What We Saw: Preseason Week 1

Catch everything you missed from a weekend chock full of football

Steelers @ Buccaneers

Final Score: Steelers 27, Buccaneers 17

Writer: Ben Brown (@BenBrownPL on Twitter)


Tampa Bay struggled on offense in this game once Baker Mayfield was done. So much so that the NFL Network re-air that I watched completely skipped multiple three and outs by the Bucs in the 2nd half. Mayfield actually looked pretty good through the air, which I was not expecting. There is hope for Evans/Godwin managers.

Pittsburgh’s starting unit played one series and Kenny Pickett drove them right down the field for the score. He looked great, as did George Pickens and Diontae Johnson. With the second unit, Calvin Austin shined as well. This offense should be back on track after a down year last season


Pittsburgh Steelers




Kenny Pickett: 6/7, 70 yards, TD


Kenny Pickett looked awesome on the only drive he played in this game. He was accurate, comfortable, and elusive. The OL gave him plenty of time to throw and he made the most of it. This was a very positive start for the young signal caller


  • Accurate throw on the run to Johnson on the sideline
  • Ton of time to throw, looks way more comfortable than I remember him looking last year
  • Still don’t trust a QB wearing two gloves
  • Elusive, avoided a sack, only incompletion was a throwaway to Jaylen Warren at his feet
  • TD was a bullet to Pickens, who avoided a tackle and took it to the house


Mason Rudolph: 7/12, 132 yards, TD, 2 sacks | 2 carries, 15 yards


Rudolph’s best throw was the bomb down the left sideline to Calvin Austin, but otherwise he struggled. He did not look comfortable in the pocket much at all in this game.


  • 15 yard scramble put them in FG position at the end of the half


Mitch Trubisky: 1/4, 10 yards, INT


Trubisky looked bad in this one. So bad that he was replaced mid-drive. Maybe I missed an injury? Either way, we know that Trubisky is a fantasy black hole so I’m not wasting any more words on him.


  • Second QB on the field. 1st throw was to literally nobody over the middle of the field on 3rd down
  • Pass batted away at the line
  • Had Austin wide open on the sideline, no pressure, just underthrew him.


Tanner Morgan: 5/8, 36 yards, INT, sack, 2 fumbles (2 recovered) | 2 carries, -1 yard



  • Fumbled first snap of 4th quarter at his own 9 yard line, was lucky to recover it. Immediately intercepted on the next play. Ball. Don’t. Lie.


Running Back


Najee Harris: 1 target, 1 reception, -1 yards


One snap, one target, one reception, one yard lost. A quiet game for RB1.


Anthony McFarland Jr.: 3 carries, 18 yards, TD | 1 target, 1 reception, 5 yards



  • Great run around the edge, turned on the afterburners and sped into the end zone. Outside defender got confused and shot the wrong gap, giving McFarland the room to score. Impressive speed, though


Jaylen Warren: 3 carries, 13 yards | 1 target



  • Received first carry after Najee went out
  • Made multiple defenders miss on a 10 yard gain


Darius Hagans: 5 carries, 15 yards


Wide Receiver/Tight End


George Pickens: 1 target, 1 reception, 33 yards, TD


Pickens is a stud, and he was a one man wrecking crew on his TD catch and run.



Diontae Johnson: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 32 yards


Johnson has struggled with drops in his career, but I feel like every time he’s targeted on the sideline it’s an instant catch. He had two really nice sideline catches in this game, getting his feet in bounds just in time.


  • Made two defenders miss tackles after his first catch, then got crunched
  • Good catch on the sideline
  • Another nice catch on the sideline


Pat Freiermuth: 1 target, 1 reception, 6 yards


Calvin Austin III: 2 receptions, 73 yards, TD | 2 carries, 23 yards


Get. Hyped. Austin is so h*cking fast. Two jet sweeps, a short pass and a deep bomb and Austin is a guy who is going to be a playmaker for the Steelers as soon as he’s given the opportunity to do so. Remember, he missed all of last season with a foot injury but was the fastest guy in the 2022 draft, where he was taken by the Steelers in the 4th round. The Steelers are known for their ability to pick up star WRs in the middle rounds of the draft and Austin has the tools to be the next great one.







  • Interfered with on a deep target, did a good job of drawing the penalty

Missed Opportunities

  • Underthrown by Trubisky, was wide open for what would have been a 5-7 yard gain


Darnell Washington: 1 target, 1 reception, 9 yards


Connor Heyward: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 34 yards


Heyward was lining up all over the place, at TE, at WR, even at RB. Looks like a versatile piece they expect to use in a number of ways. Will be curious to see if that can be fantasy relevant.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers




Baker Mayfield: 8/9, 63 yards, TD


Has Baker always been this slow looking? He did scramble for a 1st down at one point (negated by a hold), but he looks like his shoes are made of lead. He is good at throwing on the run, but it’s more of a brisk walk. Maybe I’m being too harsh on him considering the stats were good and he didn’t make any mistakes. His best throw of the night was his TD throw to Palmer in the back of the end zone, who did a great job of getting his feet in bounds. It really was a gorgeous throw. I guess he’s still got the arm and accuracy in him, but he’s on his third team in the last year for a reason.



Kyle Trask: 6/10, 99 yards, INT, 3 sacks


I wasn’t impressed by Trask at all. He was under pressure for most of the night but none of his six completions wow’ed me. I would be worried about my Bucs’ weapons if he were under center for an extended period of time.


  • Receiver was open, but defender read Trask’s eyes and jumped the route on his INT. Probably shouldn’t have been thrown


John Wolford: 10/17, 111 yards, TD, sack | 1 carry, 2 yards


Running Back


Chase Edmonds: 6 carries, 18 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 4 yards


Edmonds still has some quickness in his game despite bouncing around for the last few seasons. He certainly wasn’t the worst player on the field for Tampa Bay. Not sure if he’ll ever be fantasy relevant again, though


  • Nice 8 yard run
  • Catch out of the backfield, smoked immediately. Defender launched himself at Edmonds, called for roughness

Missed Opportunities

  • 10 yard run around the edge negated by a hold


Ke’Shawn Vaughn: 7 carries, 4 yards


Missed Opportunities

  • 12 yard carry negated by an illegal formation


Sean Tucker: 6 carries, 10 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 3 yards



  • Had an impressive 15 yard TD run negated by a penalty


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Kaylon Geiger: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 50 yards, fumble (Lost) | 1 carry, 2 yards

David Moore: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 66 yards

Taye Barber: 5 targets, 1 reception, 17 yards | 1 carry, 13 yards

Deven Thompkins: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 9 yards


I like Deven Thompkins a lot. If given a shot, I think he can be a useful piece in this offense.


  • Quick pass, immediately hit by a defender but stayed on his feet and ended up earning 3 yards, somehow
  • Too fast on a jet sweep, had to wait for the ball to be snapped but then shot out of a cannon
  • Held on for a really tough catch, was hit in the head by a defender as he hauled it in. 3rd and 18, short route so it didn’t ultimately matter but it was an impressive show of toughness. Really like this kid


Trey Palmer: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 33 yards, TD



  • Fantastic catch in the back of the end zone for the score. Great job getting his feet down in bounds.


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