Things didn’t go the Pittsburgh Steelers way following the Week 17 16-13 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, as the Baltimore Ravens beat the Cleveland Browns 26-24 to clinch the AFC North and head to the AFC playoffs. After that, things have taken a dramatic turn as the Antonio Brown saga has taken a turn few expected to see.
With all the off-field drama surrounding the Steelers right now, it’s time to focus back on what happened on the field on Sunday. Against the Bengals, the Steelers continued their strong ways in the tackling department, missing just 5 against the Bengals.
Let’s take a look at the final missed tackles report of the season, which will include season total percentages.
Total missed tackles vs. Bengals — 5
LJ Fort – 1
Jordan Dangerfield – 1
Terrell Edmunds – 1
Javon Hargrave – 1
Cam Sutton – 1 (special teams)
Total missed tackles during 2018 season (17 games) — 130 (7.65 misses per game)
Sean Davis – 20 (one on special teams) — 20 percent miss rate (80 total tackles)
TJ Watt – 12 — 15 percent miss rate (68 total tackles)
Joe Haden – 12 — 16 percent miss rate (63 total tackles)
Terrell Edmunds – 11 — 12 percent miss rate (78 total tackles)
Mike Hilton – 8 (one on special teams) — 12 percent miss rate (57 total tackles)
Vince Williams – 8 — 9 percent miss rate (76 total tackles)
LJ Fort – 6 — 11 percent miss rate (48 total tackles)
Bud Dupree – 5 (two on sack attempts) — 10 percent miss rate (42 total tackles)
Cam Sutton – 5 (two on special teams) — 18 percent miss rate (22 total tackles)
Stephon Tuitt — 4 — 8 percent miss rate (45 total tackles)
Coty Sensabaugh – 4 — 8 percent miss rate (45 total tackles)
Tyler Matakevich – 4 (two on special teams) — 13 percent miss rate (26 total tackles, 10 on special teams)
Jordan Dangerfield – 4 (two on special teams) — 36 percent miss rate (7 total tackles)
Artie Burns — 3 — 12 percent miss rate (22 total tackles)
Anthony Chickillo – 3 (one on special teams) — 11 percent miss rate (24 total tackles)
Jon Bostic – 3 — 4 percent miss rate (73 total tackles)
Roosevelt Nix – 3 (all three on special teams) — 27 percent miss rate (8 total tackles)
Tyson Alualu – 3 — 12 percent miss rate (22 total tackles)
Cam Heyward – 2 — 3 percent miss rate (51 total tackles)
Darrius Heyward-Bey – 2 (both on special teams) — 33 percent miss rate (4 total tackles)
Daniel McCullers – 2 — 28 percent miss rate (5 total tackles)
Javon Hargrave – 2 — 3 percent miss rate (49 total tackles)
Nat Berhe – 1 — 25 percent miss rate (3 total tackles)
Marcus Allen – 1 — 33 percent miss rate (2 total tackles)
Brian Allen – 1 (special teams) — 50 percent miss rate (1 total tackle)
Morgan Burnett – 1 — 3 percent miss rate (30 total tackles)
So, the way the miss rate percentage works is this: for Sean Davis, out of 100 total tackle attempts (80 total tackles, 20 misses) that means he had a 20 percent miss rate, since 20 divided by 100 is .20, or 20 percent.
Looking at the miss rates, Davis had the highest miss rate for any defensive starter. That’s not surprising, considering he had the most misses defensively. Cam Heyward and Javon Hargrave had the lowest miss rate percentage for defensive starters with a 3 percent miss rate. Coty Sensabaugh, Stephon Tuitt, and Jon Bostic just missed out on tying for the lowest percentage at 4 percent.
Now, with the Bengals game, nobody really jumped out with misses, as five different players recorded a miss in the win. Down the stretch the Steelers tackled really well, rarely missing tackles that resulted in big plays, sans the New Orleans Saints game.
Late in the second quarter near midfield, the Bengals tried to run a read-option with quarterback Jeff Driskel. Pittsburgh had a stunt on up front with Hargrave and Tuitt, which allowed Hargrave to work past blockers right into the path of Driskel.
However, Hargrave is moving to his right with force, which allows Driskel to stop and cut up inside of Hargrave’s path, resulting in a missed arm tackle by the standout third-year nose tackle.
After Hargrave’s miss, TJ Watt comes in from behind and forces a fumble on Driskel that the Bengals are fortunate to recover.
Later in the game, with the Steelers holding a 13-10 lead early in the fourth quarter, the Bengals saw Joe Mixon rip off a 51-yard run that put the Bengals in scoring position right away.
Mixon does a nice job of being patient to start the run, waiting for a hole to open up before bursting through that hole. From there, Mixon uses his speed to destroy any angle that safety Jordan Dangerfield has on him, resulting in a missed tackle. That then leads to a putrid effort from Terrell Edmunds late in the run, allowing Mixon to toss him aside with his left arm with ease, picking up a handful of additional yardage at the end of the run.
Offensively, the Steelers forced ten Bengals misses, meaning Pittsburgh finished +5 in the final game of the year.
Total forced misses vs. Bengals — 10
JuJu Smith-Schuster – 3
James Conner – 3
Eli Rogers – 2
Ryan Switzer – 1
Ben Roethlisberger – 1
Total forced misses in 2018 season (17 games) – 148 (8.70 forced misses per game)
James Conner — 65
Ryan Switzer – 16
Antonio Brown — 15
Vance McDonald — 15
Jaylen Samuels – 12
JuJu Smith-Schuster – 10
Stevan Ridley – 5
Ben Roethlisberger — 4
James Washington — 2
Eli Rogers – 2
Xavier Grimble — 1
Jesse James – 1
JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner ran well with the ball in their hands on Sunday, forcing three missed tackles each to lead the Steelers.
On Smith-Schuster’s touchdown catch, the second-year receiver uses his stiff arm to shed KeiVarae Russell on his 11-yard touchdown. He’s not the fastest, and he’s certainly not the most elusive, but he has a knack for shedding tackles in space.
Then there’s Conner, who led the Steelers with 65 forced misses on the season while missing three games.
When in space, Conner is a nightmare for defenders. He changes directions quickly and always keeps his legs churning, forcing defenses to gang tackle him.
On this short catch in the fourth quarter, Conner uses his speed to get through Nick Vigil’s tackle, and then sets up an errant attempt by Shawn Williams, stopping short to let the physical safety fly by for the second miss on the play.