Steelers vs Jets First Half Notes And Observations

Below are my notes and observations from the first half of the Pittsburgh Steelers in their 20-13 loss to the New York Jets.

  • The Jets gave Percy Harvin an end around on the first play of the game. Arthur Moats played too shallow of an angle and allowed Harvin to get to the outside. Mike Mitchell was also caught inside the box.
  • On the second play, it looked like Cameron Heyward nearly got a piece of the ball on a screen pass, but Michael Vick was able to get it to Chris Johnson for 12 yards.
  • The officials missed an obvious block in the back on Will Allen later on the Jets’ opening drive.
  • One play later, William Gay missed a chance to tackle Chris Ivory in the backfield for a significant loss.
  • On third and three, Jason Worilds took himself out of the play and gave Vick the chance to scramble for the first down. That’s something you need to be cautious of playing against a quarterback with his skill set.
  • On first down inside the red zone, Stephon Tuitt was washed down the line by Willie Colon, giving Ivory a big opening for 12 yards down to the four. But the defense did ultimately hold up at the goal line and force the Jets to settle for a field goal.
  • LeGarrette Blount returned the first kick for the Steelers for 21 yards, but Markus Wheaton replaced him after that. It will be interesting to see if Wheaton continues to fill that role in future games as hi role on offense is seemingly scaled back.
  • After converting on third down, Ben Roethlisberger threw to Will Johnson when he should have just gotten rid of the ball. The receiver was seven yards behind the line of scrimmage with the linebacker right there in coverage. The play went for a five-yard loss.
  • Roethlisberger’s next pass was high, but catchable for Le’Veon Bell, who couldn’t hold on. Jaiquawn Jarrett got to the quarterback on the blitz on third and long.
  • Both of the Steelers’ safeties bit hard on the play action on Vick’s 67-yard touchdown pass.
  • And of course, to make matters worse, Antonio Brown gave the Jets the ball right back as he was stripped of the ball on a screen pass close to the line of scrimmage for his first turnover since 2012—recovered, naturally, by Jarrett.
  • After watching more replays, I question whether he ever truly did enough to establish possession of the ball in the first place. But that hardly matters at this point.
  • On second and 11, Worilds and Mitchell conspired to leave open a running lane for Vick, and he broke Brice McCain’s ankles before getting down to the three-yard line.
  • On first and goal, the defense was able to string Harvin out to the left, and then popped Ivory for a loss on second down, but Vick found his rookie tight end in the back of the end zone on third and goal.
  • Wheaton tried to get something going on the return, taking it out to the 30.
  • On the second play of the drive, Maurkice Pouncey had an excellent downfield block against Demario Davis to lead the way for a Bell screen pass.
  • They were less successful on second down when Sheldon Richardson sniffed out the screen pass to the middle of the field and made the tackle for a loss of one.
  • Aided by a foolish 15-yard penalty on Jason Babin, the Steelers were finally able to drive down the field, but on second and eight from the 10, a rounded out route from the rookie Martavis Bryant allowed the cornerback to make a play on the ball, popping it into the air and Jarrett was able to lay out for the red zone turnover.
  • The defense allowed the Jets offense to convert a few third downs before a penalty backed them up into third and 15. It certainly seemed as though Vick was relieved of the ball before any part of his knee or shin was on the ground. There was also a clear recovery after the fact. The Steelers would have had the ball inside the 40-yard line.
  • Instead, the Jets punted, and Brown, desperate to make a play, ran up to field a quickly dropping ball that bounced off his fingers, which the Jets were able to recover. They went on to miss a 45-yard field goal, while the Steelers ended the half making one from 53, but would the game have gone differently if they’d gotten that turnover?
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