Breakdown of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 27-20 win over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 15.
– 46 yard completion to Devin Hester to begin the second half. Eight in the box for the Steelers with a safety blitz. Only two defenders to the screen side on the catch. Schematic and numbers win for Atlanta.
– Troy Polamalu must have known this was a run to the right. Starts to run with this receiver pre-snap but passes him off to the CB. And then knifes in to make the stop.
– Another high effort play from the Steelers’ defense. Lawrence Timmons blitzes initially and though the receiver slips on the catch, 94 runs back to make the tackle. Gets the defense off the field as the Falcons are forced to settle for a field goal. In hindsight, it could have saved the game.
The Steelers’ defense certainly showed that “urgency” Mike Tomlin pointed out in his presser.
– Good block by Vince Williams to shove his defender out of his gap, clearing a path for Markus Wheaton on his 32 yard kick return.
– Matt Spaeth hyperextended his left elbow on this return, getting dragged down by the arm while blocking. Finished the rest of the game with a wrap. Gutty.
– Ben Roethlisberger showing an old alert. Hot route, communicating just to Antonio Brown, that he’ll throw this pass. Grabbing the face mask is an alert to the pass. Eight yard screen though it’s negated by two penalties on Brown.
– Kudos to Antwon Blake for getting past this double-vice and eventually force Hester out of bounds. Special teams were excellent Sunday.
– Shamarko Thomas also had two tackles on kick coverage. Shark is another tone setter on that unit.
– Stephon Tuitt showing the ability to two-gap. Like the arm extension, getting the RT upright, sheds, and makes the tackle.
– Williams needs to work over this block instead of trying to duck under. Ends up being late to the hole and misses the tackle. Big fan of 98 but still a work in progress. Only complete linebacker on this team is Lawrence Timmons.
– Cameron Heyward had been getting his hands up all game and is finally rewarded with a swat in the third quarter.
– Blake having to do what William Gay did early in the game. Run across the field to track down the WR on this mesh concept. Difficult assignment for any CB but kudos for making the tackle.
– Missed block in the run game by Mike Adams. Needs to do a better job to cross the DE’s face instead of lazily driving into the shoulder. Move those feet, step into the block. Misses the block and it’s a loss of five.
– DB bites on the play action, allowing Wheaton to get behind. Gain of 30. Ben called it a “run/pass” check.
– Power O so good it doesn’t even require a block from Will Johnson. Touchdown.
– Williams contains with Timmons knifing inside to make the tackle. Good work by both ILBs.
– Harry Douglas’ 41 yard pickup off the screen. Timmons should be working through this block from the pulling lineman instead of under it. At the very least, he’ll force the WR inside and to some help. Instead, Douglas gets to run free down the left sideline.
– Kelvin Beachum doing a good job of getting out to the flat and acting as a buffer against this tunnel screen. CB can’t make a play. 12 yard gain.
– Ben might have been a little too quick for his awkward flip to Bell, which fell incomplete. Pocket wasn’t that bad. Antonio Brown is open, too. But a minor quibble.
– Ross Ventrone knocked out the opposing gunner twice Sunday. An example below.
– Not sure why Le’Veon Bell didn’t hit this hole. Instead, he jumps down a gap and is taken down. Lane, at the moment at least, was there.
– Ben dropping his arm angle after pump faking twice to complete this screen to AB.
– 3rd and 1 concept to put the game on ice. Love all the pre-snap motion with AB. Gets all eyes on him and Heath Miller sneaks behind. Such good window dressing.