The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Cincinnati Bengals this past Sunday at Heinz Field and while their defense played well as a whole on their way to allowing only 16 points, the number of yards allowed after the catch in that game needs to be focused on this week and especially when it comes to defending passes to running backs out of the backfield.
In total, the Steelers defense allowed 186 total yards after the catch to the Bengals offense on Sunday for an average of 6 yards per reception. That average, of course, needs to be lower by at least two yards for starters.
On passes completed to tight ends and wide receivers on Sunday, the Steelers defense only allowed 48 yards after the catch for an outstanding average of 2.5 yards. The most yards after the catch allowed to a tight end or wide receiver on a single play during the game happened when Tyler Kroft gained 10 yards after catching a pass behind the line of scrimmage after lining up in the backfield late in the first half.
The Bengals running backs did most of the damage against the Steelers on Sunday when it came to yards after the catch as Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill combined for 138 such yards on 12 total receptions. Three of those 12 catches ended with a Bengals running back having more than 20 yards after the catch and one resulted in a late touchdown by Bernard after a few missed tackles. Now, it’s worth pointing out that two of those long YAC plays by Bernard came late in each half with the Steelers defense making a concerted effort to not give up a big pass play over the top. Even so, 20 yards after a catch, regardless of the circumstances, needs to be improved upon.
This coming Sunday this Steelers will play the Philadelphia Eagles and much like the Bengals, they have two running backs who are established pass catchers out of the backfield in the form of Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles. Expect Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz to use both of those players in the passing game on Sunday against the Steelers to see if the Pittsburgh defense can do a better job of containing them after the catch.
|Q||TIME||DN||DIST||LOS||YDS||DIST||YAC||PLAY BY PLAY|
|1||12:03||3||5||CIN25||10||8||2||(SG) A.Dalton SL to T.Boyd for 10 yards (R.Cockrell).|
|1||3:46||1||10||CIN25||13||14||-1||(SG) A.Dalton SR to B.LaFell for 13 yards.|
|1||2:54||2||5||CIN43||21||19||2||(SG) A.Dalton DM to A.Green for 21 yards (R.Golden).|
|1||2:29||1||10||PIT36||21||16||5||(NH, SG) A.Dalton DR to T.Kroft for 21 yards (R.Shazier; R.Golden).|
|1||1:05||3||6||PIT11||4||2||2||(SG) A.Dalton SM to G.Bernard for 4 yards (M.Mitchell, R.Golden).|
|2||10:55||3||10||CIN10||2||2||0||(SG) A.Dalton SR to C.Uzomah for 2 yards.|
|2||7:57||2||9||CIN10||8||6||2||(SG) A.Dalton SL to T.Boyd for 8 yards (R.Shazier, R.Cockrell).|
|2||4:10||1||10||CIN25||7||-3||10||(SG) A.Dalton SR to G.Bernard for 7 yards (L.Timmons).|
|2||3:42||3||3||CIN32||16||15||1||(SG) A.Dalton SM to T.Boyd for 16 yards (M.Mitchell).|
|2||2:44||3||8||MID50||5||1||4||(SG) A.Dalton SR to G.Bernard for 5 yards (A.Chickillo, S.Tuitt).|
|2||0:48||1||10||CIN32||24||-3||27||(SG) A.Dalton SR to G.Bernard for 24 yards (C.Heyward).|
|2||0:33||2||10||PIT44||7||-3||10||(SG) A.Dalton SR to T.Kroft for 7 yards (A.Chickillo).|
|2||0:21||4||3||PIT37||5||5||0||(SG) A.Dalton SR to C.Uzomah for 5 yards (R.Shazier).|
|2||0:16||1||10||PIT32||17||17||0||(SG) A.Dalton DR to A.Green for 17 yards.|
|3||11:43||1||10||CIN8||25||-3||28||A.Dalton SL to J.Hill for 25 yards (J.Hargrave).|
|3||5:44||1||25||CIN10||29||25||4||(SG) A.Dalton DR to T.Boyd for 29 yards (M.Mitchell).|
|3||5:06||2||10||CIN39||7||2||5||(SG) A.Dalton SR to T.Kroft for 7 yards (W.Gay).|
|3||4:23||3||3||CIN46||20||18||2||(SG) A.Dalton DM to A.Erickson for 20 yards (W.Gay).|
|3||3:52||1||10||PIT14||4||-2||6||(SG) A.Dalton SL to J.Hill for 4 yards (L.Timmons).|
|4||15:00||2||6||CIN13||9||7||2||(SG) A.Dalton SM to T.Boyd for 9 yards (R.Golden).|
|4||6:48||1||10||CIN25||7||0||7||(SG) A.Dalton SL to G.Bernard for 7 yards (R.Shazier).|
|4||6:19||2||3||CIN32||12||3||9||(SG) A.Dalton SM to G.Bernard for 12 yards (R.Golden, R.Shazier).|
|4||5:48||1||10||CIN44||9||-4||13||(SG) A.Dalton SR to G.Bernard for 9 yards (S.Tuitt).|
|4||5:19||2||1||PIT47||2||1||1||(NH, SG) A.Dalton SR to C.Uzomah for 2 yards (R.Cockrell).|
|4||4:46||1||10||PIT45||8||3||5||(NH, SG) A.Dalton SM to J.Hill for 8 yards (W.Gay, A.Moats).|
|4||4:17||2||2||PIT37||10||2||8||(NH, SG) A.Dalton SR to J.Wright for 10 yards (S.Davis).|
|4||3:34||2||8||PIT25||25||4||21||(SG) A.Dalton SL to G.Bernard for 25 yards, TD.|
|4||2:56||2||10||CIN25||9||5||4||(SG) A.Dalton SR to B.LaFell for 9 yards (A.Burns; R.Shazier).|
|4||2:14||1||10||CIN44||17||16||1||(NH, SG) A.Dalton DM to B.LaFell for 17 yards (R.Golden; M.Mitchell).|
|4||2:00||1||10||PIT39||6||6||0||(SG) A.Dalton SM to T.Boyd for 6 yards (J.Harrison). FUMBLES|
|4||0:08||1||10||CIN20||7||1||6||(SG) A.Dalton SR to G.Bernard for 8 yards. FUMBLES|