The Pittsburgh Steelers narrowly defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday night by a score of 16-15. Pittsburgh took the lead late in the fourth quarter much like the week prior against the Seahawks, having Mason Rudolph connect with Tyler Snead for the go-ahead score. Th Jaguars missed a field goal as time expired, securing the victory for Pittsburgh.
Still, while the Steelers came out with the win, Mike Tomlin wasn’t pleased with the overall play of his team, stating that they got beat for a majority of the game and had a couple big plays go their way to help then get the win. One key point Tomlin pointed to was the poor play upfront on the offensive line, stating that they did a poor job protecting the QB and getting a push in the running game.
That was the case for second-year LT Dan Moore Jr. who struggled mightily throughout the night. Moore got thrown into the fire as a rookie fourth-round pick last season and played like a first-year mid-round pick. However, he showed improvement down the stretch of 2021, suggesting that he could take a step forward in Year Two and potentially develop into a capable starting LT. However, Moore looked completely overwhelmed Saturday in Jacksonville, allowing pass rushers into the pocket nearly on every play.
Take, for example, the second offensive play for Pittsburgh where #41 Josh Allen comes off the edge and bends around the corner as Moore is slow to sync up his feet and punch to keep him from getting around the corner, turning the edge into the pocket and nearly gets Trubisky who is able to escape and throw the ball away.
Here’s another example against Allen where Moore takes short, choppy steps in his pass set and shoots his hands forward and drops his head as he tries to punch Allen coming on the rush. Moore immediately opens up his outside shoulder as Allen rips through and collapses the pocket, forcing Trubisky to run for his life and throw the ball into coverage.
Moore was able to win some reps in pass protection against the Jaguars, but often coming off of poor technique. Watch this rep against #45 K’Lavon Chaisson where Moore fails to set the depth of the pocket as Chaisson comes off the edge, getting to Moore’s outside shoulder and bends the corner. Moore misses his punch on Chaisson’s chest, but Moore gets his hands on the defender’s shoulder and rides him into the turf, body slamming him as he collapses the pocket.
Moore failed to play with a strong base an anchor throughout the contest, regularly getting pushed into the lap of the QB and allowed the pocket to collapse. Watch this rep against Allen where the edge rusher gets his hands inside Moore’s chest, walking him back into the pocket as he crosses Moore’s face inside and pressures Trubisky who must get rid of the ball early to Benny Snell, resulting in an incomplete pass.
Here on this sack of Trubisky by Arden Key, Moore and LG Kevin Dotson fail to communicate the twist upfront where Josh Allen is looping around and Key collapses the B gap right between the two and takes Trubisky to the ground with Moore in the middle of it. While the play needs to be better communicated by both parties, Moore must be aware of the delay by Allen and Key coming through his gap and put up a better fight on the rep.
You may remember Kenny Pickett having to throw two TD passes at the end of the half due to one being negated by a holding penalty. That penalty came against yours truly which negated a Td pass to Diontae Johnson. To be fair, Josh Allen got called for offsides on the play as well, resulting in offsetting penalties. However, when you watch the rep, you see Moore fail to cut off the corner as Allen rips right through his outside shoulder, making Moore look like a turnstile as he grabs Allen to prevent Pickett from getting drilled in the pocket.
Even as a run blocker, Moore didn’t provide much confidence with his play on Saturday night. Here on this run from the shotgun, we see Moore look to climb to the second level. However, he fails to pick one of the LBs to block splitting the difference as both defenders get in on the tackle on Jaylen Warren as Moore pauses and sizes up #54 Foyesade Oluokun without ever making significant contact.
Overall, it was a disappointing outing for Dan Moore Jr. who was supposed to take a step forward heading into his second season after picking up some momentum last year down the stretch. He looked completely overwhelmed as a pass protector, showing poor footwork in his pass sets and poor use of his hands on his punch. The of syncing up his feet and hands plagued him last season and looks to have carried over based on the preseason tape so far which is something he must clean up to help keep the QB clean in the pocket.
What was disturbing watching Moore’s tape was his lack of impact in the running game which was an aspect of his game that seemed to come on strong at the end of 2021. He looked lost and pensive at times, no knowing who to block and failed to run through the defender’s face. It’s just one game for Moore and he can try to rebound from this dreadful performance, but the issues he showed Saturday night leave little optimism about his prospects as the team’s starting LT this season and being the LT of the future in Pittsburgh.
What are your thoughts on Dan Moore Jr. against the Jaguars? Do you think that it was one bad game, or that these are reoccurring issues in his play? Is there still hope for him to develop into the long-term solution at LT in Pittsburgh? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below and thanks again for reading!