Home > Steeler Articles > Upon Further Review…Part Deux

Upon Further Review…Part Deux

– Miller almost always breaks a tackle or drags a defender for extra yards. It was no different against the Pats. Guy is so underrated.

– Kemo had another subpar game in pass protection, he was lucky that he wasn’t called for more holds and/or illegal hands to the face penalties. He is just not playing very well. I’d like to see Legs back in there but I don’t think it happens.

– Jerricho Cotchery’s lone and only reception of the year so far was a dandy. The ball was low and away from his body. Great snag on 3rd down.

– 3rd and goal from the 9, Brown and Miller both break in routes at around the 5 yard line. They weren’t really clearing the area for any other WR’s. Just dumb.

– I really hate the 5 wide even more inside the redzone. With a shortened field, it’s really pointless and counter productive and the Steelers used it way too much against the Pats. It was effective on the first TD pass but not much else.

– The Steelers seem to flood certain areas inside the 10 with multiple WR’s, which of course floods those areas with defenders. You’re not going to find too many open targets in those situations.

– Steelers should use Wallace more in short shallow crossing routes. It’s a great use of him outside of the long ball and makes for an easy completion.

– The 0-1 yard hitch pass plays should probably be used at a bare minimum at this point. I know the Steelers view these plays as extensions of the run game, but short dump offs to TE’s and RB’s can be too and would probably be much more effective at this point. Teams aren’t really fooled by the WR bubble/smoke screen anymore. On a 2nd and half a yard, the Steelers used one of these plays and it easily could’ve been intercepted. Wallace did have a couple nice gains out of these plays but outside of that, they weren’t effective Sunday.

– I stand corrected on my critique of Max Starks’ play. He was good throughout. There were times that his man would seemingly get around the slower Starks but Starks seemed to almost always recover and seal the defender in pass plays. There were a couple plays where he let his man around him, but overall real good game. The entire O-line played really well and they were helped by a continued emphasis on quick passes and a mediocre pass rushing Pats defense.

– For a rookie RT, Gilbert is playing great. Fairly athletic, too.

– Contrary to popular opinion, Ike Taylor didn’t exclusively cover Wes Welker. He covered a number of WR’s and TE’s, including TE Aaron Hernandez. And that was the case for every DB. Ryan Mundy covered TE Rob Gronkowski on the Pats first 3rd down of the game. The DB’s all really stepped it up in this game and showed they can cover man to man when given the opportunity.

– Given the above, Mundy was burned on a couple plays when covering the Pats athletic TE’s. Mundy just isn’t very fast for a FS.

– Brady actually underthrew a fairly open WR, Taylor Price, deep downfield in the 2nd half, with Ike in coverage one on one. There could’ve been a mistake in the coverage on the play as Taylor was left all alone deep in coverage. The Steelers pass rush forced Brady to step up into the pocket, resulting in an underthrown ball. Steelers dodged a bullet on that one

– Rookie Cortez Allen was pretty impressive in coverage duties, primarily tasked with covering one of the Pats athletic TE’s most of the game. On some creative Pats plays, the TE’s would release on delays and screens, but Allen showed great makeup speed when screened. The kid looks to have real nice speed.

– The much maligned  Willie Gay might be the one of the better open field tacklers in the Steelers secondary. At least the most technically sound. Gay is quietly having a pretty good season. Same goes for Keenan Lewis.

– Not only do better gameplans allow for better player execution, but I really think, mentally, players are going to play better KNOWING the coaches are putting them in a better position to succeed. Look at the way the entire Steelers defense continually swarmed around yesterday, giving 110%. These guys were AMPED. Definitely the highlight of the season for me as a fan so far. Brought back shades of the Indy playoff game of 2005.

Reality Check? As great a win as it was on Sunday, just how good are the Patriots this year? I thought at the beginning of the year that they would be in the driver’s seat for the #1 seed in the AFC. But more and more they look like an ordinary team outside of Brady and a few other players on offense. Their defense really is bad.

Hopefully just a coincidence – Do you remember the only other time the Steelers beat the Pats with Brady as the starting QB? Halloween, 2004, Ben’s rookie season. When did the Steelers beat them this year? The day before Halloween. Let’s hope this season doesn’t turn out like 2004, which was an eventual loss to the Pats in the AFC Championship. It wouldn’t shock me at this point if that turns out to be the eventual matchup in the playoffs this year (Yes, I am aware that statement contradicts what I just said about the Pats being ordinary, but guess what? The AFC sucks this year, as does pretty much the entire NFL outside of a few teams) .

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