The Pittsburgh Steelers entered the 2022 preseason as a team filled with indecision. No more Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback, and a new era of Steelers football was slated to be. Needless to say, the fan base was curious as to what this new version of their favorite team would look like.
The new name for the Steelers’ home venue, Acrisure Stadium, hosted the first preseason action when the Seattle Seahawks came to town, and the two teams were hoping to get off and running to start the exhibition season.
After winning the opening coin toss, Mike Tomlin elected to take the football to start the game. Mitch Trubisky took the field with the starters deep in their own end after a personal foul penalty against the Steelers’ kickoff unit. The start of the drive didn’t phase the Steelers offense, as they put together an impressive drive which ended in a Trubisky pass in the red-zone to Gunner Olszewski for the first score of the preseason.
The drive featured several third down conversions, one run by Anthony McFarland and another pass to Olszewski, to move the Steelers into the red-zone. The 7 play, 90-yard drive was capped off by a Nick Sciba extra point to make the score 7-0 with 12:15 remaining in the first quarter.
After a brief Seattle drive, Trubisky and the Steelers’ offense were back on the field. A beautiful catch by Connor Heyward and a nice run by McFarland put the offense at midfield. Trubisky was able to scramble past midfield, but the drive stalled and the team punted for the first time.
The Seahawks had a three-and-out, and a Steven Sims punt return set up the offense near the red-zone for their third possession. Mason Rudolph entered the game, and after a fumble on his first play, found George Pickens on a 3rd and 12 play for the second Steelers touchdown. The point-after made the score 14-0 with 1:39 left in the opening quarter.
The second quarter began with the Seahawks running the ball well between the tackles, a trend Steelers fans were hoping to avoid in 2022. Even with backups in the game, the Steelers were unable to get off the field, but did hold Seattle to a field goal for their first points of the game. The kick banked in off the left upright, making the score 14-3 with 12:51 left in the second quarter.
Rudolph remained in the game, and was able to put together a time-consuming drive. The drive was filled with big plays, primarily to George Pickens and the running of Jaylen Warren. Following Myles Boykin putting the offense inside the 10-yard line, Rudolph and the offense were unable to punch it in for the touchdown, instead settling for a field goal. The kick made the score 17-3 with 4:28 remaining in the half.
Geno Smith remained in the game for Seattle, but the drive stalled quickly and the Pittsburgh offense received the ball with 2:48 left in the second quarter. Rudolph took over with one timeout remaining at the 20-yard line, but the offense only gained 9 yards before punting the ball back to the Seahawks.
With another shot, Smith took advantage and moved the ball to the 7-yard line. A Seattle run set up the offense to the two-yard line, and Smith took the ball into the end-zone on a bootleg option. The touchdown made the score 17-10 heading into halftime.
Seattle started the second half with the football, and Drew Lock took over at quarterback for the Seahawks. After one play, and one missed tackle, the Seahawks found themselves in Pittsburgh territory. Lock delivered a big third down conversion to get the Seahawks offense into the red-zone. From the 6-yard line, Lock hit his tight end on third down to tie the game 17-17.
The Steelers’ first round pick, Kenny Pickett, took over the offense in the second half, and it didn’t take long for Pickett to get the fans on their feet. Pickett hit Jace Steinberger on his first pass, and a jet sweep handoff to Steven Sims went for a huge gain. After three plays, Pickett and the offense found themselves in the red-zone. The rookie found Jaylen Warren at the goal line, and the ball was stretched over the plane for the touchdown.
Mike Tomlin elected to go for the two-point conversion, and Pickett found Connor Heyward to make the score 25-17 with 6:44 left in the third quarter.
Seattle’s ensuing drive was short-lived, and Pickett and the Steelers offense took over at their own 7-yard line after the fair catch on the punt. The rookie’s second drive didn’t go as smooth as his first, with Pickett taking a sack on third down and forcing the punt unit on the field for the first time in the half.
Lock continued his solid play in the second half by taking advantage of the great field position following the three-and-out. It took hardly any time for Lock to get the Seahawks’ offense into the end zone. Trailing by two, Pete Carroll elected to go for two, and the conversion was successful, making the score 25-25 with 13:32 left in the fourth quarter.
Kenny Pickett’s third drive saw the offense move the ball, but on a 4th and 2 near midfield Mike Tomlin elected to punt the ball instead of going for it. Seattle’s offense continued to move the ball well, but their next drive stalled near midfield and gave the ball back to Pittsburgh with 5:59 left in regulation.
With the running of Master Teague, and the controlled passing of Pickett, the Steelers moved the ball to midfield at the two-minute warning. When it looked like the offense would get into field goal range, a 4th and short resulted in a sack of Kenny Pickett and a turnover on downs.
The ball was on the 47-yard line, with 1:17 remaining, but Mark Robinson came on the blitz and strip sacked Lock which was recovered by Tuzar Skipper, giving the offense another shot with 1:10 remaining.
With another opportunity, Pickett made plays with his legs and arm to get the Steelers the lead, and the win. Pickett, after scrambling for a near first down, found Tyler Vaughns along the sideline who made a man miss and got into the end zone for the game-winning score.
The extra point made the score 32-25, and that score would hold as the final score giving the Steelers a 1-0 record this preseason with a trip to play the Jacksonville Jaguars on deck next week.