The Pittsburgh Steelers won a close one Sunday at Heinz Field, edging out the Tennessee Titans by a score of 19-13. The offense was stagnant for most of the first half, and really didn’t get anything going in the second half either outside of generous field position provided by the defense forcing turnovers.
The running game was terrible, as Pittsburgh tallied a meager 35 yards on the ground compared to the 201 yards by the Titans. When highlighting rookie LT Dan Moore Jr. and his play Sunday, the run game wasn’t a strong point, as Alex Kozora pointed out in his film room either, highlighting this play where there is no hole to be found.
However, when it came to the quick screen game that Pittsburgh utilized as an extension of a non-existent run game, Moore was able to contribute in this area fairly well. We highlighted Moore’s athleticism in space coming out of Texas A&M, and we see an example of that on this screen pass to #81 Zach Gentry where Moore gets into open space, getting a hand on the defensive back to get Gentry to the second level, where he breaks a tackle and rumbles forward for the first down.
In pass protection Moore had his ups-and-downs, much like he has all season to this point. For example, Moore gives up the sack on this play, where #90 Naquan Jones shifts over into his gap, but Moore steps inside, blocking no one and giving Jones a free lane to #7 Ben Roethlisberger in the pocket, turning around knowing he missed his assignment as Jones wraps up Ben for the sack.
While this rep was pretty ugly, Moore actually represented himself well in pass protection for most of the contest, outside of that one play. For example, take a look at this rep against #58 Harold Landry, where Moore gets a good jump out of his stance on the snap and gets a good punch inside Landry’s torso. He needs to play with better pad level, as he stands up high here and gets pushed back into the pocket, causing Ben to have to escape to his right, but Landry doesn’t get home, which can be seen as somewhat of a positive.
Here is another pass protection rep against #48 Bud Dupree where Moore times the snap well with his vertical set to match Dupree’s get off, locking on with him and neutralizing the rush as Ben finds #88 Pat Freiermuth to move the chains.
Here is another rep against Dupree, where Moore initially gets shocked back because he is standing up tall and his feet stalled on contact, but he recovers and pushes Dupree out of the pocket as Ben hits #13 James Washington along the right sideline.
On this pass protection rep, Moore is tasked with keeping Ben clean while Landry comes off the edge from the Wide-9. Moore shows patience, allowing Landry to attack the depth of the pocket, where Moore turns and runs him around Ben, who finds Washington for the catch and run.
Overall, it was a so-so performance from Dan Moore Jr. in this one. Obviously, the push in the running game wasn’t there, but that could be said for the entire offensive line. He had that one miss in pass protection and needs to play with more hip and knee bend to set a firm anchor against power rushers, but he managed to keep the likes of Dupree and Landry away from Roethlisberger in this one, which is no small feat for a rookie LT. Moore graded out as the top OL for Pittsburgh by Pro Football Focus, and while the jury is still out as to whether Pittsburgh will ride with him as the LT of the future, this performance likely doesn’t hurt his case.
What are your thoughts on Dan Moore Jr.’s performance against the Titans? Do you think he represented himself well in this one, or that the constant technical mistakes and lack of running game success negates the positives in his tape? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below and thanks again for reading!