The Steelers began their first preseason game, against the Eagles Thursday night, with a long drive. The Eagles put plenty of pressure on Ben Roethlisberger, and the Steelers' new-look offensive line struggled at time, with rookie Mike Adams and then Ramon Foster getting beaten for sacks. But just as often, Roethlisberger managed to evade the defense's pressure, as he so frequently does, and with star wide receiver Mike Wallace holding out, Roethlisberger turned to a variety of targets -- Isaac Redman, then fullback David Johnson, then Antonio Brown, then Chris Rainey, then Emmanuel Sanders.
The drive briefly seemed to stall out when Roethlisberger passed to Rainey on third down near midfield and the Eagles stopped him in front of the first-down marker, but the Steelers went for it on 4th-and-1 and got a three-yard run from Ike Redman to extend the drive. The Steelers managed to go a bit farther downfield before finally settling for a 46-yard field goal by Shaun Suisham.
The Eagles didn't get the ball for the first time until there were only about five minutes left in the quarter, but rookie cornerback Brandon Boykin got Philadelphia going with a 46-yard kickoff return to the Eagles' 38-yard line. The Steelers stopped the Eagles quickly, however, thanks to a big sack by Steve McLendon.
The Steelers began their next drive near the end of the quarter, with the highlights -- or lowlights -- coming when Phillip Hunt badly owned Adams, forcing a fumble by Byron Leftwich (which Adams recovered). A few plays later, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie launched himself at Leftwich's head, earning a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty (and possibly a fine; we'll see). At the end of the quarter, the Steelers have the ball at the Eagles' 47-yard line, and they hold a 3-0 lead.
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