The Pittsburgh Steelers found themselves on the opposite end of the final score in their second preseason game, claiming victory on a last minute field goal after falling to the Eagles last week in the same fashion. Rookie kicker Danny Hrapmann was 4 for 4 on field goals on the night, including the game winner with 20 seconds remaining, bringing the final score to 26-24.
The main victory of the night, however, was in the injury category, with the team managing to avoid any major casualties. Several players were temporarily down, including Chris Rainey, Ryan Clark, and Jason Ford, but all appeared to be fine. Baron Batch was also reportedly seen icing down a hamstring.
The Steelers began with the football, pounding the ball with current starter via injury, Jonathan Dwyer. He carried the ball 4 times on the 6 play drive for about 15 yards. Rainey carried the ball on the third play of the game and fumbled the ball forward, which was recovered by receiver Emmanuel Sanders for a first down. Rainey left the game and went back to the locker room to get evaluated for concussion symptoms, but returned not long after.
After two more carries by Dwyer, however, Ben Roethlisberger threw an interception on his first pass when he failed to see a defender in the area of his receiver, setting up a short field for Andrew Luck, this year’s first overall draft pick.
After having his way with a lackluster St. Louis Rams at home the week before, the Steelers did their best to show the rookie what a real defense looks like, forcing a three and out on the first possession.
The Steelers’ second offensive possession can be summed up by two plays made by receiver Antonio Brown on 3rd down. The second of those conversions came off of a bubble screen that Brown took 57 yards for the first score of the game. Of note on the play was an excellent downfield block by running back Baron Batch, who blocked one defender into another near the end zone.
Andrew Luck fared a bit better on his second possession, converting one third down on a nice pass over a leaping Keenan Lewis. Colts wide receiver Austin Collie appeared to suffer a concussion on the play prior after linebacker Larry Foote made contact in the head area after a pass that was determined to be incomplete after a review.
After a 3 and out by the Steelers offense, it was the defense that stepped up. Following two solid tackles against the run by Ziggy Hood and Ryan Clark, cornerback Ike Taylor jumped a route on 3rd down and returned it 49 yards for the touchdown, giving the Steelers a 14-0 lead. That would be it for the Steelers in the first half, however, as the Colts would control the ball for much of the rest of the first half.
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