The good news is that there are no dropped passes from the Pittsburgh Steelers to take a look at this week. The bad news is that there are no dropped passes from the Steelers for us to take a look at this week. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing for us to discuss in terms of the pass-catch dynamic from the past game, so I’m going to take a look into some of the continued disconnect between Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown, which resulted in some close calls.
The first two plays we’ll take a look at came in the first quarter, late in the period, and they came back to back. The first should have been an easy play on a simple screen pass into a bunch formation. Brown had two blockers in front of him, but Roethlisberger put the ball behind him, nearly uncatchable.
This is the closest we came to a drop the entire game, and to be clear, it wasn’t one. But considering the blocking that Vance McDonald and JuJu Smith-Schuster provided on this one, it’s all the more frustrating that this play busted.
One play later, Roethlisberger wanted to find Brown down the field, dishing out a pump fake to look off the safety before letting one rip down the left sideline against Robert Alford.
The only problem is that the ball was a poor delivery, shot too far infield to allow Brown to keep running, but too tall for him to climb. Despite his full extension, the pass went just over his outstretched arms for an incompletion.
Into the second half, Roethlisberger and Brown missed on the same play that they also scored from. Both players share some blame here, but Brown actually had a remote chance to make a spectacular effort to haul this one in.
As we know, they would also show how to expertly execute this same play for a nine-yard touchdown, but these three plays above show that the disconnect between quarterback and receiver have remained beyond the first four games.
The good news is that the misses have come closer and closer to successful plays. And the second half of the game was much better than the first. That hopefully bodes well for the pair going forward, especially into Sunday’s critical game against the Cincinnati Bengals, who have defended Brown well historically.