For now, the Pittsburgh Steelers look like they have a grip on the red zone problems that they had at times during the first half of the season as they are now 7-of-9 in the last two games after going 1-of-7 in the previous two.
Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, the second red zone touchdown score was a five-yard strike to rookie wide receiver Martavis Bryant and on the play it was all about creating space.
At the snap of the football, running back Le’Veon Bell sprints out to the left flat and that forces linebacker Jerrell Freeman to vacate the middle of the field in an effort to prevent a quick swing pass.
Also at the snap, tight end Heath Miller runs a short post route that manages to accomplish two things. First, he garners the attention of Colts safety Mike Adams, who pretty much stays frozen for the entire play. In addition, Miller also occupies Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson.
At this point, all Bryant has to do is to beat Colts cornerback Josh Gordy to the inside and he does so very easily by initially angling his route to the outside before quickly breaking back inside to the vacated area. Gordy was playing outside technique on the play and his job is to funnel Bryant back inside to help.
Both Gordy and Adams failed to get any kind of break on the ball and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger ensures it will be an uncontested catch by throwing the pass to the inside of Bryant.
This is as simple as it gets and the fear of Bryant running the fade probably helped facilitate the soft coverage.