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Steelers Gameday

Steelers Pound Falcons, Finish Preseason Perfect



Steelers RB Jaylen Warren

ATLANTA — The Pittsburgh Steelers finished their preseason perfect, both with a 3-0 record and an unblemished drive chart for the first teams on both sides of the ball after Thursday’s 24-0 whitewashing of the Atlanta Falcons.

The final score significantly undersells the amount of abuse laid on the Falcons, who did not play their starters, by the first-team Steelers.

Kenny Pickett and company took the ball first and moved it downfield in huge chunks, connecting on a 33-yard pass to Diontae Johnson down the left sideline and a 35-yarder to George Pickens, who made another sensational catch along the sideline to get down to the 1-yard line. Najee Harris punched in an easy score.

After a defensive three-and-out, and another nice Calvin Austin III punt return, the Steelers offense took just four plays to find the end zone again, with Jaylen Warren providing the hammer shot on an 8-yard run over two Atlanta defenders.

The Steelers starters scored twice while running 11 plays, and the first-team defense was just as perfect.

On that first possession, Elandon Roberts blew up a run play for a four-yard loss, T.J. Watt sacked Trevor Heinicke for a seven-yard loss and then the secondary held for an incompletion.

On the second set of Atlanta downs, the Falcons gained nine yards — five on a two many men penalty — before punting. It took until the second quarter, with scant few starters left on the field, for Atlanta to get its first first down. The Falcons punted shortly thereafter.

On five drives this preseason for the Steelers starting offense, they scored touchdowns on all five. The Steelers defense was unblemished as well.

The second-team offense got in on the act, as well, as Mitch Trubisky and company took the ball 76 yards in 11 plays, with Anthony McFarland Jr. again running over a Falcon on the way into the end zone on a 5-yard scamper, giving each of the Steelers top three backs a touchdown.

With the score 21-0 in the middle of the second, head coach Mike Tomlin called off the dogs somewhat, with only a Chris Boswell field goal and a late one contributing to continued scoring.

The Falcons threatened to score just once, on the opening drive of the third quarter, when Logan Woodside managed a drive to the Pittsburgh 11. That’s where Mark Robinson hit running back Carlos Washington, popping the ball free. Kenny Robinson scooped it up on end the one and only scoring threat.

The Steelers swept their preseason for the second consecutive season, and now that the Baltimore Ravens had their NFL-record 24-game preseason winning streak snapped, the Steelers moved into a tie with the Las Vegas Raiders for the longest such streak at six games. The Raiders have one more to play this preseason.

The Steelers now have 16 days off before they’ll again return to the field in competitive fashion against the San Francisco 49ers at Acrisure Stadium on Sept. 10 in the regular season opener.

Between now and then, they’ll lose some members of the squad, as the NFL rosters will be trimmed from 90 players to 53 by 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

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