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Breaking Down The Great Blocking On The Chris Rainey Touchdown Run


One of the plays from Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday night win over the Cincinnati Bengals that perhaps best illustrates how good the offensive line blocked in the game was the 11-yard touchdown run by rookie running back Chris Rainey.

Steelers Chris Rainey TD run animated gif Bengals

As you can see in the animated gif above, the Steelers used their 11 personnel (zebra) grouping on the play which includes three wide receivers and one tight end. The formation on the play is single back, slot strong left against a Bengals defense that is in their nickel sub package and playing cover-2 with man coverage on the outside receivers.

With the safeties deep, the Bengals defense is inviting a run and that is exactly what the Steelers do. Tight end Heath Miller goes into a short motion and then back pre snap. At the snap of the ball both he and left guard Willie Colon pull to the right side.

Also at the snap, center Doug Legursky locks up Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins, while right guard Ramon Foster starts on defensive tackle Domata Peko. Right tackle Mike Adams is impressive on this play as he first bangs left on Peko to ensure Foster can turn him before heading out to get the strong inside linebacker Rey Maualuga, who is coming over to fill the hole. This is excellent execution by Adams on the play and it really ensures the lane for Rainey to the endzone is there.

Colon kicks out defensive end Robert Geathers on the play while Miller kicks out the other linebacker Vontaze Burfict. His block is timed so well that he also walls off Geathers as he attempts to come off of the bock of Colon.

The false jump step by Rainey to the left at the snap helps freeze the linebackers for half a second and he then reads the lane perfectly on the way to his first career touchdown.

This was as simple of a pulling power running play that you can get, but the Seteelers have had problems executing it perfectly so far this season. They certainly did Sunday night.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Koleman Dudek

    The offensive line is coming together! A lot of young talent. It will be good to get DeCastro back in the fold.

    They have to stay healthy!

  • Vic

    I would like to see Adams start over Gilbert . Adams plays with a burst. Gilbert plays to lazy.

  • MailboxKid

    Adams over Gilbert? No way, Adams can’t even hold his own side. Gilbert is a better tackle as of now but with the playing time Adams is getting it is possible that he could be a legitimate starter by the end of the season.

  • kristopher fine

    as of now gilbert is hurt. adams is the better as of now. just giving you a hard time. i get what you are saying and only time will tell. besides, i haven’t heard anything definitive on how long gilbert will be out.

  • TJimmy

    Rainey’s fast acceleration through the hole also helped

  • Andrew Grigsby

    I won’t start Adams over Gilbert this season but maybe next yr if Starks is gone.I was suprised to see Legursky play as well as he did. He is a soild NFL back up for sure.

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