I have already posted the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive notes for their 26-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts and below are my defensive notes from the game.
Brett Keisel on the Steelers first defensive snap had great recognition of running back screen and blew it up. Great pressure by LaMarr Woodley on the second down play. Lawrence Timmons had a good open field tackle on tight end after the completion on that down. On third down Ryan Clark had good recognition on a pass to Donald Brown. Had Brown caught the ball, Clark would have easily stopped him short of the first down.
Ike Taylor and Larry Foote combined to knock loose a pass to Austin Collie and the play was overturned. Foote\’s hit to the head might be ruled questionable on the play but it was not egregious in nature. On the next play Keenan Lewis was a hair late defending a pass to the right side that was caught and good for a first down. Foote brought good pressure on the Steelers left side that forced an incomplete pass that went right through the hands of Cortez Allen. Allen could have been called for a hold on the play as he was fooled by a fake outside. Keisel had good pressure on Andrew Luck which forced a throw to Reggie Wayne. On that play, Taylor made a nice break on the ball which he intercepted and returned for a touchdown. Ziggy Hood also had a strong showing in that second series as did Chris Carter.
Woodley had an easy sack to start the Colts third possession as he came unblocked. Meeting him at the quarterback was Steve McLendon. Taylor missed a leg tackle on the third down play which extended the Colts drive. On the first play of the second quarter, Carter had great run penetration into the Colts backfield to blow up the play. On the next play, Hood missed a tackle and Timmons was blocked by two Colts linemen at the second level. That allowed a big run by Brown, who busted it outside to the right. Troy Polamalu had a good backside tackle of Brown on the second down and goal play. On the touchdown, Hood was double teamed and Foote did not get to hole to fill it. Clark also got a late start to the hole from the safety spot.
Taylor once again missed an open field tackle early in the Colts fourth drive. On the interception by Allen two plays later, the Steelers got lucky as that should have been an easy touchdown for T.Y. Hilton after what looked like could have been a miscommunication between Taylor and Polamalu.
On first and goal on the Colts next drive, Brandon Johnson missed an easy tackle that allowed the Colts to get down to the one. The defense was the flagged for too many men on the field following a timeout. Ryan Baker and Marshall McFadden combined for a nice stop on the next play and McFadden followed with another run stop on third down. The fourth down touchdown run by Luck was a close call.
Alameda Ta\’amu had a tough time flowing down the line against double teams early on in his playing time. Nice stunt inside by Corbin Bryant on the third down play that forced the quarterback outside the pocket. Mortty Ivy followed with a blocked punt.
The first play of the Colts next drive started with a nice read and pass deflection by Adrian Robinson. Robinson followed that up with a pressure on the next play. On the next play it was both Bryant and Robinson with pressure as Bryant left two Colts bodies on the ground in his wake. Ta\’amu did show nice speed and effort on the pursuit to the outside on that play. Walter McFadden took a bad angle on the second down play which resulted in a missed tackle and a big gain. The touchdown pass was behind a turned around Johnson and in front of Robert Golden.
On the last play of the 3rd quarter, Johnson once again flew past a tackle opportunity.
On the next Colts drive, the defense was once again flagged for 12 players on the field midway through the final quarter. Robinson had a good run stop as he came unblocked. Josh Victorian stopped the drive with an interception on the right sideline. Victorian also just missed a similar type of interception last week against the Eagles that likely would have won that game.
On the colts final drive, Robinson split two Colts blockers to provide a little pressure. He followed with yet another nice pass rush on the second down play. Brandon Hicks almost had an interception on the 3rd down play. Robinson ended the game with a nice spin move that once again provided somewhat of a pressure.
Players I though stuck out during the game were Keisel, McLendon, Woodley, Allen, Timmons, Bryant, Robinson and Golden. Although he had the pick-6, Taylor missed a few tackles and could have been beat for a touchdown by Hilton had he caught the ball. Carter and Foote were inconsistent overall and Carter could have been flagged early in the game for pass interference. It was not as good of a showing as he had in the first week agaibnst the Eagles.