Sunday night was a fun game to watch for a number of reasons on both sides of the ball, but it’s that time of the week where I come in to shatter hopes and dreams, at least for 15 minutes or so.
That’s right, it’s time for the missed tackles report.
One week after missing 16 total tackles in a blowout win over the Tennessee Titans (and yes, readers certainly weren’t happy with my breakdown), the Pittsburgh Steelers bounced back in the tackling department, missing just 9 tackles in the 31-28 win over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football.
In fact, the Steelers missed just 3 tackles in the first half of the game, all 3 of which were by standout linebacker Ryan Shazier, and all 3 occurred on touches by Packers rookie running back Jamaal Williams.
Total missed tackles vs. Packers — 9
Ryan Shazier – 3
Artie Burns – 2
Mike Mitchell – 2
Bud Dupree – 1
Coty Sensabaugh – 1
Total missed tackles through 12 weeks (11 games) — 142 (average of 12.9 misses per game)
Ryan Shazier – 26
Sean Davis – 15
Mike Hilton – 13 (one on special teams)
TJ Watt – 11
Bud Dupree – 10
Artie Burns – 8
Vince Williams – 7 (one on special teams)
Cameron Heyward – 6
Mike Mitchell – 6
JJ Wilcox – 5
Joe Haden – 5
Anthony Chickillo – 5 (one on special teams)
William Gay – 5
Javon Hargrave – 5
Stephon Tuitt – 4
Tyson Alualu – 3
Tyler Matakevich – 1
LT Walton – 1
Robert Golden – 1
Coty Sensabaugh – 1
LJ Fort – 1 (Special Teams)
Arthur Moats – 1 (Special Teams)
Darrius Heyward-Bey – 1 (Special Teams)
Kameron Canaday – 1 (Special Teams)
Shazier missed 3 tackles in the first half, but he was lights out in the second half, breaking up a pass and coming up with some big open-field stops along the way.
Artie Burns had a rough night, blowing a coverage assignment for a score, while also missing two open field tackles, while Mike Mitchell struggled in the tackling department in his return from injury.
The second half was much worse than the first half, in terms of tackling for the defense, but overall Sunday night was a good showing for a team with a few rough weeks performance-wise in this department coming off the bye.
Although Shazier is bumped off his route to Williams slightly by Green Bay center Corey Linsley, the standout linebacker still gets a shot at the lumbering running back right after the catch.
Based on his emotions on the sideline following the score, you could tell Shazier expected to make this play. Unfortunately for the veteran linebacker, his teammates failed to cover for him. I still have no idea what Sean Davis is doing on this play, while the same goes for Mike Hilton.
This is an ugly, ugly rep by Burns in the open field against Williams.
He’s there to make the play and breaks down properly in the open field, but he just isn’t physical enough at the point of attack, sitting back on his heels against a powerful running back.
Although Williams doesn’t truly run through him, with Burns sitting on his heels instead of attacking he’s able to make him miss easily in the open field.
Sure, Burns’ tackling numbers are a lot better as of late, but he’s still not up to snuff on running plays.
Finally, the most frustrating pair of missed tackles for me came on the Packers’ last scoring drive, starting on the first play from scrimmage.
This is supposed to be an RPO here from Brett Hundley, but the third-year signal caller doesn’t even bother to fake the handoff to Williams, instead rifling a pass to tight end Richard Rodgers up the middle of the field. Following the quick catch, Rodgers forces a miss on Mitchell in the middle of the field, leading to an additional 8-9 yards after the missed tackle.
I’d like to see Mitchell attack Rodgers here, rather than get caught waiting on a big tight end with a full head of steam. This play should have factored right into Mitchell’s physical mentality. Instead, he waited and whiffed.
But like I said earlier, this was a decent tackling performance for the Steelers. Yes, 3 total missed tackles occurred on two splash-play touchdowns (Shazier, Mitchell and Coty Sensabaugh), but overall the black and gold tackled the ball carrier well on Sunday night.