NFL Week 3 preseason updates, scores: Steelers dominate Titans on Sunday Night Football
The Steelers beat the Titans in their Week 3 dress rehearsal Sunday night
Week 3 of the NFL preseason was quite eventful. Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck from the NFL after just seven seasons at the age of 29, the Houston Texans and a couple of NFL stars returned to form with extended playing time.
The Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers wrapped up this week's action in a Sunday Night Football matchup that was headlined by rain. It was a messy affair -- and one that saw the Steelers come out as victors in what was a very tough outing for the Titans.
Scores and schedule
Giants 25, Bengals 23 (box score)
Ravens 26 at Eagles 15 -- called early due to weather (box score)
Patriots 10, Panthers 3 (box score)
Redskins 19 at Falcons 7 (box score)
Dolphins 22, Jaguars 7 (box score)
Raiders 22, Packers 21 (box score)
Cardinals 9, Vikings, 20 (box score)
Texans 0, Cowboys 34 (box score)
Bears 27, Colts 17 (box score)
Saints 28, Jets 13 (box score)
49ers 27, Chiefs 17 (box score)
Broncos 6, Rams 10 (box score)
Seahawks 23, Chargers 15 (box score)
Steelers kick things off with a safety
We may be in for a slugfest in Nasvhille. The rain is coming down and we are seeing dropped passes and three-and-outs on both sides.
The Steelers were the first to get on the board, when Stephon Tuitt bull-rushed his way into the end zone to sack Mariota, which resulted in a safety.
The Titans are not technically hosting a quarterback competition, but some fans out there are ready to see what Ryan Tannehill can do. So far, Mariota has failed to complete any of his three passing attempts. The Titans offense in general has sputtered out of the gate, as they have recorded just one first down in two drives and have -4 yards of total offense.
JuJu Smith-Schuster-Ben Roethlisberger connection looking strong
The first touchdown of the game came on the Steelers' third drive, as Roethlisberger led his offense 58 yards down the field on nine plays. He capped off the drive with a 17-yard pass to Smith-Schuster.
With Antonio Brown gone, Smith-Schuster is expected to have a big season, and it's great to see this prospective dynamic duo hook up in Roethlisberger's first action of the preseason.
Roethlisberger's night is over. He completed 8-of-13 passes for 63 yards and a touchdown. Coach Tomlin didn't have to see anything more, it's time to move on to the backup quarterback battle.
The rain can't dampen James Washington's hot preseason
With Roethlisberger out, in came second-year signal caller Mason Rudolph.
On his first pass of the game, he hooked up with Washington for a 41-yard score -- a beautiful ball which was unaffected by the pouring rain.
That Oklahoma State connection looks strong indeed. Rudolph has the upper hand over Joshua Dobbs in this backup quarterback battle, and plays like these will solidify him as Roethlisberger's No. 2.
In the previous two games, Rudolph has completed 15-of-23 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns, while Dobbs has completed 11-of-19 throws for 180 yards, no touchdowns and an interception.
Washington has looked like both quarterback's No. 1 target this preseason. Coming into this matchup, he had eight catches for 162 yards and a touchdown.
Joshua Dobbs shows off his escapability
Dobbs isn't going to go down without a fight, and he had a pretty impressive throw in the third quarter on Sunday night.
After evading a pass-rush which came up the middle, Dobbs scrambled towards the left side of the field, dodged two would-be tacklers, and then delivered a 23-yard pass to Trey Griffey.
Check this play out, courtesy of The Checkdown on Twitter:
The catch was initially ruled incomplete, but Tomlin brought out the red challenge flag and gave the referees a second look at it to get the call reversed.
Dobbs got the Steelers down the field quickly, but was unable to finish the drive. Four plays later, the Steelers were forced to kick a field goal, which extended their lead to 15.
Steelers quarterbacks shine while Titans quarterbacks struggle
The Steelers dominated for the majority of this matchup, and it was clear in the box score. All three quarterbacks had at least decent performances while the top two signal callers on the Titans had games they would like to quickly forget.
Roethlisberger started off the first quarter strong by completing 8 of 13 passes for 63 yards and a touchdown, and his replacement, Rudolph, also had a nice performance. In all, he completed 6 of 9 passes for 75 yards, one touchdown and an interception.
Dobbs played the entire second half, and completed 4 of 9 passes for 79 yards and an interception -- not the most incredible performance, but he did have a few throws that were worth getting excited about.
The Titans on the other hand, they really struggled to protect all three quarterbacks. None of the Steelers' quarterbacks were sacked once while the Titans gave up a combined seven sacks. Mariota completed no passes and was sacked for a safety in the first quarter, which is not what Titans fans wanted to see in their dress rehearsal.
Tannehill wasn't much better, but at least made a few good throws -- completing 6 of 9 passes for 62 yards. Like Dobbs, Logan Woodside played the entire second half for Tennessee, and completed 11 of 15 passes for 117 yards. He was the most impressive quarterback on Sunday night for the Titans.
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