Your weekly game notes from the Pittsburgh Steelers 23-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday.
– Kick return unit. The front five: Arthur Moats, Sean Spence, Vince Williams, Bud Dupree, and Shamarko Thomas. Robert Golden behind them. Roosevelt Nix, Matt Spaeth, and Will Johnson making up the next three and Jordan Todman the upback for Dri Archer.
– Alejandro Villanueva had far from a perfect game but check out his brute strength here. Chops the hands of Allen Bailey, their sack leader, and sends him to the ground. Makes it look so effortless when it’s anything but.
– Marcus Gilbert has to cut Justin Houston on this swing screen. Can’t let him keep his feet and bat the ball down, which is what occurs.
– Punt coverage. Shamarko Thomas and Brandon Boykin the gunners. Robert Golden the upback. Roosevelt Nix and Matt Spaeth the wings. Vince Williams, Arthur Moats, Greg Warren, Will Johnson, and Sean Spence on the line. Moats and Dupree seeing more ST snaps with Terence Garvin sidelined.
– Nice shed by Moats, who makes the tackle.
– You can stunt and twist all you want. A clean pocket is a clean pocket and Alex Smith takes advantage.
– Pass was complete on a nice snag by Antonio Brown but I admit I’m surprised Landry Jones decided to throw this ball. Backside receiver with an overhang defender and safety to that hash? Dicey throw (top of your screen).
– Again, Villanueva showing off those strong hands. Can just knock you off balance and to the ground, this time doing it to Villanueva.
– But he falls off his base block and DeAngelo Williams is stuffed on third and one. Allen Bailey is able to extend, stack and shed.
– Next play on 4th down. David DeCastro and Marcus Gilbert strong double-team at the point of attack. Line got a surge, something they didn’t do on the failed 4th down conversion later in the game.
– Subtle but nice job by Markus Wheaton to work back to the ball and box out the cornerback. Makes the catch.
Wheaton has done well this year. Just not a lot of opportunities.
– Heath Miller replaced Stephon Tuitt as the left wing on field goals.
– Kick coverage from left to right. Golden-Shark-Nix-Anthony Chickillo-Williams-Chris Boswell-Spence-Jarvis Jones–Ryan Shazier–Darrius Heyward-Bey-Brandon Boykin. Lots of moving pieces with the injuries the team has suffered to guys like Will Allen and Terence Garvin.
– Vert and crosser combination to exploit the Steelers’ Cover 3.
– Nice tackle for loss by Bud Dupree but it’s pretty clear Travis Kelce was expecting right tackle Jeff Allen to double him on this outside zone. Late shift by Ryan Shazier changed the Chiefs’ blocking scheme.
– Steelers in Cover 2. KC runs basically a smash concept by having Kelce on a corner and the back leaking into the flat. Opens up Kelce for a big chunk.
– DHB played a lot, which was a little surprising, but he did what he does best. Great blocker in the run game. Key stalk block here to spring Le’Veon Bell for 21.
– Same drive. Another big lane opened up by Nix, Villanueva, and Heyward-Bey.
– Downside of “Tiger” personnel with two running backs. You lose a blocker. D-Will with a half-hearted and unsuccessful cut block. Why you don’t see it that much.
– Two flat defenders open up the curl route on this snag concept. Easy completion.
– Antwon Blake again showing the issue isn’t really an inability to tackle but an inability to get out of his pedal quickly and efficiently before the receiver can turn upfield and your tackling angle changes. Very sloppy at the top of his break and it costs him.
– Same play. Underrated effort but kudos to Ryan Shazier for his hustle to chase Albert Wilson and push him out of bounds. Saved six and the Chiefs had to settle for three.
– Dri Archer continues to do a nice job of making the first defender on kick returns miss. That big play is going to happen soon.
– Landry Jones needs to get off his first read here. Forces this throw to a clearly covered Markus Wheaton.
– Like Mike Vick, Jones’ struggling to identify his checkdown (though Jones did it a little better). Throws the ball away instead of hitting an open Bell. Get the ball to your playmakers in space.
– Nice counter by Arthur Moats on the Cam Heyward sack. Sells outside and then counters inside to beat Jeff Allen. Forces Alex Smith to step up into Heyward’s awaiting arms.
– Ross Cockrell got work as a jammer on the punt return unit.
– Like Vick did last week, Landry misses Antonio Brown for what would have been an easy touchdown. Failed to capitalize on opportunities and that’s frustrating.
– Just another incredible grab by AB.
– Just another failed stunt pickup by Cody Wallace.
– Smart idea by Landry to check out of this run vs an eight man box, which we’ll show in the picture below, but simply took too long to release the ball. -.85-.90 seconds by my counter. Takes too long to gather himself and throw and the corner is able to close on Brown for a two yard loss.
– Heyward-Bey and Thomas served as a pair of gunners in the second half.
– Steelers disguise their Cover 2. Have Gay act as the deep half safety with Robert Golden playing a hook zone.
– Ryan Shazier’s closing speed is just nuts.
– Brandon Boykin failed to get even a hand on this gunner. Otherwise, AB has a lot of room to run. Who knows what happens.
– Shazier nice job to stack and shed. Makes the tackle.
– Tough to blame Blake here, try as you might. Protecting vs in-breaking route, playing to the inside hip. Playing it about the same as Ross Cockrell.
– Chiefs’ offense has six on six. Advantage them. Big lane for Charcandrick West. James Harrison was displaced from the box pre-snap, giving the Chiefs the number’s advantage.
– Martavis Bryant’s TD came via a nasty double-move to shake the corner.
– Nine in to block on this play. Talk about your max protection.
– Steelers were in Cover 2 on Travis Kelce’s 26 yard, back-breaking catch in the fourth quarter. Lawrence Timmons struggled to stay tight to his hip and allowed separation down the seam. Tried to bump him and whiffed, causing some of that. Remember Ryan Shazier wasn’t on the field for this play so it’s not like they could have had a better matchup.
– L.T. Walton and Daniel McCullers being in the game on West’s 36 yard run is one glaring issue. But so is Timmons. Feet in cement against this zone run. Hard to recover and maintain your spacing when you’re slow off the ball. Can’t fill the closes side A gap and West gets into the second level.
– Big reason for Marcus Gilbert’s stellar play is hand use. Carrying them up now instead of letting them dangle down like I’ve shown in the past.
– Thought Landry Jones developed a better feel for his checkdown later in the game. But you could tell he was still unsure of where to go with the ball when his first read wasn’t there, double-clutching the football. After the reviewing the game, I feel worse about his performance than I did after the game ended.
– Cam Thomas…was not terrible. Got his arms extended and worked off some blocks. Could have been worse and I’m not going to kill the guy for playing the way his scouting report reads.