Ryan Clark Had The Wrong Type Of Tackles Monday Night Against The Chiefs

When you look at the defensive stat line from the Pittsburgh Steelers 16-13 win Monday night over the Kansas City Chiefs you will see that safety Ryan Clark led the team in combined tackles with 10. He had 8 solo tackles and 2 assist to be specific.

This post is not aimed at slapping Clark as I believe that he has played great this season, and good Monday night. The point I want to make in this post is that Clark was forced to make too many tackles against the run at the second level, or after 5 yards to be specific.

8 of the tackles that Clark made Monday night were run tackles with 6 of them coming after 7 yards or more gained. I did some digging, and so far this season, Clark has been in on 44 total run tackles with 25 of them being made with 5 yards or less gained. The other 19 run tackles that he has made were after 6 yards or more.

As you can see, Clark only had to make 13 tackles on runs 6 yards or longer heading into that game. Monday night he had to make nearly half that many. That\’s not what you want to see.

The Steelers defensive line simply did not do a good job at filling gaps against the Chiefs and several times LaMarr Woodley and Larry Foote did a poor job at containing the edge or filling the gaps respectively. This led to Clark having to come up and make the tackles.

Not all run tackles are created equal for safeties. The 5 yard or less variety are fine, but the ones that need to be made past that distance shows that the people up front were not doing their job against the run. Hopefully this changes this coming Sunday night against the Baltimore Ravens as Clark certainly could use a little less wear and tear on him coming off of another concussion.

  • disqus_1ftavbBv4l

    So Dave, In your opinion.. was it Ziggy, Woodley or Foote who played a horrible game and got exposed or is it all of them?

  • SteelerFanInMD

    I think the Steelers took the Chiefs too lightly and were looking ahead to the next game against the Ravens.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Teams, I have personally felt, have run well on us but no team really tried to exploit that…it was KC’s only chance and it showed what I felt and that is our run defense isnt great. Hood to me is a poor DE and I hope Heyward can step up and get a few reps. The ravens can be dangerous because they can both pass and run well. If we cant make them 1 dimensional we have no chance in this game with Leftwich.

  • JT

    Luckily they still employ Cam Cameron. Our only hope.

  • JT

    Ziggy played the worst, IMO. Woodley was able to get some pressueres later on. Foote wasn’t great, but didn’t get pushed around like Ziggy did.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I think the whole Dline looked bad against the run. In fact, I think the front 7 looked bad. The way this team played this week against the run will get them killed if Baltimore runs Ray Rice the same way.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    Yup, whatever seems to be working for the Ravens during a game he inexplicably scraps it and goes the other way come the second half or sooner.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    Ryan Clark and Keenan Lewis seem to be the only players on defense who consistently “show up”. One could even add Ike T. but i’m not there yet. Everyone else “makes plays” occasionally which equates to not good enough. Foote had his best game against Denver, Timmons is beginning to show signs of a pulse, Woodley gets paid and I think he’s still counting his money, Harrison is done, Casey too, Keisel gives good effort but with little results…I’ll just stop.

  • Pete

    Great point Dave. They seemed to collectively have a bit of trouble with Charles. Charles is no slouch of a RB. He has great burst and quickness. While I agree with you generally regarding what Clark had to do, they did keep Charles from making any game changing runs which at times he seemed a hair away from making. Even though he did gain 100 yds, they kept him from killing them.

    The Steelers were not as physical with the Chiefs as they were with the Giants on both sides of the ball. I really hope they bring that physicality back for the Ravens or else we’ll be in trouble.