After putting together two outstanding tackling performances in back-to-back weeks against the Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans, the Pittsburgh Steelers took a step back Sunday on the road in Baltimore, struggling at times to corral Ravens ball carriers.
It wasn’t a dreadful performance overall, but it was certainly below standard that the Steelers have set this season.
Total missed tackles at Ravens – 9
Vince Williams – 3 (one missed sack)
Stephon Tuitt – 2
Robert Spillane – 1
Bud Dupree – 1
Marcus Allen – 1
Cameron Sutton – 1
Season Total — 50 (7.14 misses per game) (miss percentages included)
Bud Dupree – 7 (four on sack attempts) (18 total tackles on 25 attempts, 28% miss rate)
Mike Hilton – 6 (29 tackles on 35 total attempts, 17.1% miss rate)
Minkah Fitzpatrick – 6 (31 tackles on 37 total attempts, 16.2% miss rate)
Vince Williams – 6 (one on sack attempt) (35 tackles on 41 total attempts, 14.6% miss rate)
TJ Watt – 3 (both sack attempt) (25 tackles on 28 total attempts, 10.7% miss rate)
Stephon Tuitt – 3 (one sack attempt) (26 tackles on 29 attempts, 10.3% miss rate)
Joe Haden – 2 (30 tackles on 32 total attempts, 6%)
Steven Nelson – 2 (25 tackles on 27 total attempts, 7.4% miss rate)
Chase Claypool – 2 (special teams) (5 tackles on 7 total attempts, 28.5% miss rate)
Terrell Edmunds – 2 (27 tackles on 29 total attempts, 6.9% miss rate)
Devin Bush – 2 (23 tackles on 25 total attempts, 8% miss rate)
Robert Spillane – 2 (special teams) (22 tackle on 24 total attempts, 8.3% miss rate)
Justin Layne – 1 (special teams) (5 tackles on 6 total attempt, 16% miss rate)
Ola Adeniyi – 1 (sack attempt) (9 tackles on 10 total attempts, 10% miss rate)
James Pierre – 1 (special teams) (4 tackles on 5 total attempts, 20% miss rate)
Marcus Allen – 1 (4 tackles on 5 total attempts, 20% miss rate)
Cameron Sutton – 1 (8 tackles on 9 total attempts, 11.1% miss rate)
Vince Williams had a rough game on Sunday in the tackling department.
Sure, he was around the football a ton and forced the issue in the backfield multiple times, but he struggled to wrap guys up, leading to a team-high three missed tackles in the win, which really did a number on his miss rate, which was top 3 on the team coming into Sunday’s game.
Stephon Tuitt also recorded multiple misses on a day in which he dominated. Tuitt that the best miss rate on the team prior to Sunday’s game and has been arguably the best defender the Steelers have had all season, all due respect to TJ Watt.
While the number for the group looks high from Sunday’s game, it’s important to note that 55% of the misses on Sunday came from two guys.
Let’s take a look.
Before we get to the missed sack here by Williams, can we just admire the job Cam Heyward does eating up Bradley Bozeman and Matt Skura on the twist so Williams can fly in free? He’s so darn good at it.
Vince does a great job getting up the field in a hurry to put heat on Jackson, but he’s a bit out of control and doesn’t account for Jackson’s ability to slide left in the pocket. You can see Williams lunge for Jackson and get an arm on him, but it’s not enough to take down Jackson.
Once Jackson is out of the pocket, he avoids Tuitt near the sideline before Minkah Fitzpatrick wraps him up. That’s when Heyward comes in with an additional hit, which drew a strange late hit flag, considering Jackson was still in the field of play.
In the second quarter, Gus Edwards got going for Baltimore, largely thanks to some great blocking.
Look at the blocks at the second level here by the Ravens, creating a ton of space for Edwards to hit the second level at full speed.
As he does that, Williams gives chase and misses before Joe Haden cleans it up. From the point of Williams’ miss to the point Haden gets Edwards on the ground, there’s an additional 11 yards. Not great.
On the Ravens’ final drive, the Steelers got a bit sloppy in the tackling department, namely Marcus Allen and Cam Sutton.
This should have been a simple dumpoff to J.K. Dobbins that should have been brought down quickly. Instead, Dobbins forced two quick misses by Marcus Allen and Cam Sutton – both of which recorded their first misses of the season – giving the Ravens some life.
Heyward did a great job finishing this play down the field. I love that guy’s heart and hustle. I didn’t give Justin Layne a miss here, since he forced Dobbins into Heyward for the cleanup. Let me know if you disagree in the comments below.
Offensively, the Steelers forced seven missed tackles against the Ravens, losing the tackling department battle at a mark of -2.
Total forced misses at Ravens – 7
James Conner – 3
JuJu Smith-Schuster – 3
Chase Claypool – 1
Season Total — 78(11.14 forced missed tackles per game)
James Conner – 23
Diontae Johnson – 16 (nine on special teams)
Ray-Ray McCloud – 13 (11 on special teams)
Benny Snell Jr. – 8
JuJu Smith-Schuster – 6
Chase Claypool – 5
James Washington – 2
Anthony McFarland – 2
Ben Roethlisberger – 1
Vance McDonald – 1
Eric Ebron – 1
The focus will be completely on JuJu Smith-Schuster in this situation.
Of Smith-Schuster’s 67 receiving yards on Sunday, 32(!!!) came after the catch. It felt like an old-school Hines Ward-type performance against the Ravens, carrying the Steelers’ offense in the second half on the way to victory.
This forced miss by JuJu here in the third quarter really stood out to me. He takes a big shot from Ravens rookie Patrick Queen, bounces off the hit, maintains his balance and fights to the 1-yard line.
That contact balance is so impressive.
Later in the fourth quarter, JuJu splits a pair of Ravens defenders to pick up a first down before taking a big shot from Ravens safety DeShon Elliott.
Just a great job by JuJu showing toughness and situational awareness to put both hands on the ball and fight for the sticks.