By Alex Kozora
Game notes from the Pittsburgh Steelers 43-23 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
– Markus Wheaton showed tremendous effort on his end around. Could have gone for a loss but winds up gaining four.
– Brett Keisel has been pretty quiet in my reports but a real shining play here. Makes the tackle from behind working over a cutting Eugene Monroe.
– Ramon Foster walked back on this run. Obviously allows penetration and LeGarrette Blount winds up losing seven on this play.
– Impressed by Kelvin Beachum’s kickslide. Covers a lot of ground in two steps. Key to sealing the edge and stopping these speed rushers.
– Mentioned in my scouting report the Ravens’ struggles in picking up different twists that have resulted in running backs solo on DTs. Happened twice against the Cincinnati Bengals. And once versus the Steelers.
Jason Worilds slants into the “B” gap while Cameron Heyward loops into the “A.” Winds up alone against Justin Forsett. Obvious mismatch. Predictably gets pressure.
– Like Wheaton’s route at the top of his stem. Quick chop and break. Starts his break at the 30 on this out cut and has it broken off around the 33. Creates separation and it turns into a 15 yard reception.
– Foster starts to secure his block in pass protection against Courtney Upshaw but stops moving laterally. Causes him to fall off and lose. Had trouble finishing plays Sunday.
– Antonio Brown’s 54 yard touchdown. Because it’ll be so pretty to look at after the season. But I don’t want to pay attention to the YAC. I want to watch the route. Watch him win off the line, slightly stem inside downfield, and then back outside on the corner. Creates loads of separation and puts the defender in trail.
– Jacoby Jones’ 108 yard kick return. William Gay and Darrius Heyward-Bey have trouble getting off blocks. Huge running lane.
– Dri Archer is serving as the upback on kick returns but it’s pretty much useless. On the Steelers’ lone return, Archer ran away from the return, supposedly to act as a decoy. But the Steelers end up only having nine blockers against ten defenders, plus the kicker. Not crazy about the concept.
– Two way option for Ben Roethlisberger on this throw. Bubble to Bryant or the back-shoulder to Antonio Brown. Chooses the latter and the pass is incomplete but draws a flag.
– Steelers ran another of their staple packaged plays, Roethlisberger opting to hit Heath Miller down the seam for a 14 yard completion.
– Nice job by Sean Spence to fend off this cut block in space against this Raven’s screen. Pushes the RB out of bounds.
– Keisel/Heyward with a simple stunt, each replacing the other’s gap. Heyward able to collapse the pocket. Lawrence Timmons gets off his block against the back and there’s no place for Joe Flacco to hide. Sacked.
– Keisel was really feeling it Sunday. His best game. Reverse pancake of Jeremy Zuttah. Had his way with the former Buccaneer.
– Crockett Gilmore’s TD. Two Steelers’ defend the flat route. No one on Gilmore.
– LeGarrette Blount again stood up on 3rd and 1. C.J. Mosley drops him for a loss. Blount doesn’t really operate the way you’d think a 250 pound back would.
– Matt Spaeth’s TD. Basically a two man vertical route. Four defenders gravitate to Antonio Brown. Spaeth left wide open. Touchdown.
– Plays like this one from Stephon Tuitt really make me smile. Team is up by 20 with 30 seconds to go. Ravens tosss a screen. Tuitt could have dogged it but runs heard, regardless of the circumstances, and chases the back 15 yards downfield for the tackle. High effort play that is required to see playing time.
– Le’Veon Bell had a great day in pass protection. Defended the Raven’s safety blitzes well.