Meadville Tribune

Sports

August 27, 2013

Fan in the stands: No need to panic, it’s just the preseason

MEADVILLE — Preseason game No. 3. This one against the Kansas City Chiefs. Going in there was talk of this being a “must win” after the first two games were losses. Looking at the rest of the league though, the champion Ravens just lost and New England was blown out in their third game. Of course, they both won their first two, so what does the exhibition season really mean?

In the Steelers’ first two games, everyone waited to see vaunted rookie Le’Veon Bell take over the running game. Now, with Bell injured and out indefinitely, the Rooneys showed they are serious about turning their team around after last year’s 8-8 record by trading for Felix Jones from the Eagles. They still have Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer and a couple of good looking rookies, but they seem to be very serious about improving the Steelers and doing it now.

Saturday’s game started with the kind of weather I would like to sit through in December. So far, so good. Then, the game began.

The idea of game three of the preseason is to usually keep the potential first string players in for the first half and mix in the question marks in the second. The defense of the Black and Gold did well against QB Alex Smith and his crew, stopping both runs and passes and even sacking  Smith on the first series.

On the second play of their first possession, the Steelers had a 49-yard pass completion by Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown. But then, despite of a nice 15-yard jaunt by Dwyer, they had to settle for a Shaun Suisham field goal to make it 3-0.  

The Chiefs came back with a weird series that had them trying to pick up a couple of yards for a first down at their own 22 yard line. Troy Polamalu stopped it cold, the Steelers took over and quickly scored to go up 10-0 before the end of the first quarter.

Then it started to get ugly, as penalty calls, some questionable, and other  careless play started. A 52-yard Suisham field goal attempt was blocked and the Chiefs took over around midfield. Smith broke out for a great run, was roughed by the Steelers, and the ball went to the 10. They settled for a field goal to make it 10-3.

Big Ben and company came back with some nice passes, but he was sacked at his 34 yard line, and Brian Moorman punted it away. Smith then came out throwing and moved the Chiefs down the field with passes and a roughing call on Troy Polamalu. The visitors tied the game 10-10 at halftime.

Then the second stringers came on. Bruce Gradkowski took over for Ben and did pretty well, mixing passes to guys like Michael Palmer and Derek Moye  and tossing a touchdown on a 34-yard pass to Markus Wheaton to make it 17-10. Now we’re talking!  

The resulting kickoff was returned by Kaile Davis for a TD to tie the game at 17-17. Now we’re not talking.

Chiefs backup quarterback Chase Daniel played as well as Smith had in the first half, although the defenses were different. He seemed to be very good. The Steelers took a 20-17 lead and we were hoping that would be about it. Not just a Pittsburgh win, but one that didn’t force us to sit through overtime.  

Of course, the Chiefs tied it with about a minute and half to go and to overtime we went. A very short one though. A few runs, a few passes, a big penalty, and a wide open Rico Richardson, and it ended quickly 26-20 Chiefs.  

Déjà vu anybody? Once again, penalties and a couple of bad special teams plays hurt a lot. Is this 2012 all over again?  

The good things: Ben and his main receivers, healthy running backs, and an improving offensive line should help. In the defensive secondary, Troy Polamalu seemed so healthy you can’t believe he’ll stay that way for long. Cortez Allen is also healthy and playing well.  

So far it’s been a disappointing preseason, but again, these games don’t count in the standings. These are used by the coaches (and owners) to get their stuff figured out before the real things start. Let’s hope they end up with more answers and fewer on-going questions.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Sliding into second District 1 remains unbeaten after two routs

    Becca Siple’s response to a question on Twitter may have said it all.
    “Best experience of my life,” Siple said, when asked by The Meadville Tribune via Twitter to describe her experience thus far at the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament. Following her response was the hashtag #D1isfamily.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Steelers camp Steelers LB Spence caps lengthy comeback

    The whistle blew and Sean Spence sprinted forward, each cathartic step distancing the linebacker from the horrific knee injury that threatened to end his NFL career before it even really began.
    Spence almost gleefully smashed into fullback Bryce Davis during the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first full contact drill of training camp on Monday. The two tussled for several seconds before Davis — his fists full of Spence’s jersey — pulled them both to the ground.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • District 1 dominates at East Regional

    Outscoring its opponents 32-0, District 1 moved to 3-0 at the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament on Monday with a pair of wins.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kissing the bricks Gordon wins at Indy for record 5th time

    With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again.
    Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight days before his 43rd birthday and on the weekend Indianapolis Motor Speedway celebrated the 20th anniversary of his first Brickyard victory.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Roethlisberger OK with choice to wait on new deal

    There are days when Ben Roethlisberger can feel every single hit he’s absorbed during a decade as one of the NFL’s most fearless quarterbacks.
    And there are days when the Pittsburgh Steelers star sees the young faces surrounding him in the huddle and it seems like he can play forever.

    July 26, 2014

  • Teen doping Survey: Teens experimenting with HGH on the rise

    Michael Guerreri wanted to try human growth hormones so he could look like a pro wrestler. Joe Badalanato hoped HGH would help him become a better football player. James O’Brien figured the drug would improve his fastball.
    The three 18-year-olds from suburban Philadelphia told The Associated Press this week that they bought bottles of HGH online in the past year. Turns out, what they bought was fake.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Montoya back at Indy intent on winning for Penske

    Juan Pablo Montoya is back at Indianapolis Motor Speedway — one night only, an encore of sorts, in a guest-starring role for Team Penske.
    The Colombian is entered in the Brickyard 400 for the explicit purpose of winning at Indy in NASCAR and giving team owner Roger Penske one of the few trophies missing from his collection.

    July 25, 2014

  • Haley Wise District 1 looking forward to bigger goals

    The members of the District 1 Senior League softball team haven’t spent a whole lot of time playing together.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meadville's magical season comes to an end

    The state run is over for the Meadville Junior League All-Stars.
    Guess they’ll just have to content themselves with a District 1 championship, a Section 1 championship and an incredible turnaround from the year before.

    July 24, 2014

  • AP source: Gordon to meet with league Aug. 1

    The Cleveland Browns may soon learn whether they’ll have Josh Gordon this season.

    July 24, 2014

Sports Scoreboard
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Business Marquee
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Poll

A South Carolina woman was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The decision has created a debate over “free-range” parenting and whether it’s a good idea or not. What’s your take?

I’m fine with it. If she cannot afford childcare, what choice does she have?
This is horrible and very bad parenting.
I’m torn. It’s not right what she did, but it sounds like the mother had few other options.
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks