Sunday’s game in Miami was dreadful by all accounts, but perhaps the most frustrating part of the game — at least for me — was the putrid tackling display presented by the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Miami Dolphins.
Oftentimes the Steelers defense made Jay Ajayi look like a young Adrian Peterson during a game in which he ran for 204 yards and two touchdowns, while the rest of the defense reverted to their old ways of arm tackles, dropping their heads on tackle attempts and simply flying in out of control all game long.
Warning: the content below is graphic for a fan; it’s not pretty whatsoever. Proceed at your own risk.
Total Missed Tackles vs. Dolphins — 17
Vince Williams — 3
Jarvis Jones — 2
William Gay — 2
Mike Mitchell — 2
Lawrence Timmons — 2
Ross Cockrell — 2
Artie Burns — 1
Stephon Tuitt — 1
Javon Hargrave — 1
Robert Golden — 1
Total Missed Tackles in 2016 — 76 (average of 12.67 per game)
Sean Davis — 9
Mike Mitchell – 8
Artie Burns — 7
Stephon Tuitt — 7
Vince Williams — 7
Lawrence Timmons — 6
William Gay — 6
Ross Cockrell — 6
Ryan Shazier — 4
Jarvis Jones — 3
Robert Golden — 2
Arthur Moats — 1
Cameron Heyward — 1
LJ Fort — 1
Anthony Chickillo — 1
Jordan Dangerfield — 1
Ricardo Mathews — 1
Javon Hargrave — 1
Special Teams Missed Tackles in 2016 — 4
Steven Johnson — 1
Sammie Coates — 1
Tyler Matakevich — 1
Justin Gilbert — 1
I can’t make this up folks: 17 missed tackles against the Dolphins. At first when I made my way through the game Monday morning I thought for sure I had to have counted a few too many, but going through a second and third time, I came to the same number of 17 each time.
I really can’t try and slice this any other way: this game against Miami might be the worst game I’ve ever seen the Steelers play as a whole in the last 10 years. Ugly every which way you look at it.
With that said, let’s dive into the tape and take a look at some of the most egregious missed tackles.
The GIF above was one of the more impressive runs that Ajayi made on the day, largely due to his vision and burst up the gut.
Take a look at the snap; Ricardo Mathews picks a side on Branden Albert’s block, while James Harrison tries to hold his gap, which opens up a big lane for the pulling linemen to hit and get to the second level.
From there you see Vince Williams sealed off while Laremy Tunsil manhandles Lawrence Timmons at the second level. Where the biggest issue with the play though is the angle that Mike Mitchell takes and then the attempt he puts out to try and bring down Ajayi.
Granted, Mitchell was hurt prior to this run, but if that’s the type of effort you’re going to give on a run play, why even be on the field? He did this quite a few times against Miami, as well as quite a few times throughout his Steelers career.
When I first saw this play live it reminded me so much of the Week 1 missed tackle by Timmons on Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed.
Timmons does a good job of breaking on the throw quickly, but my goodness he just flops to the ground and completely whiffs on Jarvis Landry. I don’t think he even got a finger on the Miami receiver.
It’s being a concerning part of Timmons’ game against skill players in space. Following the end of the play, you can see Mike Tomlin giving it to Timmons for the missed tackle and poor effort.
This is the last GIF, I swear. And this one might be the most embarrassing for anyone watching.
Damien Williams isn’t a power running back by any means, but he sure looked like one here on this GIF.
There are just so many guys diving at ankles and out of position in this clip that I don’t even know where to start.
But we’ll start at the snap as Javon Hargrave and Stephon Tuitt look to work down the line on the zone run for the Dolphins, but they seem to get a little too far down the line, which causes Vince Williams to try and attack the gap between the two, but that allows for a huge cutback lane for Williams.
By cutting back against the grain, Williams has plenty of room to work with as Mitchell is out of position and Timmons is dealing with Tunsil at the second level. From there it just gets worse as guys simply dive at Williams’ ankles and legs without wrapping up, allowing Williams to look like (insert prominent power back of your choosing here) against an overmatched defense.
That’s it; I’m sorry you took the time to read through that horror show. Seventeen missed tackles! Yikes. Hopefully Week 7 at home against the New England Patriots is a major improvement, but with a banged up front seven and an ever-shuffling secondary, I won’t hold my breath against Gronk, Martellus Bennett and friends.