Steelers vs Panthers First Half Live Update And Discussion Thread

The Pittsburgh Steelers fell on their collective faces during last week’s ‘dress rehearsal’ for the regular season, which might result in some extended encore performances from select starters, though many will also be sitting out. As they so often do, they close out their preseason schedule against the Carolina Panthers. There are a few jobs up for debate toward the bottom of the roster, and they will have to be sorted out tonight.

Rookie draft picks Jordan Zumwalt and Shaquille Richardson, their natural sixth- and fifth-round draft picks, respectively, are both not dressed, making it virtually impossible for them to make the 53-man roster given how little they’ve played.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will not play tonight. With Jason Worilds and Cameron Heyward sitting, Arthur Moats and Brett Keisel are slated to start in their places. Will Allen–not Shamarko Thomas–will start for Troy Polamalu, suffering a contusion to the birth certificate.

The Steelers won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half. Roethlisberger, who is not even playing, remains the lone captain.

Derek Anderson started for the Panthers at quarterback. From the 23, Fozzy Whittaker rushed for five yards on first down. Anderson completed a first-down pass in front of Ryan ShazierKelvin Benjamin used his body to shield off Ike Taylor to cross midfield.

Anderson attempted to find Mike Tolbert on a screen pass, but the big back could not hold on to the pass. Jerricho Cotchery converted on Antwon Blake, but was short of the first-down marker. Shazier and Lawrence Timmons stopped the fourth-down rush, but the officials ruled a first down. Mike Tomlin challenged the ruling. The officials determined that the ruling will stand, not that it was confirmed. Personally, I don’t think the Panthers made it.

Keisel and Jarvis Jones got pressure on Anderson, with Keisel getting to the quarterback and forcing an incomplete pass. With Cam Thomas at nose tackle and Stephon Tuitt at end, Thomas stopped the back after one yard. The Panthers got off a screen pass for a first down, however.

Timmons nearly intercepted Anderson’s next pass. Whittaker gained seven yards up the left side for a third and three. On third down, Taylor defended Benjamin on a pass into the end zone to force a field goal.

Last year’s fourth-round draft pick, Landry Jones, commands the Steelers’ offense tonight. He may play the entire game.

Lanear Sampson took the ensuing kickoff but only managed to reach the 15-yard line. Wesley Johnson started at center for Maurkice Pouncey and should play most, if not all of the game. Dri Archer started at running back.

Markus Wheaton took an end around and gain 15 yards behind a Michael Palmer block. Archer took a run up the middle and coaxed his way around defenders for five yards. Fullback Will Johnson got the carry and made a defender miss in the hole for a nice gain and a first down.

Jones hit Palmer on a bootleg, but for little to no gain on the following play. Only four of the five offensive linemen, plus the fullback, account for the starting offense. Jones threw high to Martavis Bryant up the middle, but Bryant reached up and grabbed it for a short gain.

On third down and six, Jones found Darrius Heyward-Bey, but the reception was short of the first down. LeGarrette Blount entered the game for the carry, but he was short of the first down, resulting in a turnover on downs.

Vince Williams replaced Timmons. Taylor exited, giving way to William Gay. The defense stood strong on first down, allowing just a one-yard gain. Blake did a nice job of stopping Benjamin from getting a first down, setting up third and one. Jones made the tackle to forced a punt.

The Steelers’ first-team offensive line, sans Pouncey, headed out for another series with Jones at quarterback. Taking over at the 10, Jones froze under the pressure, holding on to the ball and having his progress stopped at the one.

Jones seemed to want to make up for the mistake, zipping one to Justin Brown, but the pass was defended well. On third and 19, Jones found Johnson down the field, spotted at the first-down marker. Carolina challenged. The spot seemed generous, so I expect this to be overturned.

In the meantime, Martavis Bryant reportedly will not return to the game with a right shoulder injury.

As expected, the officials overturned the original ruling, spotting Johnson down at the 19 and setting up fourth and one, but the Steelers decided to punt. The Panthers were penalized for holding on the punt, backing them up 10 yards from the end of the kick, helping flip the field.

Blake defended Benjamin deep very well on first down. The confident young receiver rightfully demanded an offensive pass interference call, but he was not obliged.

Moats and Shazier helped bottle up Whittaker after a short gain to set up third and eight. Gay got in front of a pass intended for Benjamin for a nice three-and-out for this defensive unit.

Following a disappointing return from Archer, the Steelers were penalized for an illegal block in the back, pushing them back to their own eight. More terrible field position.

Heyward-Bey took a wide receiver screen for a nice gain, aided by a block, for eight yards to create some breathing room to close the first quarter.

The first-team offensive line has been replaced, and Rob Blanchflower has also entered. Le’Veon Bell got his first carry for a first down.

Correction, the left side of the offensive line still comprises the starters.

Bell picked up six yards on first down, and Blount added another to set up third and three. Jones was sacked on third down, resulting in yet another punt. The Panthers returned muffed it, but recovered and returned it for a short gain.

From the 35, the Panthers picked up three yards on first down. They false started on the next play. Josh Mauro is in for Keisel.

Anderson found tight end Ed Dickson for 17 yards and a first down near mid-field. Another 17 yards came from a crossing route to Benjamin down to the 33.

Benjamin was left in soft coverage on second down for an easy reception at the first-down marker. From the 22, the snap went over Anderson’s head, and Jones recovered it, picking up and returning it across midfield. He was brought down by a horsecollar, whipped to the ground by his dreadlocks, possibly hitting his head on the ground.

It seems they are going to put him through preliminary concussion protocol. Meanwhile the officials are reviewing the turnover to see if Jones was down by contact. Review shows that he was clearly touched down, making the return meaningless. Jones is being left to his own devices on the sidelines, presumably to the satisfaction of the trainers who were looking at him when he came to the bench.

Archer took an inside handoff, eluding several defenders behind the line of scrimmage just to win the edge for a two-yard gain. Jones escaped pressure from Mike Adams‘ coverage, but Blount couldn’t catch the pass anyway. Johnson was flagged for holding. The rookie is overmatched against this front. Blount took the carry up the middle, churning his feet for about five yards.

On third and 12, Jones found David Paulson, who nearly escaped the first defender, but he got caught low and brought down after just five yards, settling for yet another punt.

Mike Mitchell suffered a right leg injury at some point, the broadcasters announced. Listed as probable even though the starters are likely done.

 

Daniel McCullers entered the game at nose tackle. Chris Carter replaced Jones. Terence Garvin replaced Shazier.

The Panthers picked up a first down after two plays on the ground. Joe Webb rolled out on second down and hit his receiver for 17 yards and a first down.

Blake locked up the receiver quickly after a short gain on first down. The second-down pass was incomplete in Isaiah Green‘s coverage. On third and six, Blake was in good position on a deep ball, but Williams was flagged for roughing the quarterback, resulting in a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down. Quite a letdown.

McCullers pulled the back down from behind on the ensuing carry for a loss of one. Green and Thomas combined to keep a screen contained as the play clock operator was scolded by the head official for not paying attention. Two weeks in a row the officials had to discipline the clock operators.

On third and eight, the Panthers were flagged for a false start, turning it into a third and 13. Garvin did a nice job of getting in front of a third-down pass to force a punt. The Steelers seem poised to hold the Panthers to just three points in the first half.

The ensuing punt went for a touchback, giving Jones a two-minute drill starting from his own 20 with two timeouts. This should be interesting.

Brice McCain suffered a right groin injury and will not return. Dayonne Nunley has been playing in his spot.

Jones’ first pass attempt was deflected at the line of scrimmage. Archer only reached the line of scrimmage on a screen on second down, but a late hit gave the Steelers an extra 15 yards and a first down. Questionable penalty.

Heyward-Bey elevated to snag a high pass for a first down after the penalty, approaching midfield. Brown grabbed the next pass for another first down into Panthers territory. With under a minute to go, the Steelers used one of their two remaining timeouts.

Adams, among other players, allowed pressure, and resulted in a fumble, recovered by Johnson. Jones failed to connect with Heyward-Bey on second and 18, overthrowing on a miscommunication.

On third and rather long, Brown picked up just a few yards as the Steelers sent out the punt team. The play from Brown showed lack of awareness, as the Steelers had a timeout remaining. He should have turned upfield to get what he could, perhaps allowing a field goal opportunity.

Still, it gave Brad Wing a chance to land a nice punt, maybe giving himself a lifeline to win an uncontested roster spot. The Panthers were backed up deep in their own end and took a knee to end the half.

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • ApexSteel

    What the hell does Tomlin have against Shamarko?

  • Weiss Chad

    Man I don’t get this will Allen bs.Im really getting tired of tomlin playing him over shmarko.Hoping for big things from lance Moore tonight.

  • Superdriller316

    BS spot

  • Superdriller316

    The Beard!!!!

  • Nolrog

    Game is not broadcast where I am (I’ll try to watch it on replay tomorrow night.) What happened?

  • Spencer Krick

    He’s not Will Allen.

  • Superdriller316

    LawDog

  • Spencer Krick

    Look out, here comes the lightning Landry Jones offense!

  • Tim

    What’s up with this camera crew. I hope it’s not going to be like this all the time!

  • sean mcmartin

    well another game where the CB’s play 10 yards back and the only plays the defense can stop is when the opponent drops the ball..

  • ApexSteel

    Come on Landry prove me wrong.

  • Willoughby Spitt

    WTF doesn’t anyone on our defense WRAP ‘EM UP & FRICKEN TACKLE?!?!?!

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    Will Allen over Thomas? What is wrong with the coaching staff? everyone with eyes can see Sharmarko is the better option

  • Superdriller316

    Give it to the FB

  • Spencer Krick

    Nice hands by Bryant.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Will Allen started ahead of Shamarko Thomas in place of Polamalu.

  • Superdriller316

    Did JJ just learn how to play??

  • Nolrog

    Ah, I see. Thanks. Hopefully Thomas will get quite a bit of time today anyway. There’s no question in my mind that we’ll need him at some point this year.

  • ApexSteel

    When Jarvis isn’t playing D-end he’s effective. Who woulda thought?

  • Spencer Krick

    Ugh.

  • Agustin-ARG

    Fear Da Jone´s Beard !!!!!!!!

  • WilliamSekinger

    No he’s playing beside a healthy Brett Keisel…

  • Superdriller316

    Way to kill it…

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    no idea but its really getting old

  • WilliamSekinger

    Tuitt is gonna be a great DE, but he’s no Keisel (when he’s healthy). Keisel has years of experience in keeping OLBs clean so they can soak up the glory haha

  • Brandon James

    Maybe Shark has shown enough? Im hoping playing allen is to see what hes got left, but being a vet that wouldnt make much sense since they probably have a good idea. Thats what I am hoping for, its like shark is in his dog house for something we don’t know. I cant think of any other reason

  • Brandon James

    Antwon blake with a really really nice play on 6″5 Benjamin, 1v1 on the fly route. I like it.

  • Brandon James

    Then William Gay with another nice play. This defense honestly just needs a few tweaks. Whenever McCullers can get to like a 70% finished product, throw him on the field. With so many under sized lineman compared to a 4-3, we need that double block that he commands. Is it just me or does anyone else just really really confused on what LeBeau is trying here? I know he is great and all, but ever since that sub-package football started coming to town the past few years…He just lost that touch.

  • Steelers12328882

    Super disappointed in Dri Archer on special teams. He doesn’t do anything. Never looks full speed either. Starting to think he’s just a gimmick offensive player.

  • Weiss Chad

    Shazier back to where he was two weeks ago?From what I’m reading think he has five tackles first qtr

  • ApexSteel

    So can we just take Jarvis out orrrr?

  • Steelers12328882

    JJ is having a good night so far. So easy to complete passes against our CBs in this defense.

  • Superdriller316

    Cut that damn hair

  • Brandon James

    Nice play by jones, splash plays are what we need. He’s got that instinct for being around the ball, regardless if hes eaten up by premier left tackles. I like his hustle

  • WilliamSekinger

    Keep twisting that knife I don’t think they can feel it yet haha

  • gene mann

    looks like Shazier got dinged about the 12 min mark

  • Steelers12328882

    www dot vipleague dot se You can watch any kinda game you want to. Not the greatest quality but it’s better than nothing. You just have to figure out how to view it and close the right pop-ups. Hint: never download anything.

  • Steelers12328882

    Dri Archer is a better RB than he is a returner.

  • Spencer Krick

    Brad Wing is getting a workout

  • ApexSteel

    Maybe because he’s a running back…

  • gene mann

    also
    mitchell is hurt

  • WilliamSekinger

    Well I’m watching this game for the defense. Couldn’t care any less about a L Jones led offense.

  • (hate)49ers

    why they playing so far back?

  • Jason Vancil

    Antonio Brown is our best PR and I bet Lagarette Blount would be the best KR.

  • (hate)49ers

    watch Oline and DHB

  • Steelers12328882

    yeah no sh*t, but if you asked me where he’d make the most difference after we drafted him I woulda said PR and KR. Still looks like he’ll be the #1 guy there, but he doesn’t look like he can do it. Even Bryant has looked better at returns than him.

  • Steelers12328882

    no doubt, but I’d only put AB back there when we have to win it or the playoffs, Can let him get hurt.

  • ApexSteel

    Don’t get mad at me you’re the one making obvious statements.

  • Weiss Chad

    I’d like to see him return kicks punts meh not so much

  • Steelers12328882

    Huh, I didn’t know there was anything wrong with that.

  • Steelers12328882

    Has he returned any kickoffs yet this preseason?

  • Brandon James

    I think it was Colbert who said they see KR/PR as a starting position, and thats the main reason they went archer in the 3rd. So…hes just saying he hasnt lived up to that bill

  • Brandon James

    Antwon Blake looks really really good. Damn, I have seen 3-4 Really nice 1 on 1 coverage plays down field

  • ApexSteel

    He’s making plays at other positions. He hasn’t gotten many chances to make returns anyway.

  • ApexSteel

    Garvin has to be our best coverage linebacker.

  • Steelers12328882

    Right. If there’s one position out of RB, WR, PR and KR you’d say Archer would probably have the most trouble with it’s RB, because of his size. Thing is he looks pretty good doing it. Good at catching too, but as a returner he seems to hesitate, juke like Mendenhall, never gets to full speed and hasn’t done much of anything.

  • Superdriller316

    Has L. Jones done ANYTHING that warrants a roster spot?

  • Brandon James

    DHB…..where the hell is this coming from, he looks good.

  • Tammie Sherrell Hill

    WHO said that heyward-bey couldn’t catch?

  • Superdriller316

    He only sucks at practice

  • Weiss Chad

    Not to my knowledge .Thats why I’d like to see him return some.Im pretty sure he never was anything great at returning punts at kent.If I’m right he only returned 30-40 punts at kent if that

  • Spencer Krick

    Mike Adams is not very good at football.

  • (hate)49ers

    WELL I GUESS I WILL GO AHEAD AND BUY HIS JERSEY LOL

  • Weiss Chad

    I’ve heard he’s a hell of a cook

  • Jason Vancil

    No.

  • Steelers12328882

    Justin Brown just lost his compass.

  • ApexSteel

    Second team O-line makes every play look like a jail break screen.

  • (hate)49ers

    TOMLIN MAKE CUTS AFTER THE GAME

  • Jason Vancil

    Enthralling 1st Half.

  • Tammie Sherrell Hill

    Trust me our offense WILL be explosive this yr it don’t seem like it now but believe in the black n gold

  • SteelerMike

    at halftime for landry jones

  • pat

    The thing im worried about the most is an injury to one of our tackles

  • Jason Vancil

    Hello Guy Whimper.

  • steelersfan

    Jarvis Jones looks good

  • Nathan Shrift

    Jones is blah. Adams really stinks at pass pro and I don’t understand how he even started last season. The guy looks like he has never played any type of pass pro in his life. I’ve heard the saying take two steps back to take one step forward. I think Adams had taken twenty steps back. We have to keep DHB. Loved the play McCullers made. I’m surprised kelvin Benjamin reminds me a lot of Bryant. Very green.

  • Weiss Chad

    One Tfl and no sacks meanwhile gave up 3tfl and 3 sacks

  • Tammie Sherrell Hill

    Not no but HELL NO!

  • Matthew Marczi
  • pat

    As long as its not Adams

  • Leon Mcnair

    Shazier needs to work on pass coverage

  • joed32

    Saturday.