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Pittsburgh Steelers Versus Chicago Bears – Second Half Recap


By Matthew Marczi

The slow start to the season for the Pittsburgh Steelers dragged to a crawl early on in the first half of their third game against the Chicago Bears as they quickly fell behind 17-0, and then 24-3. However, a 33-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown helped spark some life into the lethargic Steelers, who finished the second quarter down two touchdowns and looking to get off to a fast start in the second half.

Ben Roethlisberger seemed to be looking deep on first down, but once again he had to change his plans and dump it off to Felix Jones, who gained seven yards. However, he put the ball on the ground on second down, and the Bears recovered deep in Steelers territory.

Unlike last week, Vince Williams took the field on defense to start the second half, rather than Kion Wilson. Perhaps this is the new norm. Martellus Bennett broke about four tackles on first down to set up second and three, and Matt Forte made it third and one. On third down, Michael Bush was about a yard short of the mark to force the Bears to settle for a field goal. Still, the score made it a three-possession game at 27-10.

David Johnson caught his second pass of the season, this time down the field for a 32-yard gain across midfield. Roethlisberger’s next pass intended for the back was tipped, however, as the quarterback did not get enough air under the ball. On second down, a bubble screen to Emmanuel Sanders gained nine yards thanks to a nice block by Jerricho Cotchery. On third down, Isaac Redman made his first appearance of the game, and he helped push Roethlisberger forward to convert the first down on a quarterback sneak.

Redman went back to the sidelines as Jonathan Dwyer made some people miss for another Steelers first down into field goal range. He had no room to work with on the next two carries, however, setting up another third and long. The third down pass went to Heath Miller a couple yards short of the first, settling for a field goal to make it a two-possession game once again.

The Steelers came very close to forcing a three and out, and would have if not for an illegal contact penalty on William Gay, who defended the first two plays. Jay Cutler was hit as he threw by Jason Worilds, making the pass uncatchable. Two plays later, LaMarr Woodley got his second sack of the season, and the team’s second of the game, setting up third and 16. Cutler was pressured once again, who tried to dump the ball off to Bush, but he was covered well by Worilds. A facemask penalty on Brown on the punt return set the Steelers back, however.

On the first play, Roethlisberger found Miller for his third reception for 22 yards. He clearly was cautious falling down with his knee. On the next play, Cotchery was wide open for a 26-yard gain close to the red zone. For the third play in a row, the Steelers connected for another explosive play, as Antonio Brown scored his second touchdown of the game. He did a stellar job securing the ball inbounds in the back of the end zone to bring the score to 27-20.

Matt Forte, back in the game with his foot wrapped, carried the ball for nine yards on second down, and the Bears were forced to take a timeout before a potentially pivotal third and one play. On the eventual play, Cutler went play action and targeted Brandon Marshall, who was double teamed on a jump ball attempt, and the pass fell incomplete.

Roethlisberger hooked up with David Johnson for the second time tonight for 19 yards. Two plays later, Antonio Brown got the Steelers past midfield. Roethlisberger then fumbled the ball on a scramble, but had the wherewithal to recover. Both Charles Tillman and Henry Melton were injured on the drive for the Bears, with Melton’s injury occurring on the scramble, which set up third and short.

On the third down play, Cotchery barely converted the first down on a second, or possibly third effort, with an assist by DeCastro. On the next play, Roethlisberger put a bit too much on a shallow throw to Brown, who could not grab the ball, which was also slightly behind him. Dwyer was stopped for essentially no gain on the next play to set up a big third and long. Roethlisberger threw the ball into the dirt after being pressured, and the Steelers had to settle for a field goal attempt from 44 yards out, which was good. The Steelers now trail 27-23.

The Steelers defense continued their nigh-suffocating play in the second half, but Cutler was able to scramble after escaping pressure for a first down on third and long. Gay stopped Forte for a loss of two on the following play, and Woodley nearly got home for another sack on second down, forcing a dump off attempt that was incomplete. On third and 12, Cutler went deep to Brandon Marshall, who beat Ike Taylor for a big completion down close to the red zone. The Steelers quickly forced a third and five, but Earl Bennett beat Shamarko Thomas to the corner of the end zone for a touchdown. He was ruled out of bounds initially, but the Bears challenged, and the ruling was rightfully overturned.

Jonathan Dwyer has clearly supplanted Jones and Redman at this point as the back who has not fumbled. He caught a pass and then converted the first down on the ground on the first two plays. On the third, Roethlisberger again found Antonio Brown for 16 yards across midfield. On the next play, however, Lance Briggs came up the middle and stripped the ball from Roethlisberger. The ball was recovered by Julius Peppers and returned for a touchdown. The extra point was blocked, but the score remains 40-23.

The Bears scored 23 points off five turnovers, including three fumbles, two by Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger has thrown four interceptions and lost three fumbles. Everything that happened after this point in the game really did not mean anything, of course, down 17 with less than four minutes to play.

Roethlisberger was able to pad his stats, and Antonio Brown in particular had a big day, which is a good sign for the future, but was not enough tonight. He finished the game with nearly 200 yards and two touchdowns, and Roethlisberger threw for over 400 yards. Even the running game was comparatively effective on a per carry basis despite the ground attack being used sparsely due to the Steelers trailing for nearly the entire game. If the Steelers can simply cut out the turnovers, they do have the tools to win a ball game or two.

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About Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • Jay Jaber

    I tip my hat to Ben roethlisberger yeah he had 4 TO. He was throwing under pressure almost every play he dropped back to throw no one gives him credit for that what I really wanna see is Parton manning or Tom Brady playing behind that line I’m just saying ben is not the reason we lost

  • chris ward

    Antonio Brown played his heart out tonight.

  • chris ward

    Decastro also played a solid game.

  • Douglas Andrews

    I give J Dwyer an A on his blitz pick up tonight. There’s absolutely no need to see Redman again this year. Where was E Sanders tonight? That 3rd pick is starting to look really good right now…maybe NE is still willing? A Brown monster game like the way he just kept fighting making plays

  • Douglas Andrews

    Decastro is best when he gets moving wow he’s a pile mover out in space

  • Christopher Wilkes

    What was going on with the O-Line shuffle? Beachum came in and played both Tackle positions, and by the end of the night he was on the sideline while the starters were all out there again.

  • Whcr Communicators

    Ben did not play well, wtf were u looking at … he holds ball too long and is careless with it- Cant just go crazy on RB’s who are careless with ball but ignore Ben

  • Curtis

    what about the 2 fumbles while swinging ball careless. payten and tom are smart enough to get rid of ball before getting hit. they also know how to use the check down. how many picks and turnovers by ben in 3 games?

  • dgh57

    My guess is, it’s Tomlin’s way of telling Adams & Gilbert they both SUCK!

  • Douglas Andrews

    Last year he Ben did a good job of getting rid of the ball and he was having a career year until he got hurt. Now he’s starting to hang onto the football and we see the results……..

  • Curtis

    yes he did. my personal opinion is hes trying to show haley up by going down field so much instead of hitting the open man. just my opinion again its contract year for sanders and hes going to try to force the ball to him make those stats look good to get him paid. he did the same thing last year with Wallace and had the same results. remember the games dallas, last game of the year with the Cincinnati just to name a few. those are just my opinion.

  • Jay Jaber

    Why do u think are 2 tackles got benched cause they fucking suck they gave him no time to throw. Not to mention the interior of the line the bears defense got in bend face every time he dropped back and have the time he couldn’t even step up so he threw the ball flat footed and he had so many throws that we’re flat footed that were such beauties. That’s pure arm strength

  • Curtis

    you mean instead of hitting the open check down trying to go long down field that’s on ben not the line

  • Jay Jaber

    All I’m saying is I wouldn’t trade ben for any body in the nfl he never gets the respect he deserves. I wouldn’t want any other qb in the nfl

  • Marcela Garza-Meza

    How could we tell Tomlin that he sucks too?

  • Curtis

    I get what ur saying ben just needs to quit trying the big play every down check the ball down before getting hit. protect the ball and make better decisions. that’s all im saying

  • Douglas Andrews

    Agree if Ben plays within the Offense we could have easily won this game. The offensive stat’s are pretty one sided in our favor just to prove it.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Shame both of those guys looked alright last year. Not sure what is going on this year but it ain’t and I mean AINT good!

  • Jay Jaber

    I still think we will win the Super Bowl or the first over all pick in the draft lol it can go either way

  • Curtis

    you are so right its a step in the right direction but ben just needs to be smart and jonthan dywer needs to get more carries till bell gets back

  • Douglas Andrews

    There might be alittle chess match going between Ben and Haley but I like the offense. It’s worked with Haley on two different teams. It’s an old cliche but the QB should take what the Defense gives you I believe in that. As far as Dwyer goes I’m a big fan i watched him here at GT. He’s no Bettis by any stretch but he’s a helluva blocker on 3rd downs and he can be a weapon in this offense if given the opportunity.

  • Curtis

    we found velasco Fernando in free agency how bout we go and try to find a couple tackles. They cant be any worse

  • chris ward

    Steelers are going to have to draft another tackle in the 2014 draft.

  • walter mason

    coaching perhaps

  • dgh57

    We have a bye week coming up. That would be a good time to bring someone in as they would have extra time to learn our offense.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Heard rumblings in TC that people werent impressed with J Bicknell as an O Line coach.

  • walter mason

    Yes he needs to be moving and stop trying to cut block

  • walter mason

    Guys on the other thread are already talking about next years draft lol

  • walter mason

    Not to mention a smashed bleeding hand.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Could that be bad coaching as well as you pointed out earlier?

  • walter mason

    Yea without Ben we would really suk

  • Curtis

    Where is Russ Grimm?

  • walter mason

    We cannot seem to draft offensive lineman. We cant afford a poor pick 1st or 2nd.

  • Marcela Garza-Meza

    If we get inside the first 5 to pick in the draft I say go for QB, and look for the big guys where there always have been, and that is in the later rounds

  • Douglas Andrews

    Maybe we should take the same approach with the draft as we have with WR’s. Start looking for guys in the 3rd-6th rounds. These 2rd picks havent worked out at least not yet

  • walter mason

    We drafted a lot of off lineman in the mid rounds but they didnt pan out either.

  • walter mason

    I dunno just guessing. Our OTs are playing worse than last year. Its almost like they are confused.

  • Curtis

    cant suck much more were 0-3 that’s worse than the browns

  • Douglas Andrews

    I’m with you i think it is coaching

  • Curtis

    I like the velasco Fernando pick up wonder if he or pouncy could play tackle would like to keep him around.

  • walter mason

    0-7 counting pre season

  • Curtis

    yup

  • walter mason

    Yea maybe. It seems it popped out very easy and I think the first fumble it actually slipped out. Maybe the hit on the hand. I wouldnt be surprised if Ben played injured.

  • Douglas Andrews

    I think we gave up on some too early. I mean K Urbik was starting for the Bills after we let him go and T Hills caught on with the Colts last year

  • chris ward

    Yeah I agree they can get quality lineman in the mid-rounds. I think the Steelers made a mistake drafting Landry Jones in the 4th round, instead of drafting a offensive lineman.

  • walter mason

    Is Starks available? I thought he was signed but the announcer said he was out of football.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Judging by this O Line it couldnt have hurt to draft an O Lineman. L Jones isn’t gonna dress at all this year unless something happens to Ben. I think that was a wasted pick imo.

  • chris ward

    Yeah I agree Landry Jones was a wasted pick.

  • Curtis

    signed last week with rams I wish we could of nabbed him would be great pick up

  • walter mason

    I cannot believe we would keep Whimper over Starks.

  • Douglas Andrews

    I wondered if pouncey could play more of G. Either way if Pouncey has the talent to move to G or T. I’m definitely for it

  • Curtis

    I know right what a waste. wonder who made that call? ol coach?

  • Douglas Andrews

    Some of the decisions we made are real head scratchers like with Whimper and also cutting Dwyer for Redman. Now you give Redman a pass this year and a 1.3 mill salary? hmm

  • bgsteelfan

    Never working for the Steelers again…

  • Curtis

    yup, and also thought we should of kept colon and he’s starting and doing good with the jets that’s why I think this whole O-Line problem has to do with ben and holding on to the ball

  • Curtis

    I know just wondering where he at?

  • Curtis

    least it will put talent on the line, better than what were playing with. Like Fernando at center.

  • bgsteelfan

    Nowhere right now.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Fernando is the real deal. I say sign him up and extend Heath too

  • Curtis

    Sucks would love to have him back, seems like we cant buy a break on the ol coach

  • Curtis

    Yes sir asap and don’t let them get away

  • Don

    “Stellar job securing the ball inbounds” completely undersells that play. That was a helluva catch! One quibble from earlier in the game: I hate seeing the preening after making a catch when they’re down 21 points. Save the theatrics for when you’re not getting your tails whipped.

  • bgsteelfan

    I’d love to have him too, but after the way they screwed him over, I’d be shocked if he ever worked for them again.

  • Curtis

    its all about the money

  • bgsteelfan

    Hills we kept too long. Urbik we kept too early. We would have been better off letting Hills walk and keeping Urbik.

  • Douglas Andrews

    I was saying the same thing about AB. Give the ball to the ref ur losing by 3 TD’s. But he went beast mode tonight so i guess i can live with that. That catch was one for the highlight reel for sure

  • Curtis

    wonder if we could make a trade with the rams gilbert for starks

  • schlong

    Sooooo many questionable run calls that stalled drives. Haley just doesn’t seem to realize he doesn’t have Jamaal Charles anymore. Roethlisberger isn’t Matt Cassel, Todd. You don’t have to play it so safe. Coaching has been a problem in the early going

  • Curtis

    good game plan bad excusion by ben holding on ball not checking down

  • Curtis

    it was a waste, bad thing about it we traded up with browns to get him I think

  • Christopher Wilkes

    I was asking about the O-Line. wtf were u reading …

  • Nolrog

    We should trade out of the 2nd round every year. Colbert can’t make a 2nd round pick for s**t.

  • dgh57

    If we could the Rams would be getting the worst end of the deal as Gilbert STINKS!

  • Steeler Wheeler

    Redman should give Dwyer a check for $700,000…just saying, that would be fair.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    I’m out here East of Buffalo (Rochester, NY) and most of the NFL football fans keep an eye on college football because by October they are looking to see how high they pick and who can help.
    Sux that Steeler nation is headed that way this year. That said, is there a top notch LT on the board?

  • Douglas Andrews

    Redman is going to be riding the inactive list for the rest of the season so your right he owes J Dwyer some change!

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