays down. So far in two series, Buffalo has 41-yard run and a 67-yard TD pass
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) August 29, 2015
That was the first quarter. Unfortunately it got worse for Pittsburgh. The Buffalo Bills played four quarterbacks, and the Pittsburgh Steelers made each of them look like All Pro Candidates combining for 30 of 33 pass attempts. That’s a 90% completion rate. The Steelers defense did not fare any better on the ground, as the Bills racked up 156 yards rushing.
- Sure, one can fall back on the mantra, “Its only preseason.”
But when all was said and done, the Bills offense scored 6 touchdowns on the Steelers. That is unacceptable, regardless of who is in the game. The Steelers dismissed Dick LeBeau promoted Keith Butler to defensive coordinator in hopes of halting the slide of the Steelers defense. Unfortunately, the until appears to have regressed.
Leading into the Steelers-Bills preseason game, Steel Curtain Rising opined that running back Dri Archer had the most to gain from Martavis Bryant’s suspension. Dri Archer did well enough with the carries and catches that he had, but he only had 3 in total – hard enough to cement a role for himself in the Steelers offense.
Hartley, Dupree Injured
To further complicate matters, the Steelers lost first round draft pick Bud Dupree to a foot injury and, perhaps more ominously, place kicker Garrett Hartley was also injured and will require an MRI…. Australian punter Jordan Berry moonlighted in his stead, and acquitted himself well.
Berry might have also punted himself over fellow Australian Brad Wing for the punting job, by booming off a 75 yard punt and averaging 57 yards per punt.
That’s good news, because the Steelers defense will a punter who can put opposing offenses as far back as possible.