The Pittsburgh Steelers wrapped up the preseason with a big performance over the Atlanta Falcons. The final scores in these types of games never tell the whole story. The preseason has gone about as well as can be expected for Pittsburgh and the team is rolling into the regular season.
Here are our big takeaways from Thursday night’s game.
Pittsburgh's run game packs a punch
The deep throws to Diontae Johnson and George Pickens will steal the headlines but it was the ability to run the ball that really impressed. Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren combined for 32 yards on just six carries and both backs rushed for a touchdown. Meanwhile, No. 3 back Anthony McFarland rushed for a team-best 55 yards and a touchdown of his own.
T.J. Watt got into the action
TJ Watt in midseason form 💪
— NFL (@NFL) August 24, 2023
T.J. Watt’s preseason had been very quiet as he prepared for the regular season but on Thursday he decided the offense shouldn’t get all the attention as he got himself a sack early on.
Is this the real Kenny Pickett?
In terms of a big takeaway, you have to wonder if the Kenny Pickett we’ve seen in the preseason is the Pickett to be unleashed all season. If so, the rest of the AFC must be on notice that the Steelers will compete with everyone.
Run defense stepped up
The Steelers run defense came out to prove a point and did just that. Atlanta essentially gave up on the run game when they fell behind but even before that, there was just nowhere to run against that stacked front seven.
Nick Herbig did it again
Another preseason game and another sack for rookie edge rusher Nick Herbig. This is 3.5 sacks in three games for Herbig. He, along with Markus Golden round out the best edge-rushing depth in the entire NFL.