After being blistered by Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson for six catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns in the first half of Sunday’s win, the Pittsburgh Steelers secondary shut out Megatron in the second half. Surely that meant there were adjustments made at halftime, right? Wrong.
“Ain’t nothing really changed,” said cornerback Ike Taylor in the locker room after the game, when asked what was different in the second half. “We just came out more mentally aggressive, if you want to say.”
So there was no extra help at all in the second half?
“No, everything was the same,” said Taylor. “We kept the game plan the same, it’s just mentally, we got more mentally aggressive.”
Head coach Mike Tomlin was asked during his post game press conference what was different in the second half as it relates to shutting down Johnson and his answer was a bit different in nature.
“It might just have been what they didn’t do,” said Tomlin. “That guy [Johnson] is an awesome football player.”
Tomlin also talked about the coverage used in the game.
“In many instances, we allocated two guys towards him [Johnson],” he said. “But like I said at the top of the week, we weren’t reinventing the wheel here. There have been guys allocating him every week this year and his performances have been similar to that. So, we’re like everybody else.”
When the smoke had cleared after the final gun, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was 3-of-16 for 45 yards and an interception in the second half after going 16-of-30 for 327 yards with two touchdowns in the first half.
As for no adjustments being made on the field, it’s evident that there were some made mentally and sometimes that is where they mattered the most. In the end, the Optimus Prime that shut out Megatron in the second half ended up being a state of mind and not in body form.