The Steelers’ 3 QBs, including rookie Kenny Pickett, are playing well

Mitchell Trubisky started for the Pittsburgh Steelers in their first game of the preseason and did nothing to lose ground in quarterback competition. But Mason Rudolph and Kenny Pickett aren’t going away.

All three Steelers quarterbacks looked pretty good Saturday night. Pickett, a first-round pick, took his first shots in the NFL and got the crowd excited. He threw the game-winning touchdown with three seconds left and Pittsburgh won 32-25. Maybe it says a lot about the Seattle Seahawks defense that all three Steelers quarterbacks played well, but it’s still a good sign for a Steelers team trying to replace Ben Roethlisberger.

Trubisky looked confident from the start of the game. During the first practice, Trubisky conducted a touchdown practice. On the base play, Trubisky began to scramble, then saw there was a blown coverage on Gunner Olszewski and hit him for a 13-yard touchdown. It was a solid and efficient first ride.

Trubisky started the second drive with a nice throw to tight end Connor Heyward in the middle, just past the defender’s reach. Trubisky showed his athleticism later in practice, wriggling out of a safe bag by Seahawks winger Darrell Taylor and rushing a few yards. Trubisky went two series and was 4 of 7 for 63 yards.

Rudolph arrived after Trubisky – Pickett playing third tells you how far he is from earning the starting position – and threw a nice deep touchdown pass to George Pickens, a second-round rookie who generates a ton of buzz with a great campin the corner of the end zone.

Rudolph went 9 of 15 for 93 yards, and Pickett started the second half. Pickett, who played at the University of Pittsburgh, received cheers from Steelers fans. He hit a counter pass for 11 yards on his first play. He finished the drive with a one-yard touchdown pass to running back Jaylen Warren and a two-point conversion pass. Fans chanted his name. Pickett completed his first 10 passes, though most of them were short, low-risk throws. Then, when the Steelers got the ball back late in a tie, Pickett led a game-winning drive, throwing a 24-yard score to Tyler Vaughns, who pulled away from a tackle attempt and scored, with three seconds left. to play. Pickett went 13 of 15 for 95 yards and two touchdowns. Quite a start.

At the moment, Trubisky is the favorite to start Week 1. But the competition is not over.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett made a strong debut in a preseason game against the Seahawks.  (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett made a strong debut in a preseason game against the Seahawks. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

Featured Team: Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks also have quarterback competition, so Saturday’s game in Pittsburgh was the biggest on the preseason schedule.

Geno Smith played pretty well when Russell Wilson was injured last season, started the offseason even though Seattle traded for Drew Lock and started against the Steelers. Smith didn’t do much but he was fine. Smith went 10 of 15 for 101 yards before taking a seat at halftime. Drew Lock got the second half and his performance will keep quarterback competition alive. Lock was 11 of 15, 102 yards and two touchdowns. He looked pretty good and could have closed the gap to Smith.

Not much else went well for the Seahawks. They led 14-0 early. Blown coverage led to Pittsburgh’s first touchdown. A long punt return set up the Steelers’ second touchdown. The tackle was a big problem for the Seahawks. Seattle’s offense wasn’t bad, but it had three punts and a field goal on four shots. Smith ran for a touchdown with 21 seconds left in the half to end his night on a high note. Lock had some success against Steelers backups, which was good, although he fumbled late when he saw no blind pressure and was sacked. This led to the Steelers game-winning touchdown.

Seattle should struggle this season. That’s what usually happens when you trade an elite quarterback like Wilson. Saturday night didn’t provide much optimism that the Seahawks will be better than expected this season.

Standout player: Washington QB Sam Howell

Commanders quarterback Sam Howell, a fifth-round rookie pick, got the ball rolling. It’s only a preseason game, but Washington fans have to wonder if they got a good value pick in the draft.

Howell was 9 of 16 for 143 passing yards and also had two rushing touchdowns. One was a nice run in the middle.

The Panthers won 23-21 on a last-minute field goal, but Howell did his best to lead the Commanders to a lead after they trailed. Howell was once considered a first-round prospect before his stock plummeted, and he looked pretty good in his NFL preseason debut.

Carson Wentz is Washington’s starter. The commanders sacrificed a lot to have it. But Wentz couldn’t do well in Indianapolis last season, and he’s not sure he’ll play well in Washington either. Howell is worth keeping an eye on for the rest of the preseason, although it might take him a while to get a chance to play in the regular season.

other games

Chicago Bears 19, Kansas City Chiefs 14: Bears quarterback Justin Fields had some great passes, especially a fun one for Darnell Mooney, who made a nice bouncing catch for 26 yards.

But Fields was also under a lot of pressure, which reinforces that the Bears offensive line could be a problem all season.

Buffalo Bills 27, Indianapolis Colts 24: The Bills didn’t play any starters, but the Colts did. The Colts had their starters throughout the first and second quarters, and new quarterback Matt Ryan threw 10 passes. He completed six for 58 yards, an unremarkable preseason start for the Colts. He had a few passes for 30 yards to new No. 1 receiver Michael Pittman, but no other receiver stood out. The Bills came back to win their ninth straight preseason game, scoring the winning field goal in the final game.

Miami Dolphins 26, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24: The Dolphins have missed many starters and the Buccaneers have held off just about anyone who could play in Week 1. Here’s what preseason football looks like:

Buccaneers second-year quarterback Kyle Trask had a long look. After Blaine Gabbert was pretty good (5 of 5 for 56 yards and a well thrown touchdown), Trask was up and down to start but settled in nicely. Trask threw an interception which landed on the defender’s legs before it hit the ground, but it shouldn’t have been thrown in the first place as he was under pressure. He had a touchdown during which he completed five of six passes for 56 yards. Trask led a good drive for a game-winning field goal attempt at the end, but the kick hit the post. Trask finished 25 of 33 for 258 yards.

Houston Texans 17, New Orleans Saints 13: Andy Dalton got the start for injured Jameis Winston and showed why he’ll be one of the best substitutes in the league for some time to come. He went 5 of 5 for 51 yards and a touchdown on running back Dwayne Washington. If Winston should miss at any time during the regular season, Dalton can step in and keep the offense going.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos: These two teams had a joint practice this week in Denver, so the two coaches sat virtually every starter. Josh Johnson started at quarterback for the Broncos and threw for two touchdowns to give Denver an early lead. He finished with 172 yards and two touchdowns.

Los Angeles Rams vs. Los Angeles Chargers: Neither team played their holders. The Rams started the sit-starter trend all preseason under Sean McVay, and Chargers coach and former McVay assistant Brandon Staley followed that path.

Final Thoughts

• Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports suffered from the departure of Carolina Panthers QB Baker Mayfield on Saturday. Mayfield had a solid release in a limited playing timecompleting 4 of 7 passes for 45 yards.

• The Chiefs should be excited about rookie defensive end George Karlaftis. Purdue’s first-round pick, Karlaftis put constant pressure on the quarterback. Part of that is playing against the Chicago Bears’ poor offensive line, but he had a sack and two hits from the quarterback. He will play an important role in the defense of Kansas City.

• The Bears also got a promising game from a rookie defenseman. Safety Jaquan Brisker was all over the field. He had four tackles, one pass defended and one tackle for loss. The Bears might have succeeded with this choice.

• Colts replacement quarterback Nick Foles has had a tough time. He never saw the pressure coming from his side before and was sacked, losing a fumble that was returned for a touchdown. He also threw a pass well over his receiver’s head and caught by the Bills. Bills QB Case Keenum, who started while Josh Allen was out, wasn’t much better with a pair of interceptions.

• Washington rookie running back Bryan Robinson looked good, rushing for 26 yards and a touchdown on six carries. He could cut into Antonio Gibson’s early work if he continues to impress.

• Steelers rookie receiver George Pickens has impressed. He slipped in the draft due to a knee injury at Georgia, but he already looks like he belongs in the NFL. The Steelers are going to have to find ways to get him involved early in the season.

And as a bonus, check out Pickens pancake a cornerback (at the bottom of the screen):

• Texans rookie running back Dameon Pierce is an interesting player. He’s a fourth-round pick on a team that needs young talent to emerge and a fairly clear path to earning a starting job. His first rush of the preseason was 20 yards, and it was impressive. Pierce had 49 yards on five carries.

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