Postgame Takes

Steelers blanked, fall to 0-2


Steelers' record: 0-2
One year ago: 0-2

"We've been in the stadium with this group, we've played, had an opportunity to analyze it, play, and be accountable for ourselves and each other for that play – to make the necessary adjustments and reactions towards that play then prepare for the next outing," said Coach Mike Tomlin at his news conference in advance of the game vs. the Eagles. "So, it's reasonable to expect a great deal of improvement individually and collectively based on that experience."


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

When compared to the first half against the Lions, there was considerable improvement in the Steelers play in every category except the one that often matters most: turnovers. The Steelers finished the first half with a representative 161 net yards of offense, and they converted 5-of-8 (63 percent) on third down. Their defense allowed only six first downs, 122 total net yards of offense, and 2-of-6 (33 percent) on third downs.

But Landry Jones' four interceptions were a killer. His first was returned 38 yards for a touchdown by Nolan Carroll and two others came in the end zone. That effectively sabotaged the offense for the Steelers in the first half, and in the second half – with Dustin Vaughan at quarterback – the offense didn't get to play in Eagles territory until its final possession of the game.

The one category in which the Steelers decisively were better than the Eagles was in the number of penalties assessed. The Steelers were assessed six penalties, while the Eagles committed a dozen.

The 17-0 loss to the Eagles was the first time the Steelers were shut out in a game other than the preseason finale since 1992, which was Bill Cowher's rookie season as the team's coach. That year, the Steelers lost in New Orleans, 26-0, during that preseason's second week.

The four interceptions thrown by Landry Jones were killers, but the second of the two intercepted in the end zone seemed to be particularly deflating. Only down by 7-0, the Steelers drove 60 yards in 10 plays only to come away with no points again when Aaron Grymes intercepted a pass intended for Sammie Coates 9 yards deep in the end zone.

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