Steelers Vs Chiefs Missed Tackles Report

Heading into Sunday’s Divisional Round matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, the Pittsburgh Steelers defense had a tough task in front of them:  slowing down Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce.

Consider it a job well done as Kansas City’s two main weapons combined for just 194 all-purpose yards in the Steelers’ 18-16 win, sending Pittsburgh to the AFC Championship Game to take on the New England Patriots this Sunday.

Behind the shutdown performance by the Steelers was some great tackling. Let’s take a look at the missed tackles breakdown for the Divisional Round game.

Missed Tackles vs. Chiefs in Divisional Round:  5

James Harrison — 1
Mike Mitchell — 1
Lawrence Timmons — 1
Stephon Tuitt — 1
Javon Hargrave — 1

Missed Tackles through two weeks of postseason play:  12

Ryan Shazier — 2
James Harrison — 2
Mike Mitchell — 2
Sean Davis — 1
Lawrence Timmons — 1
Stephon Tuitt — 1
Javon Hargrave — 1
Tyler Matakevich (ST) — 1
Darrius Heyward-Bey (ST) — 1

 So far, so good for the Steelers defense and special teams units when it comes to tackling in the postseason. During the regular season the Steelers averaged roughly 11 missed tackles per game, but in two postseason games they’ve barely nudged above 11 as a total, let alone in one game.

In fact, Sunday’s game at Kansas City tied for a season-low in missed tackles, which the Steelers accomplished in Week 15 on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Let’s get to some of the missed tackles from Sunday night’s 18-16 win.

Coming into the game, all eyes were focused on Hill as he has been the key to the Kansas City attack since the halfway point of the year.

This jet sweep here by Hill has been a staple of the offense, which is designed to get the ball to Hill in motion, allowing him to work in space. However, the Steelers defense does a great job of stringing out the play, starting with Lawrence Timmons and Stephon Tuitt.

Although both ultimately miss a tackle on the play, they’re able to slow Hill down along the sideline, which in turn allows fellow defenders to close in to make the stop, negating a possible big play right off the bat for the Chiefs.

Out of a wildcat formation, the Chiefs were able to successfully get the Steelers defense moving sideways to try and slow down Hill, allowing Ware to hit the seam up the middle of the field for a big first down.

Ware is a tough running back that packs a lot of power in his runs, which you can see on this run in which he runs right through Javon Hargrave’s attempted tackle.

The rookie does a nice job of recovering on the play to slow down Ware, but Hargrave has to do a better job of wrapping up and riding him to the ground.

It took quite awhile for Kelce to really get loose on the Steelers, but fortunately it came late in the game.

On this short throw, Kelce is able to sit down in the Steelers’ zone coverage, showing his numbers to Alex Smith.

Once Kelce makes the catch, Mike Mitchell is on him immediately. Instead of just going for the sure tackle up eight points, Mitchell tries to rip the ball free, missing the tackle in the process.

Fortunately for the veteran safety, James Harrison and Timmons are able to get into the mix to bring down the big tight end near midfield.

Overall, the Steelers were very sound fundamentally, as well as in terms of assignments. When this unit does that, tackles well and doesn’t try to do too much, they’re very difficult to beat.

As of late, it seems like the unit as a whole is buying in.

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