Missed Tackles Report: Steelers Vs Bengals

In the midst of a dominant defensive performance, one thing was constant on film that hadn’t been the case during Weeks 2 and 3 – solid tackling by the defenders in the black and gold.

One week after nearly matching the season total in missed tackles in a frustrating loss at San Francisco, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense turned in a strong performance in a thrashing of the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on Monday Night Football.

On top of all that, the Steelers finally won the missed tackles/forced missed tackles battle for the first time this season, edging out the Bengals in that battle.

Let’s take a look.

Total missed tackles vs. Bengals — 6

Terrell Edmunds – 2
Devin Bush – 1
Joe Haden – 1
Stephon Tuitt – 1
Tyler Matakevich – 1 (special teams)

Total missed tackles through 4 weeks — 33 (8.25 misses per game)

Devin Bush – 4
Terrell Edmunds – 4
Bud Dupree – 3 (one on sack attempt)
Anthony Chickillo – 2 (one on special teams)
Mark Barron – 2
Artie Burns – 2 (both on special teams)
Ola Adeniyi – 2 (both on special teams)
Joe Haden – 2
Stephon Tuitt – 2
Cameron Sutton – 1
Sean Davis – 1
TJ Watt – 1
Minkah Fitzpatrick – 1
Mike Hilton – 1
Rosie Nix – 1 (special teams)
Benny Snell – 1 (special teams)
Jaylen Samuels – 1 (special teams)
Johnny Holton – 1 (special teams)
Tyler Matakevich – 1 (special teams)

It’s tough to see Devin Bush and Terrell Edmunds leading this list for the game and for the season, but keep this in mind: half of Edmunds’ season total came this week, while half of Bush’s season total came last week. None of their missed tackles on the season has gone for points, which is a great sign too.

That said, they need to clean it up.  Edmunds and Bush had a miss on the same play on Sunday that can easily be fixed, but a miss is a miss.

Joe Haden’s miss came on a Joe Mixon carry in the second half in which Mixon leaped over Haden, who looked like he was trying to avoid contact to his injured shoulder. That’s excusable.

Tyler Matakevich’s missed tackle on special teams came on the first kickoff of the game in which he just missed Alex Erickson and was visibly upset that he did so.

Let’s take a look at the two most egregious misses.

On the Bengals’ first drive of the game, Cincinnati was forced to go to the screen game quickly to give its offensive line a break against a tough Steelers pass rush.

Stephon Tuitt recorded his missed tackle Monday night on this play right here, overrunning the screen slightly, missing Mixon in space before taking out teammate Cam Heyward in the process. This is the play Heyward hurt his quad.

I can’t blame Tuitt a ton here. I would have liked him to utilize angles a bit better here, but in the grand scheme of things it’s a big, lumbering defensive lineman against a shifty, game-breaking running back in space. Good luck.

In the fourth quarter, Bush and Edmunds popped up with bad missed tackles.

This looks a lot like the Kam Kelly play from Week 1 in New England. Edmunds does a nice job of closing on the throw quickly, but he goes for the big hit, rather than wrapping up for the stop. Once Auden Tate bounces off of Edmunds’ hit, Bush does pretty much the same thing, going for the hit on Tate.

Tate does a great job staying on his feet after both hits before Steven Nelson cleans him up for the stop after 23 yards gained.

Offensively, Pittsburgh kept it simple and rolled up 7 forced missed tackles thanks to James Conner and Jaylen Samuels.  That means the Steelers won the tackles battle with a margin of +1. Like I said earlier, that’s the first time the Steelers won that battle this season.

Total forced missed tackles vs. Bengals — 7

James Conner – 4
Jaylen Samuels – 3

Total forced misses through 4 weeks — 20 (5 forced misses per game)

James Conner – 9
Jaylen Samuels – 3
Vance McDonald – 2
JuJu Smith-Schuster – 2
Ryan Switzer – 1
Benny Snell – 1
Diontae Johnson – 1
Mason Rudolph – 1

Conner and Samuels touched the ball 36 times on Monday night and forced 7 missed tackles. That’s pretty darn impressive.

Despite some struggles to get going consistently on the ground, Conner continues to forced defenders to miss throughout games. After not getting a single touch against San Francisco in Week 3, Samuels touched the ball a ton on Monday and forced 3 misses.


Here on a dump off from Mason Rudolph, Samuels made Bengals linebacker Nick Vigil look silly in space.

There’s nothing intricate about this move, but it shows off just what Samuels can bring in the open field, which is just a bit more burst than Conner. That’s not a knock on Conner either.

Thanks to this forced miss by Samuels, the second-year running back was able to pick up a key first down.

Later on in the game, Conner had his most impressive touch of the season.


I loved the design to get Conner on the edge, but after that it was all Conner showing off a great want-to level, running hard and refusing to go down.

Conner forced 2 of his 4 misses on this run alone, forcing Jesse Bates and Andrew Billings to miss, allowing Conner to get to the 2-yard line, setting up Samuels’ touchdown run.


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