On an emotional night at Heinz Field, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense play matched the emotion in the air, dominating the Cleveland Browns’ offense from start to finish.
Not only did the Steelers sack Baker Mayfield nine times and pick him off twice, the Steelers’ defense recorded a season-low four missed tackles against Cleveland, matching a dominant performance on the stat sheet with a dominant performance in the tackling department.
That is especially impressive considering the Steelers were down to their third and fourth-string inside linebackers against a run-heavy Cleveland defense. While the Browns puzzlingly went away from the run, the Steelers were fantastic tackling the ball carrier quickly and efficiently.
Let’s take a look at the Week 17 missed tackles report for the Steelers’ 26-14 win over the Browns at Heinz Field.
Total missed tackles vs. Browns — 4
- Terrell Edmunds — 1
- Henry Mondeaux — 1
- Miles Killebrew — 1
- Trey Edmunds — 1 (special teams)
Total missed tackles through 16 games – 170 (10.63 misses per game)
- Minkah Fitzpatrick — 18 (118 total tackles on 136 total attempts, 13.2% miss rate)
- Cameron Sutton – 13 (47 total tackles on 60 total attempts, 21.6% miss rate)
- Terrell Edmunds – 14 (86 total tackles on 100 total attempts, 14% miss rate)
- Joe Schobert – 12 (108 total tackles on 120 total attempts, 10% miss rate)
- Alex Highsmith — 11 (one on sack attempt) (70 total tackles on 81 total attempts, 13.6% miss rate)
- Joe Haden – 9 (34 tackles on 43 total attempts, 20.9% miss rate)
- T.J. Watt — 8 (three on sack attempt) (59 total tackles on 67 total attempts, 11.9% miss rate)
- Devin Bush – 8 (66 tackles on 74 total attempts, 10.8% miss rate)
- Robert Spillane — 8 (two on special teams)(51 total tackles on 59 total attempts, 13.5% miss rate)
- Arthur Maulet — 7 (two on special teams) (39 total tackles on 46 total attempts, 15.2% miss rate)
- Tre Norwood — 6 (one on sack attempt)(one on special teams) (37 total tackles on 43 total attempts, 13.9% miss rate)
- Henry Mondeaux — 5 (one on sack attempt) (15 total tackles on 20 total attempt, 25% miss rate)
- Justin Layne – 5 (four on special teams) (16 total tackles on 21 total attempts, 23.8% miss rate)
- James Pierre – 5 (two on special teams) (47 total tackles on 52 total attempts, 9.6% miss rate)
- Chris Wormley — 5 (one on sack attempt) (44 total tackles on 49 total attempts, 10.2% miss rate)
- Derrek Tuszka – 4 (two on special teams) (18 total tackles on 22 total attempts, 18.2% miss rate)
- Isaiah Buggs – 4 (17 total tackles on 21 total attempts, 19% miss rate)
- Akhello Witherspoon – 4 (14 total tackles on 18 total attempts, 22.2% miss rate)
- Miles Killebrew — 4 (special teams) (11 total tackles on 15 total attempt, 26.6% miss rate)
- Melvin Ingram — 3 (10 total tackles on 13 total attempts, 23.1% miss rate)
- Isaiahh Loudermilk — 3 (one on sack attempt) (22 tackles on 25 total attempts, 12% miss rate)
- Cameron Heyward — 2 (83 total tackles on 85 total attempts, 2.3% miss rate)
- Taco Charlton – 2 (one on sack attempt) (18 tackles on 20 total attempts, 10% miss rate)
- Marcus Allen — 2 (special teams) (nine total tackles on 11 total attempts, 18.2% miss rate)
- Jamir Jones — 1 (three total tackles on four total attempts, 25% miss rate)
- Benny Snell Jr. — 1 (special teams)(seven tackles on eight total attempts, 12.5% miss rate)
- Ulysees Gilbert III — 1 (special teams) (13 tackles on 14 total attempts, 7.1% miss rate)
- Derek Watt – 1 (special teams) (14 tackles on 15 total attempts, 6.6% miss rate)
- Buddy Johnson — 1 (two tackles on three total attempts, 33.3% miss rate)
- Christian Kuntz — 1 (special teams) (two tackles on three total attempts, 33.3% miss rate)
- John Simon — 1 (zero total tackles on one total attempt, 100% miss rate)
- Trey Edmunds — 1 (special teams) (zero total tackles on one total attempt, 100% miss rate)
That’s just a beautiful stat to write down after an emotional win for the Steelers.
Just four missed tackles. Not only is that a season low, that’s the second-lowest mark the Steelers have recorded in the last three-seasons. Pretty darn good, folks.
Here I will show you just two of the four missed tackles as they were the easiest ones to show.
In the first half the Steelers struggled a bit against the run, allowing Nick Chubb and D’Earnest Johnson to rip off some big runs. Most of the big runs had nothing to do with missed tackles, but Henry Mondeaux recorded his fifth miss of the season on this one.
Mondeaux played this run from Johnson really well, stacking and shedding the block of Browns’ star guard Joel Bitonio to get into the rush lane for a shot at Johnson. The Browns’ running back does a great job spinning back outside of the tackle attempt by Mondeaux, but the Steelers’ defense does a great job getting him on the ground quickly.
Early in the third quarter as Nick Chubb spent awhile on the Browns’ bench leading to some questions, Cleveland opened up the second half on the ground with the star running back, and he quickly created a highlight.
Look, Chubb is a very tough running back to tackle, let alone in space when you’re going to go high like Miles Killebrew does here.
As expected in this situation, Chubb throws Killebrew to the ground with such force that the Steelers’ reserve safety actually bounces off the turf back into a sitting position. Rarely do you see that type of strength and violence in a stiff arm. Next time Killebrew goes to tackle Chubb, you can bet he won’t go high.
Fortunately for Killebrew and the Steelers, rookie running back Najee Harris repaid the favor to Browns’ cornerback M.J. Stewart later in the third quarter. I won’t show that here because it’s everywhere at this point, and Harris was a forced missed tackle machine on Monday night.
Offensively, the Steelers forced 14 missed tackles against the Browns, winning the tackles battle with a season-high mark of +10. Well done.
Total forced missed tackles vs. Browns — 14
- Najee Harris — 10
- Diontae Johnson — 2
- Pat Freiermuth — 1
- Ray-Ray McCloud — 1 (special teams)
Total forced misses through 16 games— 201 (12.56 forced misses per game)
- Najee Harris – 99
- Diontae Johnson — 30
- Ray-Ray McCloud — 29 (22 on special teams)
- Chase Claypool — 11
- Pat Freiermuth — 9
- JuJu Smith-Schuster – 8
- Kalen Ballage — 4
- Mason Rudolph — 3
- Zach Gentry — 2
- James Washington — 2
- Benny Snell Jr. — 2
- Anthony Miller — 1
Harris is just so darn impressive. It’s becoming hilarious at this point how adept he is at forcing defenders to miss.
On Monday against the Browns, in the midst of his best game of the season, Harris was a one-man force, causing many problems for the Browns’ defense.
I wanted to highlight this forced missed tackle against Browns’ safety Grant Delpit because it shows off the lower body strength of Harris.
Watch the way his thighs absorb this shot from Delpit, causing the Browns’ safety to bounce off of him in the hole, allowing Harris to pick up additional yardage after contact. Remember, 181 of 188 yards on Monday night came after contact. Remarkable.
Later in the first half, Harris showed off his elusiveness in space.
He might be a power back, but he moves very well laterally and has good vision overall.
That’s a heck of a job setting up Delpit in the hole, bouncing back inside to make the Browns’ young safety miss once again, allowing Harris to move the chains.
My favorite forced missed tackle of the night came from one Diontae Johnson though. He’s an absolute magician.
Late in the first half on a quick throw to the left flat, Johnson forces two Browns’ defenders to miss with time winding down, somehow getting out of bounds in the process to preserve timeouts.
He’s just so darn good in space, knows how to set up defenders and is able to get skinny in space and take away target areas for defenders to hit. That’s a special quality that he possesses as part of his terrific all-around game.