Steelers vs Jaguars First Half Notes And Observations

Below are my notes and observations upon reviewing the first half of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

  • First down, first play back after missing two games. Ramon Foster blocked down to the right on the defensive tackle and allowed Le’Veon Bell to work behind him, finding room for five yards.
  • The Steelers tried to run a screen to Darrius Heyward-Bey on second down from the far hash mark, with the cornerback playing tight up against the wide receiver and Kelvin Beachum the only one attempting to get out to block. He didn’t come close to making it to the edge in time.
  • Although Markus Wheaton should have caught the arcing pass on third down, Ben Roethlisberger’s throw was a bit high. His passes skewed high throughout the afternoon.
  • Both Jason Worilds and Arthur Moats gained penetration from the edges on first down, leading to a poor pass from Blake Bortles that was nearly intercepted by William Gay.
  • The back and Steve McLendon had a little battle at the first-down marker on third and two, but the officials determined his forward momentum was enough to move the chains.
  • After a completed pass to the tight end on a rollout, Brett Keisel entered the game at LDE and Cam Thomas moved to nose tackle for one play before the Steelers moved to the nickel.
  • One of the reasons Bortles was able to scramble so easily on the opening drive is because Lawrence Timmons rushed off the edge and was taken out with a cut block, while Sean Spence was in coverage, with man coverage across the field.
  • On Worilds’ sack, James Harrison was able to beat the left tackle and was coming around the edge. The play was one of the most complete pass rushes of the year for the front.
  • On second and three to begin the Steelers’ second drive, Beachum pulled on an interior block up the middle to pick off a linebacker on a four-yard run by Bell.
  • Two plays after a good pull block on a run, Heath Miller completely whiffed on a screen pass to Antonio Brown that allowed the cornerback to hit him while he was attempting to secure the catch.
  • Great tackle by Terence Garvin on special teams following that drive-killing missed block from Miller.
  • Interesting play on first down. Brice McCain tight at the line on the slot receiver at the snap with Troy Polamalu shadowing over the top. McCain blitzed, with Polamalu picking up the receiver down the field. Ended up getting in front of the pass for an incompletion.
  • The Jaguars tried to block Worilds with a running back on third and one on what was supposed to be a quick pass to the tight end. That was a mistake. Worilds easily beat him and put Bortles on the ground.
  • Good blocking from Marcus Gilbert and a pulling Maurkice Pouncey helped open up the right side for Bell’s long run of the day, but the whole line deserves credit for that play.
  • What followed was some ugly playcalling and execution in a goal-to-go situation that resulted in a field goal rather than a touchdown.
  • Fair catching a kickoff on the 27-yard line means something bad preceded it.
  • Easy holding call on first down for the Jaguars, Polamalu pulled down from behind.
  • Credit where it’s due; Cortez Allen has been better in coverage since Ike Taylor went down. He made a nice read on the ball, dropping off and using his body to intercept the pass.
  • Some nifty moves from LeGarrette Blount on a screen pass for first-down yardage.
  • If you have to blame somebody other than Roethlisberger for the second sack, blame Pouncey, but really, the quarterback has to either get rid of the ball or vacate the pocket.
  • Miller caught his first reception 20 yards down the field. He only had one other reception of 20 or more yards in the first four games.
  • Fullback Will Johnson motioned out of the backfield all the way to outside the numbers from the far hash mark on the Steelers’ next play. Sprinted 15 yards upfield, peeled back and used his body to block off the defender for the reception.
  • Some nice running from Blount later on the drive, but his second reception was stopped dead in its tracks because David DeCastro was beaten by the DT.
  • The Steelers kept nobody in to block at the goal line. But it ended in a touchdown to Michael Palmer, so what do I know.
  • It was disappointing how many open receivers there were for the Jaguars’ two-minute offense, but if there’s one positive, they did do a good job of keeping them inbounds and the clock moving.
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