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Steelers vs Jaguars Second Half Notes And Observations

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

  • Vince Williams doing work on the opening kickoff, slamming the returner and sending him flailing out of bounds. But he nearly took out the team doctor. Even worse, he did some kind of weird duck walk after in celebration.
  • The Jacksonville center must have thought he did a great job cutting Lawrence Timmons down on a pull. The only problem was that the linebacker proceeded to make the tackle off his stomach for no gain.
  • As somebody else pointed out earlier this week, the Steelers never replaced Shamarko Thomas on the first punt of the second half. They only had 10 men on the field.
  • After a Robert Golden penalty set the Steelers back to their own 10, it seemed the drive was doomed to fail. Le’Veon Bell appeared to be confused as to what to do on first down, resulting in Ben Roethlisberger throwing the ball in the dirt. Bell gained one yard on second down. But they didn’t play it safe on third and long, sending four receivers on long routes, with the ball going to Lance Moore for the first down.
  • The drive seemed to be going smoothly, getting to the Jaguars’ 40-yard line when Antonio Brown caught a 17-yard pass, but Kelvin Beachum was flagged for holding. The drive did not survive that penalty.
  • Brad Wing’s punt pinned the Jaguars deep in their own end, but they responded with two explosive plays on the ensuing drive, including a 20-yard run by Storm Johnson on the first play. Cam Thomas was driven down the line and Troy Polamalu and Timmons were picked off at the second level.
  • Sean Spence blitzing helped open up the screen game for Toby Gerhart two plays later for another 20 yards.
  • The end result was a 10-9 score, but that would be the end of the offensive points for both sides.
  • On third and two, Brown basically picked the deep ball off the cornerback’s helmet 20+ yards down the field for the conversion. I suppose it’s plays like that that made his teammates eager to get him his fifth catch on the day.
  • I’m not sure I’ve seen three pump fakes in quick succession too often, but it enabled Roethlisberger to find Justin Brown for 10 yards. The receiver took a big hit, but held on to the ball. Probably his best catch of his young career thus far, all things considered.
  • Back to Brown twice more for receptions of nine and six yards, 25 for the day.
  • And then the drive ended with a sack and fumble on third and short, naturally.
  • On the plus side, it gave the defense a chance to respond with no harm done. On first down, James Harrison rotated into coverage and read the screen pass, cutting inside to make the tackle for a two-yard loss.
  • The next play was of course Brice McCain’s pick six. The Steelers dropped four into coverage on those two receivers on the offensive right side, including Harrison.
  • Spence missed the tackle on the fullback on first down, resulting in an 11-yard gain.
  • But the defense slammed the door shut after that, including a nice pass breakup on second down from William Gay.
  • The Jaguars were about to slam the door right back, but Bell was able to find room up the middle on a screen pass on third and nine.
  • It certainly appears to me as though the Steelers were the victim of a bad spot on third and one on Will Johnson’s carry. The play was challenged, but there was lack of conclusive evidence to grant the first down. Still, I believe the ruling would have been upheld if the officials ruled that he got it on the field as well.
  • Nevertheless, the defense quickly forced a three-and-out, including great plays from Polamalu and Brett Keisel, and the offense closed out the game with over four minutes to play.
  • Bell finished off most of the drive, but the Steelers did get Brown his fifth reception of the game. In truth, it proved a bit more hazardous than originally thought. The right defensive end clearly read the play and got elevated in anticipation of combating the pass in the lane after seeing Brown come out of the backfield.
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