Four interceptions cost Steelers

FOUR OF A KIND: One of the objectives, as outlined by head coach Mike Tomlin in advance of preseason game No. 2 against Philadelphia, was "taking better care of the football."
The Steelers fell woefully short of that goal.

The Eagles came up with four interceptions over the first two quarters and the Steelers despite a 19:10-10:40 edge in time of possession trailed 10-0 at the break along the way to a 17-0 loss on Thursday night at Heinz Field.

"In games like this, things like that are going to happen," said QB Landry Jones, who threw all four balls that were intercepted. "We'll watch the tape, learn from it and get better."

Jones' first interception occurred on first-and-10 from the Steelers' 32-yard line on a ball that was intended for WR Sammie Coates but was instead returned 38 yards for a touchdown by CB Nolan Carroll.

"It was all my fault, not on the quarterback at all," Coates said. "I have to do a better job coming off the ball, the whole route, I gotta play faster."
Added Jones: "I felt like my rhythm and timing was normal on what I do on a curl."

The second pick was a fade to WR Landry Jones on third-and-3 from the Eagles' 8 that was deflected by Hamilton's right hand off Eagles CB Leodis McKelvin and eventually pulled in by S Malcolm Jenkins, who made a diving catch in the end zone.

"I wish I would have finished that play," Hamilton said. "I tried to go up for it, my (left) hand kind of got tangled going up for it. I feel like it was an easy catch but I have to get both hands up there. I have to do a better job getting both hands up, make the play.

"It was a helluva throw, good throw, real good throw. He couldn't place it any better. I have to go up there and make the play. (QB) Ben (Roethlisberger) came to me and said, 'Keep your head up, make the next play.'"

INT No. 3 came on another fade, this one for Coates. CB Aaron Grymes managed to make an over-the-shoulder catch before sliding out of the back of the end zone on first-and-10 from the Eagles' 20 with 2:33 left in the second quarter.

"I have to go up for the ball," Coates said. "I didn't jump or do anything. That was good ball placement. I just have to go up and make the play. When the quarterback gives you a chance to go up and get the ball, you have to go up and get it.

Game action from the Pittsburgh Steelers' second preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

"I didn't do it in the end zone. That interception's all on me, it's not on Landry."

The fourth interception resulted from DE Steven Means hitting Jones as Jones was attempting to throw down the field for WR Eli Rogers with 46 seconds left in the half. The pass fluttered and was eventually collected by S Jaylen Watkins.

"I understand that falls on (Jones') stat line but those are unit plays," head coach Mike Tomlin said of the interceptions. "The bottom line is that us as a unit or team has got to do a better job of securing the football."

FIRST-TEAM REFLECTIONS: Eagles QB Sam Bradford finished 14-for-19 for 115 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions, in his two quarters of work. Bradford compiled a passer rating of 88.7. He directed one scoring drive, a six-play, 38-yard march that started at the Eagles 40 following an interception and resulted in a 40-yard field goal by K Cody Parkey.

The Steelers' first-team defense allowed zero points in three series before multiple substitutes took over prior to an Eagles' possession that began with 2:43 left in the first half (NT Javon Hargrave replaced Vince Williams on a drive that started with 11:29 left in the second quarter).

"I thought we did OK," S Mike Mitchell said. "We didn't give up any points. I thought we did well keeping them pinned down when we had them pinned down."

As to whether overall progress was made by the defense, "Sort of," Mitchell said. "We still didn't win enough third downs (Philadelphia was 9-for-17 on the night, a 53-percent success rate). We had some winnable third downs even with our younger guys in. We did a better job on first and second down. We were getting them to throw the ball where we wanted to, in the flat (on third downs). We just have to come up and make those tackles.

"They were kind of nickel-and-diming us on third down. We have to improve in that area."

HE SAID IT: "I thought he made some good tackles when he was in with us. I'm happy with his growth. We want to see him continue to grow, be able to make a mistake and come back the very next play. We want to see him continue to grow in those areas but I think he's doing a good job. He's working hard." _ Mitchell on nickel CB Sean Davis.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.