Atlanta Falcons vs Pittsburgh Steelers game (Falcons-Steelers live stream free online details here) of 2017 NFL Preseason Week Two commence at unusual afternoon schedule of 4:00 PM EDT at Heinz Field with live broadcast brought to you by NFL Network and Game Pass.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are about to play host their second game of the 2017 NFL preseason schedule when the Atlanta Falcons travel and visit to the Iron City. The Steelers won’t be activating many of their starters to play in the field, due to both personnel and injury reasons, but it doesn’t necessarily mean there ain’t real professional American football to watch.
The Steelers franchise veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown have been ruled out as healthy scratches, but head coach Mike Tomlin said he won’t close any door or shut the light off on any of his player.
The 25-year-old wide receiver Martavis Bryant, meanwhile, can’t wait and desperately want to get back on the gridiron for the Steelers. The troubled yet skillful and talented fourth-rounder pick in the 2014 NFL Draft will soon have his opportunity when he step into the field and plays his first game in more than 18 months on Sunday when the Steelers host the Falcons.
“I just want to get back to what I used to do,” Martavis Bryant said. “I’m not focused on going outside of what I do as far as running my routes, being a deep threat, running short routes . just running, catching and having fun doing it.”
The National Football League imposed Bryant a disciplinary sanction by suspending him back in March 2016 for a second violation of its substance abuse policy. The former Clemson star also opened the 2015 NFL season with a four-game suspension because of multiple violations of the league’s substance-abuse policy. Bryant, who is still in the process of being fully reinstalled by the league, remains suspended, but is allowed to take part in all exhibition activities — including training camp practices and preseason games.
Bryant shined in the last time he was on the football field with a single-game best of nine receptions for 154 yards and 194 yards from scrimmage during an AFC Divisional defeat to the Denver Broncos. He averaged 21.1 yards per catch as in his rookie season and 15.3 in his second-year professional NFL career while setting a franchise record with 14 touchdowns in his first 16 games.
Rookie quarterback Joshua Dobbs — who was selected with the fourth-rounder (135th overall) pick in the 2017 NFL Draft — is starting this week’s game, the Steelers head coach said. Tomlin also said he was considering Landry Jones as an injured player. The backup quarterback Jones has been limited to handing the ball off in his return to the past couple of practices.
For Atlanta Falcons, meanwhile, Desmond Trufant leads the team’s emerging secondary division against one of the richest wide-receiver unit of Steelers. Both corps are expecting a jump-start from returning starters in Trufant as well as Martavis, the latter having just been reinstated to participate in training camp practices and preseason matchups. Trufant didn’t play much in his return to the gridiron in Miami, making one a tricky tackle and getting sidelined for the rest of the game. He will be looking to outscore the Steel City and bounce back into his groove as an elite cover cornerback.
With cornerback Robert Alford having his superb offseason date and the talented Bryant looking to come back to his playmaking techniques. Alford has been impressive in training camp with multiple interceptions, sticky coverage, and improved tactics. Should he can continue his first-rate second-half playmaking from the most recent season, then the Atlanta’s secondary corps will be that much harder to defeat.
The Falcons is also expecting the return of it safety Keanu Neal, who will add some depth to the secondary and force the Steelers’ wide receivers to think twice and determine before running over the middle. Neal hopes to build on a remarkable rookie season and harmonize with the 2015 starting free safety Ricardo Allen. In 2016, Allen also started all 16 games at free safety position for the Falcons, completing 90 tackles, three pass break-ups and two interceptions.
Promising Falcons’ second-year cornerback Brian Poole and rookie safety Damontae Kazee will face a vigorous test in Steelers’ wide receivers Sammie Coates, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Darrius Heyward-Bey.
Here’s What You Need To Know
Game: Atlanta Falcons vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Date: Sunday, August 20, 2017
Start Time: 1:00 PM PT, 3:00 PM CT, 4:00 PM ET
Location: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
TV Channel: Nationally Televised on NFL Network, CBS Pittsburgh (KDKA-TV)
Radio: 92-9 The Game (Atlanta SportsRadio), WDVE-FM (102.5) and WBGG-AM (970) in Pittsburgh
Online Stream: NFL Game Pass will give you all-access to live out-of-market 2017 NFL preseason games as well as replays and game highlights.