Sat Aug 13 10:39pm ET
By DAN SCIFO
Seattle Seahawks running back DeeJay Dallas (31) leaps to the end zone for a touchdown as Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Buddy Johnson (45) hits him during the second half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
Seattle Seahawks running back Travis Horner (25) makes a catch for a 2-point conversion as Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end DeMarvin Leal (98) pursues during the second half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Drew Lock (2) throws a pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Dareke Young (83) runs past Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Mark Robinson, right, during the second half of a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Fred Vuich)
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jaylen Warren (30) stretches for the end zone from out-of-bounds as Seattle Seahawks linebacker Vi Jones (50) defends during the second half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Fred Vuich)
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jaylen Warren, top, stretches the ball over Seattle Seahawks cornerback Mike Jackson (30) for a touchdown after making a catch during the second half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett looks to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
PITTSBURGH (AP) Kenny Pickett threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Vaughns with 3 seconds to play and the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Seattle Seahawks 32-25 on Saturday night.
Pickett, Pittsburgh's first-round pick in 2022, is competing with Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph to replace retired two-time Super Bowl winner Ben Roethlisberger as the Steelers starting quarterback.
Roethlisberger guided the franchise for 18 seasons and led the Steelers to three Super Bowl appearances.
Pickett, the former University of Pittsburgh standout, played the second half and finished 13 of 15 for 95 yards and two touchdowns. Pickett was sacked, forcing a turnover on downs, but had a chance to win the game when Pittsburgh's Mark Robinson sacked Seattle's Drew Lock and forced a fumble on the next play.
Pickett responded with a five-play, 43-yard drive capped by his touchdown pass to Vaughns. He received a loud ovation and chants of ''Kenny, Kenny, Kenny'' when he first took the field in the third quarter and before the eventual winning drive.
Lock and Geno Smith are in a competition to replace Russell Wilson as Seattle's starting quarterback. Wilson was traded to Denver in the offseason. It's the first quarterback competition for the Seahawks since 2012, when Wilson won the job as a rookie.
Smith and Lock didn't have DK Metcalf or Tyler Lockett on Saturday. Smith played the first half, going 10 of 15 for 101 yards and a rushing touchdown. Lock was 11 of 15 with 102 yards and two scores, but a crucial fumble that led to Pittsburgh's winning touchdown.
All three Steelers quarterbacks threw touchdown passes. Trubisky and Rudolph threw touchdown passes in the first quarter, while Pickett converted on his first-ever NFL series and led the Steelers on a game-winning drive.
Trubisky, who played most of the first quarter, finished 4 of 7 for 63 yards with a touchdown. Rudolph ended the half, going 9 of 15 for 93 yards and a score.
Trubisky, was the No. 2 overall pick in 2017, while Rudolph served as Roethlisberger's backup the past four seasons.
Pickett, who threw for 42 touchdowns and led the University of Pittsburgh to the program's first ACC title, finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting and was the ACC Player of the Year in 2021.
Smith, entering his fourth season with the Seahawks, briefly filled in last season when Wilson went down with a hand injury. He kept Seattle competitive, but also made critical mistakes in losses against Pittsburgh and New Orleans.
Lock, entering his fourth season, was part of the deal Seattle received in return for sending Wilson to the Broncos. Lock has started 21 of 24 games, but has been inconsistent through his first three seasons.
The Seahawks punted on the first two series of the game, including a three-and-out, but Smith settled in the second quarter with a pair of scoring drives.
Smith ran an effective two-minute drill at the end of the half, as he led the Seahawks on a nine-play, 61-yard touchdown series in 1:27. He eluded a sack on third-and-2 and later scored a 2-yard touchdown to pull the Seahawks within 17-10 at halftime.
Lock twice tied the game in the second half with touchdown drives. Bo Melton started the first scoring drive with a 39-yard reception and Dareke Young caught two passes, a third down reception and a 3-yard touchdown. DeeJay Dallas closed a five-play, 51-yard drive with a 17-yard touchdown and Travis Homer tied the game at 25-25 with a 2-point conversion catch.
Lock's late fourth-quarter fumble proved costly for the Seahawks.
Trubisky was backed up to his 10-yard line to start the game, but he responded by leading the Steelers on a seven-play, 90-yard drive in less than three minutes.
Anthony McFarland broke off a 24-yard run on third-and-1 and Gunner Olszewski caught back-to-back passes on the drive, a 25-yarder on third-and-1 and a 13-yard touchdown to close the series.
Trubisky moved the offense to midfield on his second series before the Steelers were forced to punt.
Rudolph played three series, leading the Steelers to a touchdown, field goal and three-and-out.
Rudolph recovered his own fumble and was sacked on his first snap, but he tossed a 26-yard touchdown pass to George Pickens two plays later. Rudolph used 17 plays and nearly nine minutes to lead the Steelers to the 3-yard line on his second drive. He nearly threw an interception midway through the drive, but the series ended with a 21-yard field goal.
Pickett led the Steelers on a seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive in his first series. Steven Simms broke off a 38-yard run and Pickett later ended the drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jaylen Warren off a play action. He connected on a 2-point pass to Connor Heyward to make it 25-17.
Seahawks: Wide receiver Cody Thompson left with a shoulder injury. Cornerback Artie Burns, the Steelers former first-round draft pick, was held out with a groin injury.
Steelers: Safety Karl Joseph left with an ankle injury, while CB Ahkello Witherspoon sustained a shoulder injury. ... Pittsburgh also held out RB Najee Harris (foot), WR Diontae Johnson (hip), WR Chase Claypool (shoulder), TE Pat Freiermuth (hamstring), RB Benny Snell (knee), LB Alex Highsmith (ribs) and OL Kevin Dotson (ankle) among others.
Seahawks: Host Chicago on Thursday.
Steelers: Visit Jacksonville next Saturday.
Kansas City Chiefs WR Justin Watson caught five passes on six targets for 45 yards and a touchdown in a 19-14 preseason loss to the Chicago Bears Saturday, Aug. 13.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett completed 13 of 15 passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns in a 32-25 preseason win over the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday. Pickett looked good in the first preseason game of his career, playing the entire second half and throwing a game-winning touchdown with 12 seconds left on the clock. The first-round rookie also tacked on 16 rushing yards on three carries in the contest. Pickett will open the season behind expected starter Mitch Trubisky but he is likely to see some playing time in 2022 unless Trubisky puts together a dominant season under center for Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens caught three of his five targets for 43 yards and a touchdown in a 32-25 preseason win over the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday. Pickens found the end zone on a 26-yard catch near the end of the first quarter of play. The rookie out of the University of Georgia has reportedly been starring during Steelers training camp and he showed why against Seattle on Saturday evening. Based on the early reviews, Pickens is becoming an interesting name in redraft leagues and especially in dynasty.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Giovani Bernard (ankle) won't return to the preseason game against the Miami Dolphins Saturday, Aug. 13, after suffering an ankle injury.
Pittsburgh Steelers SS Karl Joseph (ankle) exited the preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks Saturday, Aug. 13, with a right ankle injury and will not return.
Pittsburgh Steelers CB Ahkello Witherspoon (shoulder) exited the preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks with a shoulder injury Saturday, Aug. 13, and is questionable to return.
Carolina Panthers QBs Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold both worked with the first-team offense Saturday, Aug. 13, against the Washington Commanders. Mayfield completed 4-of-7 passes for 45 yards, and Darnold completed 2-of-3 passes for 16 yards and a touchdown.
Fantasy Spin: Mayfield got the start, but Darnold was the one with the touchdown pass to WR Rashard Higgins. This competition is likely just heating up, but Mayfield appears to have the slight lead. He should be viewed as a QB2.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky completed four of seven passes for 63 yards and a touchdown in his team's Saturday preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks. Trubisky connected with wideout Gunner Olszewski for a 13-yard score in the first quarter while adding a four-yard run. He played on Pittsburgh's first two offensive drives before taking a seat for the rest of the evening. Trubisky has the inside track on the starting quarterback job in Pittsburgh, although his grip on the job isn't going to be very firm with first-round pick Kenny Pickett waiting in the wings. Fantasy gamers should treat Trubisky as a high-end QB3 in fantasy drafts for the upcoming season.
Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins (knee) is expected to return to practice on Monday, head coach John Harbaugh relayed to James Palmer of NFL Network. Dobbins was recently activated from the PUP list but has yet to take the field for an official practice session as the team continues to exercise caution. Dobbins missed all of 2021 with a torn ACL but, as of now, is expected to suit up come Week 1 of his age-23 season. The Ohio State product impressed as a rookie in 2020, totaling 805 rushing yards, 120 receiving yards, and nine touchdowns. He should be viewed as a mid-to-low RB2 option ahead of upcoming fantasy drafts.
Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett could replace the starting quarterback (most likely Mitchell Trubisky, but possibly Mason Rudolph) in the first half of the season, according to Mark Kaboly of The Athletic. Kaboly identified Week 4 against the Jets as a good target date for Pickett's debut since the Steelers will have extra practice coming off the Thursday night game and the Jets aren't an entirely scary opponent. He also sees Week 10 as a natural possibility since the Steelers have a Week 9 bye. "Pickett will eventually get his chance," Kaboly writes. "Over the past decade, first-round quarterbacks have almost always started a game during their rookie years." Pickett can be left on waivers in most redraft leagues for now, though he has significant appeal in dynasty formats.
San Francisco 49ers rookie wide receiver Danny Gray is experiencing hip and back soreness following Friday's preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers, according to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports. He is expected to miss a couple of days of practice. Gray made a big impression during Friday's win, catching two of four targets for 99 yards. His biggest play was a fantastic 76-yard score in which he used his speed to beat coverage and find the end zone with ease. The third-round pick is listed fourth on the Niners' depth chart but continues to compete for meaningful snaps. His athleticism and big-play ability could make him an instant favorite in San Francisco's flashy offense.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver DJ Moore was held out of Saturday's preseason game against the Washington Commanders due to shoulder soreness, according to Schuyler Callihan of SI Now. Moore, just 25 years old, has been the Panthers' top receiver for several seasons in a row. Just last year, despite dealing with poor quarterback play from Sam Darnold, Cam Newton, and P.J. Walker, he racked up 1,157 yards and four touchdowns. He is expected to improve in 2022 now that the Panthers have made a slight improvement at quarterback. Moore should be viewed as a mid-to-high WR2 option heading into fantasy drafts.
New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas did not travel with the team and is not playing in the preseason opener Sunday, Aug. 14, against the Houston Texans.
Fantasy Spin: Thomas missed the entire 2021 season with a foot injury but has been practicing in full during training camp so this is a precautionary move.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has set a Week 1 deadline for a contract extension as negotiations continue between him and the team. Specifically, when asked if he would put a pause on negotiations when the season starts, the star quarterback said, "Yeah, for sure." Jackson likely won't see too much preseason action, but there's no denying that he has overall QB1 upside if things go right and he can stay healthy. The quarterback battled an ankle injury last season but is ready to go for 2022.
Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor could see a reduction in volume this coming season, according to Stephen Holder of ESPN. According to Holder, head coach Frank Reich told him that the goal is to win a championship, not to make Taylor the MVP or rushing leader. If they need to cut back on his volume in order to accomplish that, so be it. "You don't see teams that have this ground-and-pound run game win championships," he said. "Our best formula is to be balanced. I'm not saying he won't lead the league in touches, because you never know how things are going to play out. But I almost don't want him to." This shouldn't completely deter fantasy managers from drafting Taylor at the 1.01 this draft season, but it's still worth mentioning considering the Colts have discussed reducing his workload for a while now. The team wants to get Nyheim Hines involved, and the passing game looks like it is trending up, too.
New York Giants second-year wide receiver Kadarius Toney (knee) suffered a setback in training camp that caused him to miss the preseason opener, but he could return to practice in the next few days, head coach Brian Daboll told the team's official website. "He worked really hard coming from the offseason to get to where he is right now," Daboll said. "Hopefully these next few days will calm it down and we'll be ready to go again." Depending on how the offense shakes out, Toney could be the most intriguing wide receiver on the team, especially from a fantasy perspective. He can be used all over the field and offers an exciting blend of speed and athleticism. He totaled 420 yards through 10 games last year, though parts of those games were spent in the medical tent or locker room. If he can stay healthy, he has high-end WR3 upside in 2022.
Indianapolis Colts WR Keke Coutee (groin) was ruled out of the preseason opener Saturday, Aug. 13, against the Buffalo Bills due to a groin injury.
Updating a previous report, Kansas City Chiefs TE Blake Bell (hip) has been ruled out of the preseason Week 1 contest on Saturday, Aug. 13, after exiting with a hip injury.
New York Jets running back Michael Carter got the nominal start in Friday's preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Carter ended up running the ball three times for five yards and adding one catch for seven yards. Carter worked with the first team offense until quarterback Zach Wilson was forced to leave the game with an injury. He did split time with rookie running back Breece Hall though, and it remains unclear what this backfield timeshare will look like. Still, it was good to see Carter running the ball just a few weeks out from his injury. He should be good to go on all cylinders by Week 1, but his fantasy value depends entirely on how much of the backfield he'll get. Preseason game two against the Atlanta Falcons should give us all a better idea of how things will go for the Jets runners.