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What Went Right, What Went Wrong

What went right, wrong at New York

Posted Aug 11, 2017

The highs and lows of the Steelers preseason game at the New York Giants.

The highs and lows of the Steelers preseason Week 1 game at the New York Giants.

7:00 p.m. ET - Kickoff

7:12 p.m. ET - What went wrong: The Steelers offense went three-and-out after receiving the opening kickoff. Fitz Toussaint lost 1 yards on a running play, and then on a short completion from Joshua Dobbs to JuJu Smith-Schuster, a facemask penalty against the Giants was not called. Dobbs threw incomplete on third down, and Jordan Berry came on to punt.

7:15 p.m. ET - What went right: It didn’t take long for T.J. Watt to record his first NFL sack. It came on the Giants’ opening possession, a third-and-7 that was created by Javon Hargrave dropping running back Paul Perkins for a 4-yard loss on second-and-3. QB Josh Johnson stepped up in the pocked on that third-and-7 only to have Watt come off his block and sacked Johnson for a 3-yard loss that forced the Giants to punt.

7:20 p.m. ET - What went wrong: It was another three-and-out for the Steelers on their second possession, despite a 9-yard run by Smith-Schuster on a reverse that broke into the clear thanks to a block by David Johnson on safety Darian Thompson. But then on third-and-1, tackle Jay Bromley beat Ramon Foster to the inside and dropped Fitz Toussaint for a 1-yard loss, and the Steelers punted for the second time with 9:51 left in the first quarter.

7:25 p.m. ET - What went right: Consecutive sacks by Watt on consecutive snaps of the football had to energize Steelers Nation even though it was only the first of four preseason games. Watt came in unblocked on the play, and it appeared Perkins may have made a mental mistake in not picking him up, but Watt’s second sack cost the Giants 8 yards and led to their second punt in as many possessions.

7:28 p.m. ET - What went wrong: The Steelers’ third possession ended in just one play when Joshua Dobbs’ pass, apparently intended for Darrius Heyward-Bey, was badly underthrown and intercepted by Antwon Blake. Blake’s 11-yard return gave the Giants the ball at the Steelers 39-yard line.

7:37 p.m. ET - What went wrong: The Giants took advantage of Dobbs’ interception and turned it into a short field goal for a 3-0 lead, but the Steelers defense stood up after the Giants moved to a first-and-goal at the 3-yard line. The key plays after that were a 6-yard sack by Arthur Moats, and then on third down Will Gay broke up a pass intended for Dwayne Harris.

7:40 p.m. ET - End of 1st Quarter: Giants 3, Steelers 0

7:49 p.m. ET - What went wrong: A very tough start for the Steelers rookie quarterback. After Fitz Toussaint rushed for 21 yards on four straight plays to set up a third-and-4 from the Steelers 37-yard line early in the second quarter. At that point, Dobbs’ pass for Eli Rogers was poorly thrown and off target and was intercepted by defensive end Devin Taylor, who returned it 23 yards to the Pittsburgh 17-yard line.

7:55 p.m. ET - What went right: This second interception by Dobbs also yielded only a field goal that upped the Giants lead to 6-0. It might have been worse, but on a second-and-goal from the Steelers 5-yard line, a bad shotgun snap to Johnson resulted in a 7-yard loss. On third down, Johnson threw incomplete under heavy pressure from Watt, and the Giants settled for a second red zone field goal.

8:05 p.m. ET - What went right: It was a third-and-5 from the Steelers 17-yard line, and the offense needed a first down. Maybe more importantly the rookie quarterback needed to make a play to convert a third down. With his arm responsible for two interceptions already, Dobbs turned to his legs. Sitting in the pocket until he found an opening in the Giants pass rush, Dobbs darted through it and raced 16 yards for a first down.

8:09 p.m. ET - What went right: A couple of plays later, Dobbs made the first big play with his arm. On a second-and-16 from the Steelers 27-yard line, Dobbs completed a 44-yard pass down the seam to Cobi Hamilton, who made a leaping catch for a 44-yard gain to the Giants 29-yard line. The Steelers ended this possession with a 48-yard field goal by Chris Boswell that cut the Giants lead to 6-3 with 5:57 remaining in the first half.

8:21 p.m. ET - What went right: The Steelers’ fourth sack of the first half – by Mike Hilton on a blitz – was the first of two big plays by the first-year cornerback that helped the Steelers take a 10-9 lead at halftime. Hilton’s sack of Geno Smith cost the Giants 10 yards and led to a 52-yard field goal by Al Rosas, and New York upped its lead at the time to 9-3. When the Steelers offense went three-and-out after the ensuing kickoff, Jordan Berry’s punt was muffed by Donte Deayon, and Hilton recovered at the Giants 28-yard line. On the next play, Dobbs threw a nice pass, again down the seam, to Cobi Hamilton for his first NFL touchdown pass.

8:26 p.m. ET - Halftime: Steelers 10, Giants 9

8:58 p.m. ET - What went wrong: After the Giants re-claimed the lead following a 45-yard field goal by Mike Nugent on the first possession of the second half, the Steelers had what was looking like a promising offensive possession. Knile Davis gained 16 yards on three carries, and Dobbs converted a second-and-5 with a 10-yard pass to Marcus Tucker. But things fell apart on a couple of pass-protection breakdowns by Jerald Hawkins. One of those resulted in a sack, and the other allowed a pressure on a pass that Canaan Severin dropped.

9:01 p.m. ET - What went right: The Steelers reclaimed the lead, 13-12, on a 37-yard field goal by Boswell, and the scoring possession was set up by Arthur Moats and could’ve been more if not for another breakdown in pass protection. Moats intercepted a Geno Smith pass and returned it 20 yards to the Giants 14-yard line. Then on a third-and-7 from the Giants 11-yard line, Dobbs escaped outside and to his left, before throwing the ball back into the middle of the end zone where Xavier Grimble made the catch for a touchdown that ended up nullified by a holding penalty of Brian Mihalik. Replays showed Dobbs was able to escape to his left because Mihalik was holding.

9:15 p.m. ET - End of 3rd Quarter: Steelers 13, Giants 12

9:21 p.m. ET - What went right: The 13-12 lead became 20-12 a few minutes into the fourth quarter after Bart Houston relieved Dobbs and directed a nine-play, 53-yard drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown run by Terrell Watson. Watson finished the drive with 27 yards on five carries, including the touchdown, and Houston converted a third-and-10 with a 14-yard completion to Canaan Severin.

10:56 p.m. ET - Final Score: Steelers 20, Giants 12

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