The Pittsburgh Steelers defense played well in Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens but with that said, they still gave up two explosive plays through the air of which one resulted in a 95-yard touchdown by wide receiver Mike Wallace. On Thursday, Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler talked about those two plays during his weekly interview with Missi Matthews on Steelers Nation Radio.
“We really did a pretty good job against the pass for the most part except for that one play, the 95-yard play,” Butler said. “We can’t bring that back. They had 220 yards throwing the ball, that’s a 100 of it right there. And another one we blew an assignment on in man-to-man coverage. We didn’t get on the right guy and we gave up 20, 30 yards in that situation, too.”
So, let’s look at the blown assignment play that resulted in a 30-yard catch and run by Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith.
As you can see below, Smith was left uncovered on the right side of the Ravens formation for starters and being as this was supposed to be man-to-man, rookie safety Sean Davis is more than likely the Steelers player who blew the assignment as he was on the opposite side of the defense trying to double cover tight end Dennis Pitta, along with linebacker James Harrison.
As for the long 95-yard touchdown by Wallace on the quick slant pass play against rookie cornerback Artie Burns, here’s what Butler had to say about it.
“We’d like to see him [Artie Burns] play better on that slant than he did,” Butler said. “He got behind him a little bit and really he took a bad angle, and he fell down and then Mike [Mitchell] came up to try to tackle him, and didn’t tackle him and it turned into a footrace, and were not going to win that footrace with Mike Wallace.”
With all the above said, Steelers safety Mike Mitchell obviously played a big role in both plays going for big yardage as he should have prevented both receptions from going longer than 20 yards had he taken better angles and not allowed himself to be stiff-armed additionally.