If you didn’t like Landry Jones before, you probably didn’t start liking him tonight. The 3rd string QB took nearly all the reps under center tonight as the Steelers fell to the Vikings 14-3.
While Jones did show improvement from the last time we saw him in preseason, he left a lot to be desired. To his defense, he was surrounded by several guys who had never seen NFL playing time before. TE Jesse James dropped what should have been an easy touchdown. Regardless, Steeler fans haven’t seen him throw a touchdown outside of practice in…a while. It certainly wasn’t all bad. While Jones hesitated to look down field for much of the night, he did seem more comfortable overall, and made changes to protection on various plays.
If you’re freaking out over this loss, you should relax. The game was mostly about putting inexperienced guys in certain situations to see how the perform. Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, Heath Miller, Antonio Brown, Maurkice Pouncey, James Harrison, Martavis Bryant, Markus Wheaton, Jarvis Jones, Mike Mitchell, and Shamarko Thomas were not in uniform tonight.
Like Jones, Dri Archer saw lots of action tonight. It was his birthday. The second year RB/WR looked like he might actually belong on a NFL offense tonight. He saw playing time during every series tonight, totaling four carries, six receptions, a kickoff return and a punt return.
Some quick observations before I re-watch the game tomorrow:
Jesse James had some pretty bad 1st game jitters, or at least, it looked like that’s what it was. The rookie TE dropped an easy would-be touchdown pass, and later had a bad fumble.
Bud Dupree was slower than I expected and looked a step behind at times. I’m assuming he’ll need a couple games to shake his camp legs.
The front 7 looked pretty good. While most of the offensive starters had the night off, the defensive starters were in, and they looked pretty sharp.
WR Sammie Coates showed promise. He did have some miscommunication with his QB, and he drew an OPI call on a deep ball, but he looked better than what I expected his first night out.
The Steelers face the Jaguars Friday night at 7:30.