All-22 Primer: Steelers vs Bengals

All-22 primer of the Pittsburgh Steelers victory against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday afternoon.

– I’m sure some of the differences in Ben Roethlisberger will be obvious. Mechanically, it’s almost certain he was much cleaner. But it’ll be a nice opportunity to point that out in a couple pictures/GIFs.

Le’Veon Bell was afforded a lot of big holes but I love this guy’s ability to run through contact. And I want to watch all the negative plays he saves with two or three yard rushes instead of losses. There were at least four negatives runs Sunday but I bet Bell saved a couple.

Will Johnson played a crucial role in the team’ Power O, Georgie Counter. Lot of good tape from him, kicking out LBs to clear a path.

– Ditto with the offensive line. That may have been David DeCastro’s most thrilling game of his career. Nothing like getting to clean the clock of defenders all game long. Offensive lineman’s dream.

– Have to give credit to Kelvin Beachum and Ramon Foster for their key down blocks in that scheme, too. They generated a good push. Can’t allow penetration on trap blocks or the pullers are forced to go wider and it slows up the whole play. Allows frontside defenders to fill and backside defenders to chase. Play has to be quick.

– Don’t want to dwell on it because it’s become so obvious but Mike Adams is still experiencing a lot of issues at RT. For a guy who is supposed to be a mauler, he surprisingly lacks any functional strength. Easily moved around in both phases. Not a guy who can move laterally.

– Offensive line was at its best when moving downhill. Team couldn’t run the ball laterally Sunday on zone runs. Who was at fault for allowing so much penetration? Team effort, of course, but we’ll figure out some of the specific issues.

– It felt like Antonio Brown was winning on every single route he ran. A lot of slants where Ben missed him. Always a treat to watch 84 gain separation.

– Want to keep an eye on Markus Wheaton against press/bump coverage. Easily moved off his mark in past games. Not sure how much he went up against Terence Newman but want to pay close attention to those matchups. Newman is physical.

Stephon Tuitt played by far the most amount of snaps in a game for his young career. We’ll get a good look at his movement skills late in the game but I’m equally interested in how he held up against the run. That’s been his biggest area of concern.

Steve McLendon only played 24 snaps but I want to see their quality. Him returning and the Steelers overall keeping the Bengals’ run game in check is probably not a coincidence.

Arthur Moats had a tough assignment against Andrew Whitworth. But appeared he did well. He’s a no-nonsense pass rusher. And against a talented tackle, that’s important. A guy who doesn’t get pushed up the edge and taken out of the play. Always in position to compete.

– Want to get a better feel for how the team used Jarvis Jones on his 31 snaps. And get a general idea of how he looked in both phases. Rust is expected so I doubt I’ll be critical.

– The Steelers were beat on a ton of curls early in the game. Did the Steelers make any adjustments? Specifically, with the depth of the drop of the curl/flat defenders. Or did the game situation naturally take it away?

– Secondary play so spotty yet again. Too many splash plays given up. Mike Mitchell has taken blame for one but we’ll evaluate it again along with the others. Some simple communication issues, it seems.

– On the plus side, Antwon Blake had a fine game. I can’t say I’ve always been his number one fan but the guy sure does love competing. And he’s easily the most explosive corner on the team. Not that that’s saying much at this point, I suppose. Technically, he’s sound.

– One thing I did like out of the corners were their physicality. Blake and William Gay had some big shots. Like the energy those guys bring in that regard. Underrated trait.

– As usual, with some of the roster shakeups, we’ll check out any new looks/personnel on the special teams units.

– Even though Adam Jones wasn’t their kick returner, the Steelers seemed to do a nice job limiting the Bengals’ kick return game. Punt return unit was a bit shakier and we’ll see if anyone left their lane.

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