There’s a line in the movie “White Men Can’t Jump” that says “Sometimes when you win, you really lose”. Well, that’s what happened to the Steelers last night. They won the preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons by a score of 34-16, but they lost backup quarterback Byron Leftwich for the season.
Leftwich had been scheduled to be the #2 quarterback on the Steelers’ roster this year. He was having a good preseason, and the only question the Steelers had at quarterback was whether Dennis Dixon or Charlie Batch would win the #3 quarterback position. But that question became moot when Leftwich broke his arm when he fell awkwardly on it last night.
Despite the loss of Leftwich, the Steelers turned in a very good performance last night.
The sign outside of Heinz Field didn’t say “Welcome to the Antonio Brown Show”, but it probably should have. Brown, a second year receiver, probably solidified his position as the Steelers’ #3 wide receiver with another solid preseason performance. He caught 4 passes for 137 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Last season, fellow rookie receiver Emmanuel Sanders outperformed Brown, and secured the #3 receiver position, while Brown was relegated to being the #4 receiver. But Sanders has been out of action this preseason nursing a foot injury, and Brown has taken full advantage of Sander’s injury.
Several other Steelers turned in solid performances in last night’s game as well. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had another outstanding performance. He completed 11 of 16 passes for 214 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also finished with a QB rating of 151.0.
Cornerback Crezdon Butler also had a solid game. He came into the game after Keenan Lewis left with a knee injury. Butler took advantage of the opportunity when he intercepted a Falcons pass and returned it 95 yards for a touchdown. Butler also had 2 passes defensed, and was the Steelers’ leading tackler in the game with 9 tackles.
Linebacker Lawrence Timmons showed why the Steelers signed him to a new contract. He intercepted a pass and returned it 44 yards. He almost scored on the play, but he was caught from behind just short of the goal line.
Despite the win, the Steelers still have a few areas of concern. The Falcons attempted to take advantage of the Steelers’ cornerbacks, just like teams did last season. Matt Ryan attempted 42 passes, and passed for 220 yards and 1 touchdown in just 2 quarters of play. He would have had a second TD, but one of his receivers dropped a pass in the endzone. Starting cornerbacks William Gay and Keenan Lewis didn’t look particularly impressive as Ryan picked them apart.
The Steelers’ offensive line also has room for improvement. They allowed Big Ben to be sacked twice, and they didn’t dominate the line of scrimmage.
But overall, the Steelers have to be happy with their performance. They came away with a win over a very good Falcons team that had a 13-3 record last season.
Despite the loss of Leftwich, the Steelers look good heading into their final preseason game.
(If you enjoyed this article, please consider leaving a comment by clicking on the square at the top right of this article. Also, please subscribe to our blog by pressing the orange button below. You can also follow us on Twitter by clicking the bird doohicky below. Also consider following us on Facebook. Thanks.)