Steelers Broncos Game Rewind – Second Half Notes

I have already posted my notes from the first half of the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-19 loss Sunday night to the Denver Broncos and below are my second half notes.

Ben Roethlisberger throws behind Jonathan Dwyer on first play of the second half. Had it been caught it would of gone for good yardage.

… and there is our Willie Colon false start. Luckily Roethlisberger converts the 3rd and long to Emmanuel Sanders. Roethlisberger threaded the needle into a tight window with a great throw.

Next play is a great job by Roethlisberger throwing in the direction of where the blitz came from for a nice gainer to Heath Miller. Great job by Roethlisberger on third down avoiding the rush and almost getting the first down. Doug Legursky allowed too easy of a pressure.

… and after the first down, our second Colon false start. Quota met.

On the second and 12 play, I wonder if Sanders missed a hot read as his man blitzed at the snap. Roethlisberger had no chance and was sacked easily. Antonio Brown false started on the play so it wouldn\’t have mattered. A blown dead whistle would have saved a hit on Roethlisberger.

Leave it to Big Ben, who hits Mike Wallace on consecutive plays for the first down. Very next play was almost 6 to Brown, but safety Mike Adams made a great play to knock it away. That would have been a very big touchdown. The long drive ends up resulting in just 3 points.

Keeping Peyton Manning on the sideline for an eternity was not long enough as Demaryius Thomas took a 1 yard screen 70 more yards for a touchdown. I have broken down that play here.

Helmet to helmet hit on Sanders saved the next Steelers drive after two early throws in the drive by Roethlisberger were almost picked off. Legursky gives up easy sack on the second down play that followed.

… and Roethlisberger converts to Miller on third and 18. Incredible the way he gets it done on third downs. Miller schooled the linebacker with an out and up route. Simple, but effective.

Facemask on the next play gets the ball deeper into Broncos territory. Dwyer with the catch and nice effort after it on the very next play. Looking good here.

Roethlisberger sails the next pass over the head of Jerricho Cotchery and it is likely because Legursky has allowed too deep of pressure. Isaac Redman did a good job on right side with pass protection. Huge miss, but Steelers convert to Miller to keep the drive alive. I can\’t say enough about the run by Dwyer where he almost scored. He is the best of the backs right now easily.

Blocking on the 2nd and goal play was bad. Mike Adams easily allowed his man through the gap with a bad reach. Wallace scores and uses his body well in the process.  Leonard Pope would have had an easy two point conversion but the pass was tipped at the line.

First play of the Broncos next drive, Brett Keisel is buried and Chris Carter is blocked out of the lane. Both of the middle linebackers are easily rode off. On the very next play, Keisel and Larry Foote are pushed down field as the Broncos line is really starting to take over the game.

Virtually no pressure at this point and the threat of the run makes it easy for Manning to sit in the pocket and eat underneath the zone coverage.

Eric Decker was down after the catch and the call was made correctly.

The touchdown to Jacob Tamme was easy on a well executed pick play that Ryan Mundy had no shot on. Manning rolled to that side to make sure of no pressure. Manning had all day on the two point conversion and hit Willis McGahee after he shook Mundy loose.

The deep ball to Wallace was played perfectly by Tracy Porter, who almost gets a pick on the very next play on an ill-advised throw by Roethlisberger, who missed Wallace running free on a busted coverage. Big sequence of plays right there and the Steelers punt.

The run blitz fails on the next Broncos drive and off they go.

On the next play Lawrence Timmons is held but nothing is called. Then a no call on an illegal pick play as Tamme makes an easy catch after Cortez Allen is picked. After a pass interference call on Keenan Lewis the Steelers manage to hold and Lewis ends up making the third down play to get his revenge.

As bad as things went in this game, the Steelers get the ball back with 3 minutes left and down 6 points. I am not sure what Roethlisberger saw on the pick 6 by Porter, but it was by far his worst and most costly throw of the night.

The final three sacks are not even worth breaking down. Game over.

  • grw1960

    Not only was Cortez picked on Tamme’s catch. Cortez was also grabbed by the picker as the picker was falling.
    The Broncos offense seemed to get away with a lot of holding in the 2nd half.

  • Let’s not forget Pouncey getting beaten badly by #96 on the play in the 4th Q which caused Ben to miss seeing a wide open Wallace.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    the refs havent learned holdong yet…its almost like the have never refereed anything in their lives

  • Buccos9

    I was pleased to read Dejan Kovacevic’s article in today’s Tribune. It said:

    “The coaches should look in the mirror, too. Manning outsmarts most opponents, but
    there had to be an extra sting in hearing Denver receiver Brandon
    Stokley say of the Steelers’ late defensive collapse: “I think they
    pretty much did the same thing all game.”

    Hey, maybe it’s the strategies and adjustments that are OLD and SLOW.”

    As much as I dislike the Patriots, I have to admit that Belichek is a great coach because he tries to take away what a team does best and then makes adjustments at half time if a scheme isn’t working. It saddens me to say I didn’t see that from the Steelers coaching staff in the first game. On the other hand, you could argue they grossly overcompensated trying to take away Tebow’s running in the playoff loss and let a poor QB beat them throwing the ball.

  • Rick Hankey

    I agree, there is nothing wrong with “bend and don’t break” against Manning. If you hold him to FG’s we would have likely won the game. But if you play “Bend don’t Break” you HAVE to tackle, and we did not. That said, the game plan against Brady last year was brilliant and we should ALWAYS have that in our hip pocket for situations like Sunday night when “bend don’t break” is NOT working. All that said, a simple tackle on Thomas and it could have been a whole different game defensively. Agreed, Stokley’s remarkes are disturbing.

  • Buccos9

    It’s quite true that if the tackling was better, and a couple of plays
    had gone differently, the Steelers could have won the game. It was there for the taking. We are always quick to blame players when the team doesn’t win, and they were very sloppy in some areas in the Denver game, especially tackling. But coaches need to be accountable too. The job of a coach is not just to train players, but also to put them in the best position to succeed during the games. I don’t think the coaches held up their end of the bargain.

  • Great point Pravin thats exactly what i’ve been saying as well. Had the line gave been two seconds, he wouldve had time to see Wallace. The pressure got there instantly and Ben didn’t have the light of day.

    Also Ben did acknowledge that he should have called a timeout before the pick 6 as there was confusion which someone clearly pointed out.

  • SteelSpine

    Emmanuel Sanders: Sanders is too slim/weak to box-out near a defender. If Steelers insist on calling that play, hindsight says shoulda used MIller who can come back for the ball instead. Tho Ben shouldnt have thrown that INT, so many plays our blocking was a jailbreak thru turnstyles that maybe Ben therefore took a chance hoping that timing-play would work. Also it didnt look like Steelers had practiced that play (not enough), so maybe if had not had to allocate crash-course practice-time throwing to Wallace all week, either Sanders couldof practiced that enough, or Wallace woulda been ready to run that route -because Wallace is slightly bigger.

    Timmons: I agree with all the posts regarding Timmons in his career has not shown good instincts, has not lived up to being a first rounder.