The Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday come-from-behind road win over the Jacksonville Jaguars was essentially a game of two totally different halves on both sides of the football with the defensive unit leading the charge in the game’s final quarter.
After allowing the Jaguars offense to gain 169 total yards in the first half on their way to scoring 9-points, the Steelers defense buckled down in the second half and allowed just 64 net yards on 7 possessions. Five of those second half offensive possessions the Jaguars offense had were three and outs and after the game was over Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked to explain the defensive adjustments that were made at halftime.
“We didn’t make one adjustment, seriously,” Tomlin said.
The Steelers did, however, utilize backup safety Jordan Dangerfield in the second half and Tomlin was asked about the team’s decision to go that route after the game was over.
“Yeah, but it wasn’t an adjustment,” Tomlin said of Dangerfield’s second half usage on defense. “We simply played him at corner when they had only one wide out in the game. We were making the same calls.”
Despite having to start two backup offensive linemen on Sunday against the Steelers, the Jaguars effectively ran the football in the first half as running backs Leonard Fournette, T.J. Yeldon and Carlos Hyde all combined to rush for 134 yards on 25 total carries. While the Jaguars did control and move the football quite well in the first half, they still only managed to register just three field goals by kicker Josh Lambo and not once were they able to get into the red zone part of the field.
Outside of their second possession of the second half, a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that used up 5:50 of game time, the Jaguars offense failed to move the football effectively. The three Jaguars running backs combined to rush for just 28 yards in the second half on 16 total carries. In fact, the Jaguars final five possessions of the game registered minus 3 yards on 13 total plays run.
“You know, like I said, when you’re on the field that much it tends to erode away at you, the pile starts to fall forward, people start to miss tackles,” Tomlin said when asked to comment on the play of the team’s defense during those final five Jacksonville offensive possessions. “And I just thought increasingly so as the game went on there was less of that and that just speaks to the character of the group. There were less piles falling forward as it went forward, there were less miss tackles as it went on. And so, it just lets you know the group came to play today regardless of circumstance and so I’m thankful for that.”