Steelers Offensive Line Breakdown – New York Giants – Week 9
Below is the week 9 offensive line breakdown for the Pittsburgh Steelers win over the New York Giants
For a team that rushed for 158 yards you would think that the run blocking would have been consistently good. Don\’t get me wrong, there were several plays were the blocking was excellent as a unit that produced some good runs, but a lot of credit in this game goes to Isaac Redman, who had tons of yardage after first contact. The Giants defensive tackles did a pretty good job overall at controlling the gaps, but their defense over all, especially their linebackers, did a poor job of making plays. Outside of the sacks and a few pressures, the pass protection as a whole was great.
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Ramon Foster – Another overall solid performance by Foster in this game. A few plays he released his block to early for my liking, and a few others where he wasn\’t in control, but that was it. On the few pulls to the left in this game I thought he showed some improvement. Also when asked to get to the second level he did. Foster always plays through the whistle and never takes plays off. Was he dominant run blocking in this game? No, but neither were the other four. The pass protection by Foster was great. His demerit came on one of the sacks as he was no help to Mike Adams and the two were split. Adams was charged, but Foster could have helped better. On the touchdown to Emmanuel Sanders it would have been easy to give Foster a demerit, but he walked his man out of the eventual passing lane after he came across his face.
Max Starks – Only once in this game was Starks great out in space. It just isn\’t his specialty at this point in his career. We didn\’t see so many effective double teams this week with Starks and Willie Colon this week either. Now on the big third down run by Redman on the game winning drive, he blocked down inside very well. That left Heath Miller to take care of the rest, which he did after losing off of the line of scrimmage. This was not a bad game overall in the run blocking department for Starks, it just wasn\’t one that made you want to go back and watch it over and over again. In the pass protection department Starks did allow 2 pressures and the sack fumble that was returned for a touchdown when he did not cut off the corner. A few times his drop might have been deeper than you would like to see, but often times he was against a very wide-9 – wide-8 type of pass rush. Starks almost scored in the 90% range, and against that Giants front I will take that.
Maurkice Pouncey – Pouncey was once again fantastic in pass protection but was off of his game in the run blocking department. He was not very good at the second level and did not work well several times on double teams with Colon. There were run plays where he was good, but several where he was stalemated and did not have control of the gap. As I mentioned in the intro, the Giants for the most part had good gap control, but when they didn\’t, they gave up some big runs. Outside of a few nice runs, there were not consistent wide lanes to run in and Pouncey struggled on a couple of plays getting off the first block.
Mike Adams – Adams is fine out in space, but I would still like to see him hold his blocks longer even when the run is inside the guards. There were times I thought he let off of his block too soon which allowed his man to get in on the tackle. I may have graded him a little too tough in this department, but I would like to see him finish plays better and through the whistle more consistently. Pass protection wise, Adams was the weak link. He allowed 2 sacks and a pressure. On one of the sacks he was just fooled and beat inside way too easy. On the other he was on one leg and never recovered. Both were results of bad footwork in my opinion and he didn\’t keep his base under him. On the pressure, he just allowed his man to come across face to easy without getting hands on him. The final demerit came on a poor cut block early in the game that resulted in a batted down pass.
Willie Colon – I thought Colon had a few great run blocks in this game but he wasn\’t consistent. He certainly was not as in control or nasty as he has been in the last few games. He didn\’t work well in double teams with Pouncey and failed to turn out a few times. Like Adams and Pouncey, I might have graded him a little too tough after seeing what I saw the last few games prior. Colon had too many stalemates in this game for my liking and his pulls right mostly saw him in the hole a tick late. Pass protection wise, Colon was great as he only had 1 pressure allowed. Regardless of if I graded him too tough, it wasn\’t the quality of run blocking we have seen from Colon the past several weeks.