Mitchell Trubesky started at Pittsburgh Steelers In the pre-season opening and they didn’t do anything to lose ground in the quarterback competition. But Mason Rudolph and Kenny Beckett aren’t going away.
All three Steelers players looked great on Saturday night. A first-rounder, Beckett snapped his first NFL shots and got fans excited. He threw the award-winning game three seconds before the end of the game, winning Pittsburgh 32-25. It might say something about the Seattle Seahawks’ defense that all three Steelers quarterbacks have played well, but it’s still a good sign for the Steelers trying to replace Ben Roethlisberger.
Trubisky looked confident from the start of the match. On the first drive, Trubisky drove a landing gear. In the scoring play, Trubisky began a scramble, then saw Gunner Olszewski’s wide coverage and hit him for a 13-yard touchdown. It was a powerful and efficient first engine.
Trubisky started the second drive with a beautiful throw of Conor Heyward’s court finish over center, bypassing the defender’s reach. Trubisky later showed off his athletic ability in the driving, wriggling from a sure sack off the Seahawks end of Darrell Taylor and defending for a few yards. Trubisky played two series and was 4 of 7 for 63 yards.
Rudolph came after Trubisky – Beckett’s third-place finish tells you how far he is from winning the primary – and threw a nice deep touchdown pass for George Pickens, a second-round rookie who generates Tons of fuss with great campin the corner of the end zone.
Rudolph finished 9 of 15 for 93 yards, and Beckett started the second half. Beckett, who played for the University of Pittsburgh, came to great cheers from Steelers fans. He hit an illegal pass for 11 yards on his first play. He finished driving with a 1-yard touchdown pass to run back Jaylen Warren and a two-point conversion pass. Fans chanted his name. Beckett completed his first 10 passes, although most of them were short, low-risk throws. Then when the Steelers recovered the ball late in the tie game, Beckett led a game-winning campaign, hitting 24 yards for Tyler Fons, who ran away from the tackle attempt and scored, three seconds left. Beckett finished 13 of 15 for 95 yards and two touchdowns. Totally debut.
At the moment Trubisky is a favorite to start the first week. But the competition is not over yet.
Spotlight Team: Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks have a quarterback competition as well, so Saturday’s game in Pittsburgh was the biggest on the pre-season schedule.
Gino Smith played fairly well when Russell Wilson was injured last season, and it was the start of the season although Seattle traded for Drew Luke and started against the Steelers. Smith didn’t do much but he was fine. Smith finished 10 of 15 for 101 yards before sitting down in the first inning. Drew Luke got the second half and his performance will keep the quarterback competition alive. Lock was 11 of 15, 102 yards and two touchdowns. He looked pretty good and probably cut the gap with Smith.
Not much has gone right for the Seahawks. They came 14-0 early. Explosive coverage led to Pittsburgh’s first landing. The return of the long throw set the Steelers’ second touchdown. Intervention was a huge problem for the Seahawks. Seattle’s offensive wasn’t bad but he had three balls and a field goal through four leads. Smith ran for a touchdown 21 seconds before the break to end his night on a positive note. Luke had some success against the Steelers backup, which was fine, although he fumbled late when he didn’t see blind side pressure and was fired. This led to the Steelers’ winning relegation.
Seattle will likely struggle this season. This is what usually happens when you trade an elite midfielder like Wilson. Saturday night didn’t provide much optimism that the Seahawks will be better than expected this season.
Featured Player: Washington QB Sam Howell
Quarterback Sam Howell, a fifth-round rookie, did a few things. It’s just one pre-season game, but Washington fans have to wonder if they got any good value in the draft.
Howell was 9 of 16 for 143 yards and had two rushing touchdowns as well. One of them had a gentle stampede in the middle.
The Panthers won 23-21 on a field goal at the last minute but Howell did his best to lead the leaders to the lead after they fell behind. Howell was once considered a first-round prospect before his stock went down, and he looked good on his preseason debut in the NFL.
Carson Wentz is the initiator in Washington. Leaders gave up a lot in order to get it. But Wentz didn’t do well in Indianapolis last season and it’s not certain he’ll play well in Washington either. Howell deserves attention for the rest of pre-season, even if it may take a while until he gets a chance to play in the regular season.
Chicago Bears 19, Kansas City Chiefs 14: Bears quarterback Justin Fields had some nice passes, particularly fun passes to Darnell Mooney, who made a nice 26-yard jump.
But Fields has also been under a lot of pressure, reinforcing that the Bears’ offensive streak can be a problem all season.
Buffalo Bills 27, Indianapolis Colts 24: The Bills didn’t play any starters, but the Colts did. The Molts had their starts all the way through the first quarter into the second quarter, and new quarterback Matt Ryan threw 10 assists. He completed six for 58 yards, an unremarkable appearance for the Moults before the start of the season. He completed 30-yard doubles passes to his new No. 1 receiver Michael Bateman, but no other receiver featured. The Bills returned to win their ninth consecutive pre-season game, kicking the match-winning field goal in the final.
Miami Dolphin 26, Tampa Pirate Bay 24: The Dolphins sat on several rookies and the Buccaneers held out for everyone who might play in the first week. This is what football looks like before the start of the season:
Sophomore Buccaneers quarterback Kyle Trask has got a long look. After a good Blaine Gabbert (5 of 5 for 56 yards and well thrown to the ground), Trask was up and down at the start but settled well. Trask threw an interception that landed on the defender’s legs before hitting the ground, but it wasn’t supposed to be thrown in the first place because he was under pressure. He had a touchdown drive completing five of his six passes for 56 yards. Trask led a good campaign for a game-winning field goal attempt at the end, but the kick crashed into the vertical. Trask finished 25 of 33 for 258 yards.
New Orleans Saints in Houston Texas: Andy Dalton got his start with an injured James Winston, and he showed why he’s been one of the best reserve players in the league for a while. He went 5 of 5 for 51 yards and fell back to run Dwayne Washington. If Winston should miss any time during the regular season, Dalton can step in directly and keep the attack going.
Dallas Cowboys at Denver Broncos: These two teams had a combined practice this week in Denver, so both coaches sat down for practically every start. Josh Johnson started as a quarterback for the Broncos and threw twice to give Denver an early lead.
Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Chargers: Neither team played the start. The Rams started the junior trend during pre-season under Sean McVay, and Chargers coach and former McVay assistant Brandon Staley has followed that path.
• Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports got the breakdown of the Carolina Panthers QP Baker Mayfield start on Saturday. Can Mayfield A powerful ride with limited playing timeComplete 4 of 7 passes for 45 yards.
• Chiefs should be excited about junior defensive end George Karlavtis. In the first round of Bordeaux, Karlavtis got a steady pressure on the quarterback. Part of that was playing against a poor Chicago Bears offensive line, but he had a sack and a couple of quarterback hits. It will be a huge part of Kansas City’s defense.
• The Bears also had a promising match from a rookie defender. Jaquan Brisker’s safety was all over the field. He had four tackles, a defensive pass and a losing tackle. Perhaps the bears nailed this choice.
• Colts reserve quarterback Nick Foles had some tough moments. He never saw pressure coming from his front side and was sacked, losing a bounce back for the landing. He also threw a pass that was over the receiver’s head and was picked up by the bills. Bills QB Case Keenum, which started when Josh Allen sat down, didn’t do much better with a pair of interceptions.
• Washington rookie Brian Robinson looked good, picking up 26 yards and landing on six buggies. It could cut into Antonio Gibson’s early work if he continues to impress.
• George Pickens, rookie receiver for the Steelers, has done nothing but admire. He slipped in the draft with a knee injury in Georgia but already looks like he belongs in the NFL. The Steelers will have to find ways to engage him early in the season.
And as a bonus, check out Pickens pancake a cornerback (at the bottom of the screen):
• Texas rookie running back Dameon Pierce is an interesting player. It’s a fourth-round pick for a team that needs young talent to emerge, and a fairly clear path to winning an initial job. His first pre-season run was 20 yards, and that was impressive. Pierce had 49 yards in five gigs.
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