Pickett, Rudolph 2-Minute Drills Help Steelers Top Jaguars, 16-15
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Kenny Pickett and Mason Rudolph each led two-minute drive for a Pittsburgh Steelers touchdown, but the team did little else positive in a sloppy 16-15 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on Saturday.
Pickett worked the second quarter, following Mitch Trubisky at quarterback, and working mostly with the starting offense. His first drive ended quickly, with a holding penalty erasing a third-down conversation.
But after a fourth-down stop on defense by Damontae Kazee, Pickett got the ball back with 1:05 to play in the second quarter and went to work.
He threw a 17-yard pass to Diontae Johnson, an 11-yarder, and a 24-yarder to Pat Freiermuth to put the Steelers in the red zone. He threw a touchdown pass to Johnson that was taken off the board due to offsetting penalties. On his second try, he found Benny Snell coming out of the backfield for an 11-yard score.
Pickett’s drive went 63 yards in five plays and took just 42 seconds off the clock and was the second successful two-minute drill for the Steelers first-round draft pick, after he led a game-winning drive in the final seconds of the preseason opener against the Seattle Seahawks.
Outside of Pickett’s drive, it was a rough night for the Steelers. The team was sloppy, committing six penalties for 48 yards and turning the ball over once.
The offensive line, in particular, was a point of weakness, taking several holding penalties while also allowing one sack of Trubisky. Trubisky spent most of his time in the offense running for his life. He finished 5 of 8 for 60 yards and also rushed once for 10 yards.
They also didn’t open up many holes in the running game, as the Steelers finished with 14 carries for 17 yards. The team’s running backs rushed 10 times for 10 yards.
The run defense faired slightly better after a tough outing against Seattle, holding the Jaguars to 97 yards on 30 carries. With the first teams in the game, the Steelers held Jacksonville to three field goal attempts, two of them over 50 yards. The Jaguars converted two of the three to take the early lead.
After Pickett’s late first-half heroics put Pittsburgh ahead, Mason Rudolph took over in the second half and things didn’t go better for the offensive line. Rudolph was hurried in his own end zone and flagged for intentional grounding for a safety to put Jacksonville ahead.
The Jaguars added to the lead when backup C.J. Beathard scrambled for a 4-yard score. Rudolph got a chance at his own late-game drive when Justin Layne intercepted Jaguars backup E.J. Perry.
He connected with Tyler Vaughns on passes of 25 and 21 yards to get in to the red zone and then hit Tyler Snead on an out route at the goal line for a 1-yard score to make it 16-15 Steelers. The two-point try went through the hands of Connor Heyward.
Santoso tried for a game-winning 57-yarder as time expired, but missed short and right.
The Steelers improved to 2-0 on the preseason. They will wrap up the exhibition schedule with a home game at Acrisure Stadium against the Detroit Lions next Sunday at 4:30 p.m.