Game observations from the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
– Jason Worilds continued to flash in the run game. Takes on two blocks, sheds, and makes the tackle. Bengals love to pull and this is pretty much a Student Body Right play with three pullers. Kudos to Worilds for disrupting. Not an easy concept to defend once those lineman get on the tracks.
Also of note on the play is Sean Spence not looking quite as competent, getting put on his butt by the TE.
– A play doesn’t get much more “one-on-one” than this. A one man route against a lone corner, no safety help. Pass falls incomplete.
– Ryan Shazier needs to work on multi-tasking. Will come with reps. Zone coverage, eyes to the QB, but he loses the crossing route. Has to look and move with his speed. Pass complete for a big gain.
– Missed tackles by Worilds and Antwon Blake lets RB Jeremy Hill get near the sticks. Bengals convert the 4th and short on a QB sneak.
– Bengals’ missed field goal. Between the 40s and off a momentum play (turnover, miss) is an alert for a vertical shot. And that’s what the Steelers do. Max protect with two verticals. But a two high shell gives Ben nowhere to go with the ball and his deep ball to Antonio Brown is incomplete.
– Arthur Moats and Jarvis Jones got just one series on defense, a total of three plays.
– Stephon Tuitt hustle play to track down this screen.
– B.W. Webb did get at least one crack as a jammer on the Bengals first punt of the second stanza.
– Marcus Gilbert was tripped by Heath Miller, not bull rushed, on the play Le’Veon Bell got hurt.
– Also of note on that play was Will Johnson being used in the backfield. Something you could see again Saturday.
– Ben Roethlisberger interception. Miscommunication. Thought Brown was going to cross the safeties face but Brown decides to keep it vertical at the last second. Leads to the easy interception.
– It may have not affected the INT but Dri Archer does whiff on his cut block. And that’s him trying to cut a cornerback. Not even like it’s a linebacker that is going to be twice your size. Ugly.
– Will Allen again showing himself to be an asset in run defense. Takes up two pulling blockers and evens up the numbers game again. Shazier free to make the tackle.
Those sacrifices made by edge defenders like him and Worilds was a big reason for the Steelers’ run defense success after a shaky start.
– Steelers blitz Shazier while dropping James Harrison. Harrison not nearly the athlete and can’t squeeze the window in time. Pass is complete.
– William Gay missed tackle against A.J. Green on a smoke screen. Happens but you hate to allow YAC. Especially when you don’t even get a piece of the receiver.
– Steve McLendon with the shed and tackle.
– I doubt this is by design. Hate Spence’s false step into coverage. Reading pass before run and takes a step back. Too eager to drop into coverage. All linebackers are taught to run read first, then drop.
– No one fills the playside “A” gap – possibly Shazier’s fault – and Jeremy Hill runs for 11.
– In the second half, Spence played in base and Shazier in the nickel. Vince Williams saw just one snap in nickel.
– Kudos to Blake for not getting stuck to Andrew Whitworth on the perimeter. Forces the back out of bounds.
– Looks like Mike Mitchell should get the blame on Jermaine Gresham’s touchdown. Appears to have flat responsibility and doesn’t flow quickly enough. Can’t blame Blake for not being able to take down a big tight end diving for the goalline.
– G-Lead (frontside guard pulls) on Josh Harris’ 59 yard run called back on holding. The personnel is a numbers game. Overload the right side, forcing the defense to account for an impossible number of gaps (A-F). Easy block for the tight end once the safety George Illoka spikes inside.
– As promised, Archer’s best play of the year. Route is to swing into the flat but the play turns into a scramble drill. Archer extends his route vertically and Roethlisberger finds him for a 15 yard gain. Takes the team from 1st and 20 to 2nd and 5. Big pickup.
– Fantastic double-team by DeCastro and Gilbert on Brandon Thompson. Gilbert does a great job of turning him and creating space.
– Watch Antonio Brown turn Leon Hall inside out en route to a 13 yard grab. Bottom of your screen. Dirty.
– Again, have to check out of Power O with the eighth defender backside. Illoka tracks it down and makes the tackle in the backfield.
– Brad Wing’s options on the failed fake. Robert Golden in the flat, Ross Ventrone on a crosser, and Matt Spaeth/Will Allen vertically.
– Antwon Blake’s FF. Also had a “Fire X” blitz with Worilds and Shazier crossing each other. Did lead to pressure, Worilds free up the middle, though it didn’t affect the throw.
– Todd Haley’s playcalls that drive. 20-17 lead, under four minutes to go.
- A fly route to Bryant on first down. Incomplete but Bengals called for illegal contact. First down.
2. Dive to Harris.
3. Playaction, staple seam route to Miller. Pass is deflected at the line by Dunlap.
4. 3rd and 8, vertical throw to Brown for a 63 yard TD.
Haley has some serious stones.
– Brown saying to Bryant, “Um, bro?!”
– Fumble on the Steelers’ last “drive.” Actually wasn’t Harris’ fault like I thought it was. Never even reaches the back. Clangs off Will Johnson’s shoulder.