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Steelers vs Buccaneers Second Half Notes And Observations

hgerBelow are my notes and observations from the second half of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 27-24 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

  • It only took the Buccaneers two and a half minutes to get into the end zone. The big strike came from Mike Glennon to Mike Evans in front of William Gay for 40 yards after an 18-yard completion to Vincent Jackson on third and 10.
  • Tampa Bay scored on second and goal from the three on a run by Doug Martin off the left side. The fullback did a good job of blowing up Arthur Moats, but the officials missed a glaringly obvious hold on Sean Spence that would have made it second and goal from the 13.
  • On second down, Cody Wallace pulled to the right to provide the block on the left defensive end on a run-pass option that left Heath Miller wide open. Ben Roethlisberger obviously took the pass option and it went for 16 yards.
  • The offense was bailed out by Antonio Brown coming down with an impressive sideline grab on third and 10. It was called an incompletion, but Mike Tomlin challenged the ruling and won.
  • Brown completed to Le’Veon Bell for 17 yards on the next play, which reminds me of the wide open ball Baron Batch dropped a couple years ago.
  • Miller took a big lick to set up first and goal, and then showed the soft hands for the touchdown on the next play, though offsetting penalties negated the play. Of course, he came back three plays later for the score in traffic.
  • The Steelers subbed out Spence on the Buccaneers’ next possession, putting Vince Williams in the game at the buck and moving Lawrence Timmons
  • Troy Polamalu blitzed on first down and got a piece of Glennon’s pass to force an incompletion.
  • Evans was able to beat Brice McCain to the corner on third and eight to move the chains. The big target was lined up out of the slot.
  • Evans gifted an interception to Cortez Allen when he came up lame on a deep ball and left the game after Tampa Bay converted two third and longs.
  • Roethlisberger had Markus Wheaton streaking open on the right sideline that would have gone for a long gain, if not a touchdown, but he tried to lead the receiver too far on the sharp pass and could not run under it. The drive ended two plays later.
  • Early in the fourth quarter, James Harrison didn’t stay home and was slow to recognize an end around, which wound up going for 19 yards when Tampa Bay was backed up deep in its own end.
  • Polamalu tackled Martin in the backfield on the next play, but he did so by the facemask, which advanced the Buccaneers past midfield.
  • Enter Steeler-killer Louis Murphy, whose back-to-back receptions brought the ball to the 10. The defense held for a field goal, but not before Murphy nearly came up with a difficult touchdown.
  • Wheaton was blown up on a screen for a loss of seven on the Steelers’ first play of the fourth quarter. But Roethlisberger found Miller for 19 yards on second down.
  • Bell pitched back to Roethlisberger on the next play, who delivered an excellent ball deep down the field to Brown, who simply dropped it. The play would have set up at least first and goal, if it didn’t finish in the end zone.
  • Bell was smothered on second down, but he managed to navigate four defenders on third and 13 on a dump off pass to move the chains.
  • On third and 11 from beyond midfield, Roethlisberger escaped pressure and saw Brown behind the two defenders, but the pass was too long, resulting in another lost opportunity for a touchdown on the drive.
  • The Buccaneers very nearly scored on the following drive before stalling on the 14-yard line and losing the ball on downs.
  • The first play from the 14 was a toss to the back of the end zone by a running back. Though his back was to the ball, Timmons was in good position on the tight end on second down for an incompletion. Glennon could not get the ball to Murphy or Jackson on third or fourth down.
  • Of course, the Steelers proceeded to go three-and-out, punting from the 17. Brad Wing’s punt only traveled 29 yards to the 46.
  • Murphy worked through the zone on second down for 41 yards down to the five. About half of his yardage was after the catch.
  • On third and goal, Glennon connected with Jackson to put the Buccaneers up by three with seven seconds left. Jackson got his body into Gay before spinning out to the left sideline, where he hung his body out to bring in the catch.
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