Steelers Versus Bears – Second Half Notes And Observations

By Matthew Marczi

  • Another Steelers running back fumbles, and another Steelers running back finds himself on the bench. Felix Jones puts the ball on the ground on the second play of the half, and the team rides Jonathan Dwyer the rest of the game.
  • It was interesting at the time that, unlike the week before, the Steelers skipped the pretense of starting Kion Wilson to begin the second half, and allowed Vince Williams to continue where he left off in the first half. Now it seems a near certainty that he will start.
  • After the fumble and a first down, William Gay and Jarvis Jones make nice plays back to back in order to hold the Bears to a field goal, which they were unable to do in the first half.
  • How about David Johnson with a pair of explosive plays? Ben Roethlisberger did a nice job of finding him in the softest parts of coverage. Mike Tomlin noted that he saw improvement from Johnson, and I would have to agree, and not just because of the pair of receptions.
  • Bubble screens are stupid; except when they work.
  • Isaac Redman has been relegated to Personal Escort duty now, as he helped push Roethlisberger forward on a third and one quarterback keeper. He did not carry a single time during the game, and it’s looking somewhat favorable that he could be inactive this week. Claiming that he cheated a concussion test didn’t help any either.
  • Dwyer did a nice job on his other big carry of the night, breaking at least one, if not two tackles on the run depending on how lenient you want to be. Also a nose for the first down marker at the end of the run.
  • Jason Worilds looked probably the best he has yet thus far in this last game despite getting his least amount of playing time. He got a hit on the quarterback that resulted in a wobbly throw.
  • The Steelers got pressure throughout that drive, including the second sack of the season for LaMarr Woodley.
  • Worilds showed good awareness to leak out of the blitz and cover Michael Bush on third and 16, and was in great position to stop the play.
  • I liked the play call and design on Heath Miller’s long reception on the night. The Steelers were in a run formation with Will Johnson and Dwyer, which drew up the linebackers, but they both split out on passing routes, which helped stretch out the coverage as the play action left Miller open in a nice, soft cushion 20 yards down the field.
  • There really is not much to say about Antonio Brown’s second touchdown catch that has not been said already. It was simply a fantastic play on his part with excellent body control and positional awareness. Not everybody has those traits.
  • The ensuing touchdown celebration ‘dance’ is another matter entirely, and showed no body control or positional awareness whatsoever.
  • The Steelers really seemed to be coming back, and it really was hard not to believe that they would after they pulled within four points. Especially when they had the Bears in third and long on the next drive. That quarterback scramble was a true back breaker and momentum changer.
  • Of course, following that up with Brandon Marshall’s first and only big play of the game did not help things. On third and 12.
  • And then there was the touchdown pass. On third and five.
  • Oh, and Gay was not the man in coverage on any of those plays, by the way. He had yet another solid game.
  • Again, Ben Roethlisberger needs to protect the ball better. He should not simply accept that the defender ‘made a good play’. Be proactive and don’t give them a swat at the ball.
  • Troy Polamalu’s blocked extra point…yeah, that’s nice…
  • A turnover on downs, and then an interception on the first play of the next offensive drive, and it’s over.
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