Article

Tom’s Ten Takes – Steelers vs Eagles

Following each game in the 2022 Steelers season I will be giving you my 10 takes. These aren’t going to be hot takes and meant to shock the world. This will be instant reactions to the game written while still in that period just following the game when the emotions are high and the ideas are fresh. Included will be thoughts, observations, queries and reasons that caused me to yell at the television.

Game 8 – Philadelphia Eagles

1. You Get Your Choice – I will use the term “drive” although most of these do not fit that definition. Looking at the drives the team had in this game and there were basically two choices through most of the game. Three and out or double digit plays. Not until late in the game did they have failed drives of 6, 7 and 8. This team must be methodical executing play after play or not score points. The Eagles had three scoring drives of 3, 5 and 2 plays. Defenses have a clear advantage against this team with no explosive plays. Defenses do not look stressed at all.

2. You’re Doing It Wrong – Three long touchdowns in the first half to A.J. Brown. If you look at the coverage on all three, it wasn’t that bad. Minkah Fitzpatrick overran the first one or he could have broken up the pass. Ahkello Witherspoon was in good position on the other two and Jalen Hurts threw perfect passes. The first problem was giving him a free release off the line. If you’re going to play Press coverage you have to get our hands on him to slow him up (as James Pierre did in the second half). Secondly, you’ve got play the ball. Witherspoon didn’t do that and well, we saw the results. Time for the DB’s to get more physical.

3. Sutton’s Swats – Cameron Sutton has played very well so far this season. Going into this game he was allowing just fewer than 52% completions this year. The best number of his career. He had two more pass breakups in this game giving him eight. That ties his career high in just half a season. He has had at least one forced incompletion in every game but one. He’s a good tackler, plays screens very well and has become a steady player on the defense. Just need a couple more corners to step up.

4. “This Time” – After the touchdown pass by Chase Claypool those words were uttered by Jim Nance. The whole comment was something along the lines of, that was a great play call by Matt Canada (pause) “this time”. It made me chuckle because he understands how we feel. Even a blind squirrel will find a nut now and again. This bye week is the last chance for a change at OC. After that, they won’t do it until the season is over.

5. Back to the Drawing Board – This offense will run a play multiple times if it works the first time. Today that was the draw play. They have run it a few times in recent weeks, and I think it was about six or seven times today. It was literally the only running play that worked. The only identity this offense has is identifying as bad. There is nothing they do that is effective from week to week.

6. Who Got Two? – This is at least the third time this has happened. George Pickens didn’t get a target AGAIN until midway through the second quarter. Prior to that Steven Sims and Derek Watt each had two touches. Not targets, touches. Well, I suppose you do want to get the ball into the most dangerous offensive players. His three targets, all right on the sideline, included a play he couldn’t get his feet down, offensive pass interference and a dropped pass that could have been reviewed. I am continually confused by how they use him each week. Feed George early and often.

7. Wasting Time – Late in the second quarter Kenny Pickett hit Chase Claypool for a first down. There was 3:03 on the clock and the ball at the 39 yard line. The team is down 14 points. The next play isn’t run until 40 seconds later at 2:23. It’s a running play that gains no yards and takes it down to the two-minute warning. In one minute and three seconds they ran two plays. Where is the urgency?! They could have run several plays in that minute before the warning to try to score. They continually waste so much time prior to the two-minute warning. For some reason, they trust they can score in the final two minutes and don’t need those extra plays.

8. Before and After – I think Pickett is relying on his pre-snap reads too much. There are several plays where he threw deep balls down the left side were the receiver had no chance at making a catch. It seems like he trusts what he sees before the snap and decides to throw there regardless. It has happened a couple times the last few weeks on third and short as well. Choosing to throw incomplete to Diontae Johnson with Claypool open for easy first down conversions. The processing portion of his game needs to pick it up.

9. Especially Unacceptable – The offense has had their issues with drive killing penalties. That is an issue we know. Today, special teams said, “Hold my beer.” Three penalties on special teams with two being completely unacceptable. There was an illegal formation penalty on a kickoff. They didn’t explain what they did so I’m not sure what happened. And rookie kicker Nick Sciba hit a kickoff out of bounds. This type of free yardage leaves me shaking my head.

10. Good Numbers for a Reason – Last week it was Xavien Howard. This week it was James Bradberry and Darius Slay. The announcers swooning about what good coverage corners they are this season. Well, when they are constantly holding onto receivers it’s easy to cause incompletions. I don’t know what the numbers are, but it feels like opposing defenses are not being called for pass interference against the Steelers. Sadly, defensive pass interference has been used as a positive play for the offense in recent years. They need all the help they can get right now.

To Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!