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Steelers Versus Colts: An All-22 Primer

By Alex Kozora

An All-22 primer before delving into the Pittsburgh Steelers victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

– We’ll have to sit back for a few minutes and appreciate just how good Ben Roethlisberger’s performance was. Statistically gaudy but some of the throws will really pop on tape. The nine route to Martavis Bryant for 52 yards sticks out for me.

What Roethlisberger put on tape is video you’d want to show your kids. Not just of how to play the position but to inspire how good one player can look. And how he can dominate a game. A showing unlike we’ve ever seen from #7. And he’s had some good ones.

– We’ve talked a ton about Le’Veon Bell and his spectacular season. I want to put the focus on LeGarrette Blount and his issues the last five weeks (3.3 YPC over that span). For a back of his size, he shouldn’t be struggling this much. There have been times where he’s simply gone down too easily. There has always been rumbling his pad level has been too high. Maybe it’ll show up on tape.

– I’m not sure where I want to begin with evaluating the wide receivers. And I mean that in a good way. Let’s see if Markus Wheaton is being more consistent with his routes. It looks like Bryant is getting separation on his routes; not just a big body who is out-leaping defenders. Now let’s see if it’s like that on plays where the ball isn’t headed his way.

Heath Miller’s biggest reception came off busted coverage but it was still by far his biggest night in years. His run blocking has seemed to improve, too. I’m excited to watch him work. This could be the last “great” game of his career.

– The offensive line did a terrific job. You don’t need another angle to tell you that. And the Colts sent some heavy pressure packages. But I’m excited to see exactly how the Colts tried to confused the Steelers’ line and how they stood up to the challenge.

How did Mike Adams go from being a foregone trainwreck to one of the MVPs of the game? It’s not as if he was facing poor competition; LOLB Bjoern Werner has done a fine job this season.

I’m also interested in how much help Adams got. I remember at least one play where David DeCastro found work, helping Adams out by blasting the OLB. Going off of that, how often the Steelers had running backs or tight ends chip his way.

– Aside from a few fourth quarter runs, the Steelers’ rushing attack was largely bottled up. Want to know the issues that have bothered this team the last two weeks. Not like they’re facing 4-3 defenses that have killed them in the past.

– Considering Colts’ running backs only had seven carries, it’ll be tough to judge the run. So we’ll be looking at how the Steelers’ defensive line generated a pass rush. I’ll probably try to pay special attention to Brett Keisel. He’s been fine but hasn’t stuck out. Does he still possess quick, active hands? We know Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt can disengage. What doe Keisel’s arsenal look like?

– Ditto with the linebackers. James Harrison seemed to be getting the best of the tall Anthony Castonzo. Height difference gave Deebo the advantage. Jason Worlds is starting to get some serious love in national circles. Vince Williams wound up playing the most snaps at ILB (36). That included some 3rd and longs. What were the results? How fluid did he look flipping his hips?

Steelers gave up a good number of crossing routes that resulted in big plays. Guessing it was zone coverage but want to see the exact issues. Just holes in the zone or are these routes not getting passed off correctly?

Cortez Allen. Where to begin. It’s fair to at least withhold judgment until we see the All-22 but I severely doubt there will be anything to change my mind. But maybe a safety blew his coverage.

– Was there anything that happened earlier in the game to tip William Gay off on his pick six? He read the route perfectly. Will have to try and see if there was a similar example prior.

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