Missed Tackles Report: Steelers vs. Bills

For the third straight week, the Pittsburgh Steelers struggled to tackle cleanly and consistently defensively, leading to yet another crushing defeat, dropping the black and gold to 1-4 on the season.

After putting together two strong performances to open the season against the Cincinnati Bengals (just six missed tackles) and New England Patriots (seven missed tackles), the Steelers have put together three straight performances of double-digit misses with 11 coming against the Cleveland Browns, 10 against the New York Jets, and now 10 against the Buffalo Bills.

Dealing with a ton of injuries defensively certainly isn’t helping the Steelers tackle well, but on Sunday against the Bills, a number of key names dotted the missed tackles list, based on my charting.

Total missed tackles at Bills — 10 

Levi Wallace – 2
Tre Norwood – 2
Cameron Heyward – 1
Minkah Fitzpatrick – 1
Devin Bush – 1
DeMarvin Leal – 1
Arthur Maulet – 1
Benny Snell Jr. – 1 (special teams)

Total missed tackles in 2022 (five games) — 44 (8.8 misses per game)

Terrell Edmunds – 6 (13 tackles on 19 total attempts, 31.5% miss rate)
Arthur Maulet – 6 (one on sack attempt, one on special teams) (18 tackles on 24 total attempts, 25% miss rate)
Myles Jack – 3 (50 tackles on 53 total attempts, 5.7% miss rate)
Cameron Sutton – 3 (16 tackles on 19 total attempts, 15.8% miss rate)
Alex Highsmith – 3 (two on sack attempts) (25 tackles on 28 total attempts, 10.7% miss rate)
Levi Wallace – 3 (13 tackles on 16 total attempts, 18.7% miss rate)
Tre Norwood – 3 (12 tackles on 15 total attempts, 20% miss rate)
DeMarvin Leal – 2 (nine tackles on 11 total attempts, 18.2% miss rate)
Minkah Fitzpatrick – 2 (33 tackles on 35 total attempts, 5.7% miss rate)
Devin Bush – 2 (30 tackles on 32 total attempts, 6.25% miss rate)
Ahkello Witherspoon – 2 (20 tackles on 22 total attempts, 11.7% miss rate)
Delontae Scott – 1 (zero tackles on one total attempt, 100% miss rate)
Derek Watt – 1 (special teams) (zero tackles on one total attempt, 100% miss rate)
Malik Reed – 1 (nine tackles on 10 total attempts, 10% miss rate)
Chris Wormley – 1 (14 tackles on 15 total attempts, 6.6% miss rate)
Tyson Alualu – 1 (six tackles on seven total attempts, 14.3% miss rate)
Montravious Adams – 1 (four tackles on five total attempts, 20% miss rate)
Larry Ogunjobi – 1 (12 tackles on 13 total attempts, 7.7% miss rate)
Cameron Heyward – 1 (21 tackles on 22 total attempts, 4.5% miss rate)
Benny Snell Jr. – 1 (special teams) (two tackles on three total attempts, 33.3% miss rate)

Against the Bills, the Steelers secondary — already shorthanded due to injuries — really struggled to tackle on Sunday. Tre Norwood, filling in for Terrell Edmunds, tied for the team lead with Levi Wallace (making his return to Buffalo) for the most missed tackles in the 38-3 loss with two.

Minkah Fitzpatrick and Arthur Maulet also missed tackles in the loss, while Cameron Heyward recorded just his first miss of the season on a Josh Allen scramble. Overall, the missed tackles number from Sunday’s blowout loss isn’t as high as many would expect in a lopsided game like that, but it’s still a concern moving forward because when the Steelers miss double digit tackles throughout my years of charting this, they tend to lose much more often than they win.

That may be obvious, and I understand if people rolled their eyes and scoffed at that last sentence, but it’s worth noting. Missing tackles goes hand in hand with winning or losing with the Steelers.

After spending the last three seasons going against Stefon Diggs in practice each and every day, Wallace had a really tough time trying to get his former teammate on the ground in Sunday’s loss. Wallace missed on the second drive of the game on a screen to Diggs that the Steelers fortunately rallied to quickly.

However, his worst miss against Diggs will make Diggs’ highlight tape thanks to the nasty stiffarm he gave Wallace, throwing him to the ground on a short catch and run.


That about sums up how the day went for the Steelers.

In the second half, the Bills were again driving offensively when Norwood recorded his second miss of the game. HIs first one game on Devin Singletary’s long run down the left sideline, but his second one came in the red zone on an alert RPO on a bubble to backup wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins.


That’s a play that Norwood has to make, especially coming downhill in space. He’s been good at it recently, but came up small here against the Bills. Buffalo did a tremendous job of getting guys the football in space, stressing the Steelers’ secondary to make plays in space from a tackling perspective. Time and time again, they couldn’t do it.

Finally, on James Cook’s touchdown run to put the final nail in the coffin, Minkah Fitzpatrick missed just his second tackle of the season.

It looked a lot like the misses Fitzpatrick had in 2021 after being worn down trying to defend the run. Fitzpatrick certainly isn’t healthy and his battling a knee injury, but he missed in a major way here in space, allowing Cook to waltz into the end zone.


Ryan Anderson did a terrible job backside here opening up the cutback lane, but Fitzpatrick has to make that play in space coming downhill against the run. He’s made it time and time again this season, but he was’t able to on Sunday and it resulted in another six points for the Bills. That’s how the day went.

Offensively, the Steelers forced 10 missed tackles against the Bills in more than 36 minutes with the football in the blowout loss. That means the Steelers and Bills tied in missed tackles on Sunday, moving the Steelers to 1-3-1 on the season in the tackling department.

Total forced missed tackles at Bills — 10 

Jaylen Warren – 4
Diontae Johnson – 3
Najee Harris – 1
Connor Heyward – 1
Steven Sims – 1 (special teams)

Total forced missed tackles through five games — 43 (8.6 forced missed per game)

Najee Harris – 16
Jaylen Warren – 6
Diontae Johnson – 5
Mitch Trubisky – 4
Pat Freiermuth – 3
George Pickens – 3
Zach Gentry – 1
Chase Claypool – 1
Gunner Olszewski – 1 (special teams)
Benny Snell Jr. – 1 (special teams)
Connor Heyward – 1
Steven Sims – 1 (special teams)

Jaylen Warren played extremely hard in Sunday’s loss, especially in the fourth quarter. Granted, the Bills had taken their foot off the gas at this point, but Warren continued to play hard, forcing three missed tackles in the final 15 minutes of action to finish with four on the day.

He was determined with the football in his hands late, dishing out punishment where he could.


He will never quit and will take advantage of every opportunity he gets. He truly is a bowling ball with the football in his hands. It’s remarkable to watch. He certainly adds a different element to the offense, at least at the moment, and deserves more playing time in non-blowout situations.

At receiver, Diontae Johnson is struggling to catch the football again. When he does though, he continues to make guys miss in space. He has elite level stop/start abilities and can destroy angles in the blink of an eye.

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