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Steelers vs Colts Second Half Notes And Observations

Below are my notes and observations of the second half of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ victory on Sunday over the Indianapolis Colts.

  • The Steelers opened the second half of the game with the ball, and in a three tight end set. In case it’s not obvious by now, Will Johnson is the third tight end, not Michael Palmer.
  • Ben Roethlisberger just barely overthrew Antonio Brown on second down for what could have been an 86-yard touchdown.
  • on third and eight near midfield, a few spread routes left Heath Miller wide open in the middle of the field. He caught the pass at the 39 and had room to run down to the four on a blitz-beater.
  • Roethlisberger threw the fade to Martavis Bryant on second and goal from the two. the athletic rookie made an acrobatic leap, contorting his body backward to grip the ball with both hands away from his body for the touchdown.
  • On first down, Ahmad Bradshaw juked Brice McCain so hard that Lawrence Timmons toppled over him. I used to watch him do this all the time with the Giants…honestly didn’t think he still had it. But he does. Good for him.
  • Jason Worilds nearly got behind Andrew Luck on the next play to strip the ball out, but Troy Polamalu was penalized on the play anyway.
  • After the penalty, Ryan Shazier nearly got an interception on an errant pass from Luck.
  • Worilds did get to Luck this time, but the quarterback absorbed the hit. James Harrison was there to clean it up for his second sack of the game. Worilds did knock the ball loose on the hit, but it was still in Luck’s arms.
  • The Steelers rushed six on third and 19, forcing an errant pass with Brett Keisel at Luck’s feet.
  • He may have had an all-around strong game, but the drop on first down with space to run on the next drive reminds us that Bryant is still an unfinished product.
  • The fourth reception by Markus Wheaton came up short on third and seven, and Brad Wing punted for the first and only time of the day, until the end of the game.
  • Timmons came on a blitz and knocked Luck down near midfield, but not before he completed to his wide receiver for 15 yards.
  • McCain blitzed on the next play and forced an incompletion. He made the tackle on second down as well.
  • After a penalty gave the Colts a first down on the 12, Bradshaw took it in from there. Vince Williams was caught inside.
  • After their shorted drive of the game, Roethlisberger looked down the field on first down, finding Darrius Heyward-Bey for 21 yards. But he got up untouched, and the Colts knocked the ball loose, recovering at the 36.
  • On the first play after the turnover, Cameron Heyward sacked Luck, but offsetting penalties once again negated a significant play for him.
  • Later on the drive, facing a third and five, Luck hit Donte Moncrief at the right pylon, beating Cortez Allen, who was in position but unable to make a play, for another long touchdown.
  • After coming back from an early lower leg injury, Le’Veon Bell showed no signs of it in picking up 17 yards on a first down screen pass.
  • Facing a third and 12, Roethlisberger turned to Miller once again for the conversion. A pass interference call converted a long pass attempt on third and two.
  • Wheaton’s fifth reception gave the Steelers first down at the 11-yard line, but LeGarrette Blount fumbled at the five on the next play.
  • Fortunately for the Steelers, Luck tripped over his center on second down, butt-first on the goal line. He chose to throw the ball and hope a receiver was in the area, because with the pocket collapsing, it was probably going to be a safety anyway.
  • Second- and third-and-long situations didn’t really phase the Steelers on this day. On their final scoring drive, they had a second and 14, and then third and seven, which two passes to Brown took care of.
  • One of only two legitimately errant passes by Roethlisberger on the day. Second and nine, targeting Brown coming over the middle. The ball was too, high, and a defender has a chance of intercepting it.
  • Facing a third and nine, Roethlisberger found Blount for about eight and a half. Instead of running or doing a quarterback sneak from just beyond the 10, the quarterback rolled to his left and found Miller wide open in the end zone for his franchise record sixth touchdown pass of the day.
  • In lieu of Allen, Antwon Blake finished off the game as the left outside corner in the sub-package. Luck looked his way a few times, as he was playing conservative, off coverage, but he paid for it in the end when Blake picked him off in the end zone.
  • The Steelers just ran the clock out from there, including a couple of stat-padding 10-plus-yard gains for Bell on the ground.
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