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Steelers vs Ravens Second Half Notes And Observations

Below are my notes and observations upon reviewing the second half of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 26-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

  • Further evidence to support the Steve McLendon Is a Nose Tackle support group. On the first play of the half, he beat center Jeremy Zuttah to put pressure on Joe Flacco, forcing him to throw an incompletion. He drew a holding call in the process.
  • On second and 20, Jarvis Jones made a tackle for loss after Cameron Heyward held the back in check at the line of scrimmage.
  • It wouldn’t be a Steelers possession if Lawrence Timmons didn’t come flying in missing a tackle, but the third down screen still only gained one yard.
  • I don’t know how much longer Justin Brown is going to be a gunner, but getting the injured WRs back won’t serve as replacements.
  • Another end around for Markus Wheaton, following a Heath Miller lead block for 10 yards. I like that Todd Haley is taking advantage of his wide receivers’ abilities using these end arounds. Just not to the short side within the 10-yard line, please.
  • More excellent displays of patience from Le’Veon Bell, this time for 16 yards. He’s much improved from last year, believe it or not.
  • But, for the second consecutive time, the Steelers’ drive was stalled by Marcus Gilbert getting beaten for a sack by Elvis Dumervil, this time on a bull rush.
  • It’s hard to believe the game was actually just 10-6 at this point, in retrospect.
  • It’s very unfortunate, but I’m not seeing what I’ve been seeing from Jason Worilds in the running game. He’s not setting the edge well any more. And having Cam Thomas next to him isn’t making things any better.
  • Ryan Shazier got lost in coverage on Dennis Pitta on third and four for a first down, going for 24 yards.
  • Big hits by both safeties on the drive resulted in unnecessary roughness penalties. I don’t know what else to tell people other than to stop watching football if you don’t like those calls, because it’s a part of the game now.
  • And another missed tackle from Timmons.
  • After Mike Mitchell’s unnecessary roughness penalty, the Steelers went back to their 4-6-1 look, with Troy Polamalu the lone defensive back on the field. On second down, he failed to follow Owen Daniels, who caught his second touchdown pass of the game as a result.
  • After two consecutive promising drives from the Steelers’ offense, they proceeded to go three-and-out in response to the Ravens’ second touchdown.
  • The vast majority of Timmons’ mistakes came in coverage. He did a nice job of knifing through the line for a tackle against the run on the Ravens’ first play of the next drive.
  • Steve Smith got in front of William Gay to convert a first down, and Mitchell was flagged for a facemask on the tackle, giving the Ravens first and goal.
  • And Smith just forced Timmons to miss yet another tackle.
  • Thankfully, Ike Taylor was in coverage on Smith for the next two plays and forced two incompletions.
  • It seems that Miller fumbles once a year or has a big drop just to remind everybody that he’s not perfect. This was a bad time to give us that reminder.
  • On second and five from the 15 after the turnover, Brett Keisel was pretty blatantly held, which led to a 10-yard gain to set up first and goal.
  • Even with McLendon out injured, the Steelers didn’t shy away from the 4-6 look at the goal line. Heyward served as the second defensive tackle, which is what he did when the Steelers used the big nickel two years ago.
  • Allen dropped an interception on third and goal that would have kept it a two-possession game.
  • Brad Wing had to make a tackle after what should have been a nice punt.
  • And Mitchell needs geometry lessons. I thought Dick LeBeau said one thing he liked about Mitchell’s tape from last year was that he took good angles.
  • First and goal at the one. Back to the 4-6-1. They’ve gotten far too much work in this look.
  • But hey, it is working…as long as they don’t throw the ball.
  • Timmons rocked Flacco right in the jaw on his ill-advised attempt at sneaking into the end zone.
  • The last few minutes of this game were largely insignificant and uneventful for meaningful, non-statistical purposes. The only play of note was perhaps Justin Brown not being prepared for a surprise shovel pass.
  • Statistically, however, Bell did manage to go over 100 all-purpose yards for the game. More significantly, Antonio Brown was able to maintain his five-catch, 50-yard game streak.
  • And then Haloti Ngata tipped and intercepted a pass. A long gainer up the middle sealed the game, as though the outcome were in any jeopardy.
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