Last week I noted the poor job the Pittsburgh Steelers did in their opener against the Denver Broncos at tackling the catch as they allowed 126 total YAC in that game. Now of course it did not help that Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas had 70 of those yards on the 1 yard screen pass from quarterback Peyton Manning that ended in a touchdown 70 yards later, but you just can\’t back those yards out as every play counts.
In the win Sunday against the New York Jets, not only did the Steelers defense allow just 10 pass completions on the day, they also only allowed just 34 YAC on those 10 catches with 14 of it coming on the pass completion from Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez to wide receiver Jeremy Kerley during the Jets first offensive possession of the game.
In total, the defense allowed a very acceptable 3.4 yards per catch in the game and only two explosive plays of 20 yards or more through the air, both to Kerley.
Limiting explosive plays is a key winning element in every football game and many times those plays occur after failing to wrap up the pass catcher quickly. Against the Jets the Steelers did a much better job in both of these areas.