A Good Trick Play With A Bad Result Against The Jets

Like many of you, I questioned the fourth quarter trick-play call ran by the Pittsburgh Steelers against the New York Jets this past Sunday on third down and seven from the Jets 17 yard-line. Why take the ball out of the hands of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in a situation like that and put it into the hands of wide receiver Antonio Brown? With that being said, the play should have worked had Brown gotten rid of the football.

As you can see in the two animated gifs and two screengrabs below, Brown had fellow wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders wide open. Real wide open. In addition, even though tight end Heath Miller was unable hold his block on Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson very long, Wilkerson is still 6-7 yards away from Brown when he should have gotten rid of it.

Brown ended up holding onto the football and took a sack as he was run out of bounds. At least he didn’t force the play at the end and the Steelers offense at least came away with three points.

The Steelers already used Brown on a double pass trick play earlier in the game and it ended in a 15 yard juggling reception by running back Felix Jones. To put the ball in Brown’s hands like that twice in one game was pretty surprising to say the least.

We all love plays like this when they work and hate them when they don’t. This is one, however, that should have worked, but I would have still been scratching my head a little bit even if it had.





  • steeltown

    A completed pass for a TD right there would’ve been nice, but hey we still got 3pts on the board, that’s better than him throwing a bad pass that results in a turnover.


    OMG! Was the OLine actually Zone Blocking to the right?

  • treeher

    Well, I think he saw Sanders but in real time he could not pull the trigger. Yes, Ben could have and maybe even (former QB) Hines Ward, but I’m ok with Brownie playing it safe.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    10 pt game, up 12, 4th Q, 12:50 to go, 3rd and 7. OK, sure, running the ball and taking :40 seconds off the clock and relying on defense is a very Bill Cowher thing to do…and that would have been OK, but, in today’s NFL, I’m OK with calling a pass play. Putting the ball in your WR hands and asking your QB to block is about as dumb as you can get in that situation. I’ve not been as hard on Haley as most, I don’t think he’s been given a fair shake with a terrible line and a QB who won’t listen, but this is terribly foolish and increased the odds of a disastrous play. Bad, Haley, bad!

  • Luke Shabro

    Best ZBS play I’ve seen all year and it didn’t work lol

  • Ahmad

    Yeah he could have made it but then again he is no QB so if he wasn’t comfortable making it, he did the right thing by holding it.

  • r4kolb

    Totally agree. When Hines or Randall El did it they were at least QB’s in college. To say he was wide open is questionable at best. Wide open if Ben were throwing yes but wide open for AB? Not so sure he would have the same zip on the ball 20 yards away that the D back couldn’t have recovered to get there. Why take the risk of losing the 3 points minimum by taking the ball out of Bens hands. Bad call in that instance, but Haley did call a good game overall.

  • Steve

    If Ben would have gotten hurt blocking on this play, we would be watching it very differently.

  • SteelersDepot

    Even you could have made that throw.

  • dgh57

    Good call–poor blocking!

    This play should of turned out better if after Brown got past #96 Ben would of at least slowed his guy down(he made no attempt) and if Miller would of turned around there was a guy for him to block also. No play is going to work if the blocking isn’t there.

  • SteelersDepot

    Not wide open? How much more open do you want him? Do you know how silly that sounds?

  • Reader783

    I’m beyond happy that our 2-time-Superbowl winning, franchise quarterback did not attempt to block a 275 lb defensive lineman. What did you want him to do? Pancake him on the edge? His job isn’t to block. In fact, if I were Haley, I would have told him explicitly not to block, especially after what happened to say Tarvaris Jackson against the Eagles a few years ago.

  • dgh57

    Then we need to tell Ben to stop running around trying to extend plays(like in the KC game from last year) because we’re all worried about him getting hurt. If he’s going to play it safe by not blocking then he needs to play it safe when he goes back to pass and learn to throw the ball away. I’m curious, had the score been reversed and we were facing a 0-5 start to the season or if it was a playoff game, I wonder what would of happened on this play? No, I don’t want him to pancake the guy just slow him down by blocking him low if needed!

  • Reader783

    Running around to extend a play as a QB and trying to block a 275 defensive lineman that is routinely tossing around 300 lb offensive linemen for a living are not the same at all. If we were facing an 0-5 start, I’d rather have my QB not be injured for it than get run over and miss the season with a broken rib.

  • Johnny Loose


  • dgh57

    It is the same because there’s a risk of injury from 300+ pd. linemen in both scenarios. If he would of thrown that ball away last year in the KC game the season may of turned out different. It doesn’t matter what you or I think as to what Ben would of done if we were facing a 0-5 season it’s what Ben would of done. The competitive spirit in him would say go for it.

  • Reader783

    Funniest comment of the night

  • Reader783

    I think we both know that scrambling around to throw a pass and getting sacked and intentionally going 1 on 1 with a D-lineman are not the same at all. I never want to see Ben Roethlisberger have to block a man over 250 lbs, I don’t care if he wants to or not.

  • dgh57

    Still more risk of getting hurt being sacked and if the KC game from last year isn’t enough for you then I can’t help you. Trying a simple chip block was all that was required on this play and it’s less likely he’s getting hurt doing it than being sacked! Don’t get me wrong I don’t want him blocking either as Haley shouldn’t of called this play to begin with. But it was called and blocking was required for the play to be successful.


  • Reader783

    We’ll agree to disagree then. Ben can chip a 180 corner like he did in Superbowl XL, but I never want him to be touched by a d-lineman when not necessary. It is not the same, at all. You need to stop saying it is. Getting sacked is an inherent part of the job. Blocking a huge d-lineman is not. Telling Ben to block ASSURES he will get hit by a 275 pounder. Dropping back to pass does not.

  • r4kolb

    You are correct Dave but I’m a beast…LOL.

  • r4kolb

    David, I said not wide open for AB. Understanding I don’t know what type of arm he has. Maybe they should pickup Tebow as a receiver if they want to run these types of plays. Call him Slash 2.0

  • r4kolb

    dgh57 I’m usually on board with your posts but I have to tell you I’m w Reader783 on this one.

  • r4kolb

    In going w Tomlins way it would be doghouse/benching