Steelers Defense Must Improve Tackling The Catch

We will not get to hear from defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau until Thursday to get his thoughts on the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-19 loss Sunday night to the Denver Broncos, but he will probably point to tackling the catch as one area that his unit needs to improve at moving forward.

You have undoubtedly heard LeBeau use that phrase before as his defense is one that is predicated on not allowing yards after the catch. In the game Sunday night, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning completed 19 passes for 253 yards, with the ball only traveling 127 of those yards in the air as the defense allowed 126 yards after the catch on those 19 receptions.

A dagger in the game of course was the 71 yard touchdown by Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who took a one-yard reception the 70 other yards for the score. While it looked like holding could have been called on the play, it wasn\’t, and thus Thomas once again burned the Steelers for a long score.

The play to Thomas was just 70 of those 126 yards after the catch mentioned above, and the table below shows the completions in chronological order and the YAC allowed on each. Expect this to be one of many things cleaned up this week in practice.

E.Decker 13 3
B.Stokley 9 1
D.Thomas 5 7
B.Stokley 17 9
J.Dreessen 6 1
D.Thomas 6 2
D.Thomas 20 1
J.Tamme 4 0
E.Decker 9 3
J.Tamme 9 1
E.Decker 9 2
D.Thomas 71 70
D.Thomas 8 5
E.Decker 6 6
M.Willis 14 2
J.Tamme 11 2
E.Decker 17 5
J.Tamme 1 1
J.Tamme 18 5
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