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Steelers Overcome Sloppy, Delayed Start to Top Chiefs, 17-7



PITTSBURGH — The Steelers overcame a sloppy, rain-soaked first half to top the Kansas City Chiefs, 17-7, in their second preseason game of the 2019 season at Heinz Field on Saturday.

The start of the game was delayed nearly an hour due to rain and thunderstorms passing through the region, and when play resumed, the sloppiness transferred from the weather to the men in pads as both first-team offenses had fumbles, the Steelers had a couple of drops and the teams combined for eight first-half penalties.

Artie Burns and Terrell Edmunds combined to pull the way away from Kansas City running back Carlos Hyde in the first quarter, but the Steelers gave it right back when Donte Moncrief coughed up the ball after a one-yard grab from Mason Rudolph.

Rudolph got the start after impressing in the team’s first preseason game, but wasn’t able to get into much of an offensive rhythm. He finished with 10 completions on 15 attempts for 75, and was finally able to lead the offense to a long scoring drive late in the second quarter.

Second-year running back Jaylen Samuels scampered 14 yards around the left end for the game’s first score, capping off a 14-play, 89-yard drive that took 8:06 off the clock.

Kansas City answered back on the following possession. With starter Patrick Mahomes, who played just two series, on the bench, backup Chad Henne hit rookie Mecole Hardman from 17-yards out with 1:11 to play.

The Steelers’ offense got two tries at a two-minute drill, but with Josh Dobbs replacing Rudolph at quarterback, couldn’t convert on either. After the first drive stalled on a failed fourth-down conversion, Tuzar Skipper fell on fumbled Henne snap to give Dobbs another shot.

But Dobbs was intercepted at the goal line and had to make a touchdown-saving tackle.. Dobbs finished 6 of 11 for 95 yards.

Most of the starters played on a few series and nearly all were out of the game after halftime.

In the fourth quarter, the Steelers got a 46-yard field goal from rookie Matthew Wright and fourth-string quarterback Devlin Hodges hit rookie Diontae Johnson from 27 yards out for his first professional score.

With the Chiefs driving late, safety Marcus Allen made a huge hit on Kansas City tight end Blake Bell, knocking the ball loose. First-year linebacker Tegray Scales pounced on it to seal the victory.


Highlights from Steelers Practice 9/23/20



David DeCastro practices with the Steelers after missing the first two games of the season. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin explained to the media, including Mike Asti and Alan Saunders of Steelers Now, that he is evaluating DeCastro and he could start their week 3 game against Houston.

Joe Haden can also seen working on one-on-one coverage drills with the rest of the secondary.

Footage courtesy Pittsburgh Steelers

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T.J. Watt Named AFC Defensive Player of the Week



Leading up to his big matchup vs. his brother J.J and the Houston Texans, T.J. Watt was honored for his performance last Sunday.

Watt was recognized Wednesday morning as the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his effort against the Denver Broncos at Heinz Field. This was the third time in his career that Watt has won this award.

During the Steelers 26-21 win over the Broncos, Watt registered 2.5 sacks, four quarterback hits and four tackles.

Watt continues to be one of the most feared pass rushers in the NFL. Counting his performance on Sunday, Watt now has collected 37 career sacks, which is the most by any NFL linebacker since 2017. Here’s another interesting stat courtesy the Pittsburgh Steelers media relations department: Watt has 25 sacks in 25 career games at Heinz Field. Only three players in NFL history have registered more sacks over their first 25 career home games.

Watt and the rest of the Steelers defense will be challenged this Sunday as they host Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans at Heinz Field. Their 2-0 start has the Steelers tied with the Baltimore Ravens for 1st place in the AFC North.

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Tomlin Bringing Referees into Steelers Practice to Help Penalty Issues



Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin thinks his team took too many penalties in their Week 2 win over the Denver Broncos at Heinz Field on Saturday, and he’s going to do something about it.

Tomlin said on Tuesday that he’s bringing referees into practice this week in order to help his team remain in compliance with the NFL rulebook on gamedays.

“It hurt our efforts on both sides of the ball,” Tomlin said Tuesday. “It hurt our efforts in terms of possessing the ball on offense. We had two critical holding calls in the first half that put us behind the chains and essentially stopped drives. Ball possession and drives, there’s too much scarcity in that discussion to get major penalties and throw yourself behind the chains. We’re just not good enough to overcome those things at this juncture, and quite frankly, I would imagine not many of us in this game are that good at this juncture.

“On the defensive side of the ball, we didn’t play clean enough on the back end on possession downs. They were able to extend drives through DPI and things of that nature. When you get people to that point to where you have them in a third down situation and you have the ball snapped and you’re executing the rush, there’s just too much ground covered to start over and give them a new set of downs. We have to get better in those areas.”

Special teams were also part of the problem, Tomlin said, as the Steelers had a Diontae Johnson punt return touchdown called back due to a block in the back. In total, the Steelers were penalized 10 times for 89 yards.

“We are not only analyzing and openly talking about the penalties, but we are working hard to rectify it,” he said. “We intend to bring some officials to our practice work this week in an effort to make a point of emphasis in that area. That’s important for us. Again, I just thought that was a catalyst for a lot of negativity in the game for us.”

Steelers cornerback Joe Haden said after the game that the team felt that “some of the calls weren’t going their way,” but Tomlin said they don’t consider whether or not they think a call should have been made when assessing and evaluating team performance.

“We coach. We don’t officiate the game,” he said “We are not assessing judgment based on what’s called. We are simply acknowledging what is called and we are making whatever necessary change in our behavior to make sure that it is not called moving forward. It’s as simple as that for us.”

Tomlin said the team is still working through the procedures to have the officials they want to use tested and able to be on the practice field at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex when the team returns to work on Wednesday.

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