Steelers Vs Browns/Colts: Missed Tackles Report


With two games in five days, it was quite hard for me to get a chance to bang out a missed tackles report from the Cleveland Browns game prior to kickoff against the Indianapolis Colts.

So, with the said, here’s a combined missed tackles report from both games. I hope that you enjoy some positive results from a defense that continues to improve week after week.

Missed Tackles vs. Browns — 5

Lawrence Timmons — 1
Sean Davis — 1
Artie Burns — 1
William Gay — 1
Roosevelt Nix (ST) – 1

Missed Tackles vs. Colts — 8


Stephon Tuitt — 1
William Gay — 1
Ryan Shazier — 1
Sean Davis — 1
Javon Hargrave — 1
Al-Hajj Shabazz (ST) — 1
Jordan Dangerfield (ST) — 1
Artie Burns (ST) — 1

Missed Tackles through 11 weeks — 116 (10.5 missed tackles per game)

Artie Burns — 11
Mike Mitchell — 11
Ryan Shazier — 11
Sean Davis — 11
William Gay — 10
Lawrence Timmons — 9
Stephon Tuitt — 9
Vince Williams — 7
Ross Cockrell — 7
Robert Golden — 4
Jarvis Jones — 3
Anthony Chickillo — 3
Cameron Heyward — 2
Javon Hargrave — 2
Arthur Moats — 1
LJ Fort — 1
Jordan Dangerfield — 1
Ricardo Matthews — 1

Special Teams Missed Tackles in 2016 — 9

Cobi Hamilton — 2
Tyler Matakevich — 2
Steven Johnson — 1
Sammie Coates — 1
Justin Gilbert — 1
Shamarko Thomas — 1
Roosevelt Nix — 1
Artie Burns — 1
Al-Hajj Shabazz — 1
Jordan Dangerfield — 1

 Week 11’s game against the Browns was a total beat down by the Steelers defense in all phases of the game. The number of missed tackles recorded by the defense as a unit was the lowest output of any game this season.

That’s impressive in and of itself.

While rookies Artie Burns and Sean Davis missed tackles, the two really stood out defensively for me when going back and watching film. It appears as though the Steelers really hit on their first two draft picks in the 2016 NFL draft.

With all of that said, let’s take a look at three key plays from the game that resulted in missed tackles.

 Andrew Hawkins runs a simple curl route from the slot, turning towards the sideline to settle into the zone against the Steelers coverage. The pitch-and-catch should have resulted in just a 10- or 11-yard gain, but Burns dives at ankles, missing Hawkins in the open field.

Adding to it is Lawrence Timmons coming from his linebacker position, diving towards Hawkins as well. As Burns goes low and misses, Timmons goes high and slides off the back of Hawkins, allowing the Cleveland receiver to pick up a first down early in the game for the Steelers.

 Yet again, this should have been a short completion for the Browns as Josh McCown just dumps this ball off to Corey Coleman across the middle of the field.

Veteran corner William Gay does just about everything right on the play, but instead of going for Coleman’s thighs to wrap up, Gay goes high and ultimately slides off of Coleman, who was known as an elusive receiver while at Baylor.

Fortunately for Gay, Coleman was slowed down just enough to allow other Steeler defenders to close in, holding the rookie receiver to just three yards on the play. That being said though, I’m sure this is a tackle Gay would like to have back.

 This is the missed tackle that really stuck with me after this game. Davis has McCown dead to rights in the pocket following a perfectly-executed corner blitz.

By running free at McCown, Davis has what should be the easiest sack of his career, yet the veteran McCown makes a subtle slide step in the pocket, forcing Davis to whiff on what should have been a sack, giving the Steelers nine in the game.

The biggest issue with this missed tackle was the fact that this was on third down with the Browns driving deep into Steelers territory. A sack here by Davis pushes the Browns out of field goal range and likely forces a nearly-impossible fourth-down attempt.

However, with Davis missing, McCown is able to find Duke Johnson Jr. for the big catch-and-run for the first down, allowing the Browns to later score on a strike from McCown to Gary Barnidge in the red zone.

Now lets take a look at the Colts game from Thanksgiving night.

Much like the Browns game the previous week, the Steelers really came out and set the tone early defensively with how physical they were going to be. By being physical, the Steelers were also able to tackle with good, sound technique, resulting in just five missed tackles in defensive snaps, with the final three missed tackles coming on special teams.

Al-Hajj Shabazz does almost everything right on this kick-off. The rookie defensive back flies down the field and squeezes in towards the middle of the field, shutting off any running lane for Jordan Todman to hit.

However, right before Shabazz gets to Todman, the Steeler defensive back has to avoid a block from the Colts’ up-man, causing him to come off of his line to Todman, throwing off his tackle angle ever so slightly.

With that happening, Shabazz is only able to get just an arm on Todman, allowing the Colts return to easily break the tackle attempt to get down the right sideline.

It goes down as a missed tackle for Shabazz simply because he got a hand on Todman, and if he was able to make this play, maybe we aren’t harping on Danny Smith’s job status this week as much as we have been.

On this third down run by Robert Turbin, there’s really nothing the Steelers could have done differently up front to stop him from picking up the first down. The Colts had the perfect play call against the right front, and they executed it well.

Where the issues though is Davis’ angle to the ball carrier and effort to get him on the ground. It’s sub-optimal at best coming from a guy who has gotten better each and every week.

At the snap, Davis is bailing out expecting pass, but credit to him though as he reads it quickly and fires back downhill towards the play. However, he takes a bad angle to the ball, allowing Turbin to cut back, forcing him to flail at his legs and miss.

The missed tackle gave Turbin another five yards or so. Fortunately for the rookie, Mike Mitchell was there to sort of clean it up, and the Steelers were able to hold the Colts off the board in the end.

  • H.K. northern cali

    Goodbye L.T J.H 2017. Time to get younger!!

  • srdan

    I wouldn’t be so quick on both. One yes, but both, I doubt it.

  • srdan

    What did you see in the two first rounders taht made you put that pretty strong endorsement in there?

  • Michael James

    Harrison is probably gone, but seriously, if he can play at this level for at least another season, they have to do everything they can to convince him to stay one more year. He would be a great teacher for our first-round OLB and also a quality backup.

  • Kevin artis

    I admire Harrison for what he’s brought to our team but it’s time to let him go. We can’t keep holding on to these veteran players until the wheels fall of. Because as long as he’s semi productive we will put him out there and slow the progression of our rookies.

  • srdan

    If we had a young QB that was learning as well i would agree. But we havea window with a veteran QB. I’m putting anyone that help me win today on the field.

  • NinjaMountie

    I know that Davis missed that sack. I know a lot of people are annoyed at it and I don’t blame them. Still, those plays happen. I know everyone wants to put it all on Davis but that was a savvy play by the QB. When you’re coming in like that and then the QB puts that step back on you….it makes you look silly and there is nothing that can be done. Sometimes the other player makes great plays too.
    Davis and Burns are really coming along. I know there was a lot of worry from the fan base about them (I got worried too) but it seems we may have picked okay after all.

  • srdan

    I agree with what you’re saying. But the part I wish he would do is break down and make the tackle. Easier said than done. And it’s veterans that make those plays. He’ll get there.

    I feel as a rook everything moves so fast. and you try to run fast to keep up with it. As a vet things slow down and you realize when you have to move fast, and when you have to slow down.

    The encouraging part is that it’s hard to still call those guys rookies. The three of them have a lot of snaps. By the playoffs I expect to see them starting to use some veteran moves.

  • Josh Carney

    I see a lot of progress from Artie in terms of coverage skills and aggressiveness in this defense. He’s handling himself nicely as the No. 1 corner going against top guys every week. As for Davis, I like how physical he has become. Missed tackles will happen, but he really seems to be grasping defense as of late and looks really comfortable.

  • Michael James

    I get your point, but it’s not like he’s semi productive. He’s in fact really productive. He plays half of the snaps he used to play and still got four sacks, two forced-fumbles, an interception and has drawn countless holding penalties (he’s light years ahead of our other OLBs). If we really get a promising young edge rusher in the first round I’m all for giving him 50% of the snaps in his first year. The other 50% could co to Harrison, that would be ideal. But I’m tired of seeing Harrison on the bench, just because he’s supposed to be old and slow, while some younger, but clearly inferior players are on the field (Jones, Moats…). Fact is, Harrison is still really really good.

  • srdan

    Nice to hear. I wish I got to see the game More than once

  • NinjaMountie

    Agreed. He’s getting better and he’ll learn to make that play. I’ve always accepted missed tackles as being part of the game. You’re right, he should have broke down but that’s hard to do when you have that QB in your sights like that, lol. You get all juiced up thinking your gonna crush the QB and then….poof….he’s gone and you feel stupid.

  • Kevin artis

    Harrison four sacks are against very subpar talent. So I wouldn’t say he is really really good. He is better than what we have and that is not saying much.
    I agree he should play more based on who is behind him but with his age they are trying to conserve him for later in the game. I know he’s in great shape but at his age I don’t think Harrison can withstand an abundance of snaps that we need he to play.
    Again I’m a James Harrison fan but next year he’ll be a year older and you just don’t when he will fall off.

  • bob_1

    Harrison has 0 missed tackles for the first 11 games. That’s remarkable, especially given his substantial number of sacks and tackles. I’m sure the Steelers will want him back; the question is whether he’ll be willing to go through the amazing workout regimen needed to produce such high quality performance as he nears 40.

  • Don2727

    Hasn’t missed a game from injury all year so far, I think.

  • bob_1

    There’s that too. Let’s hope he re-ups.

  • Taylor Williams

    He can do it, but he’s old. I’d rather keep him fresh.

  • John Pennington

    The steelers must tackle better in this game and dont be out of position and cover the wrs to win this game.If they fail any one of these they will lose this game.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    These last two games are the first I’ve missed this year. Curious if you can give more detail to this statement re: Burns – “He’s handling himself nicely”

    Is that how he’s playing the pocket? Hand fighting? That kind of thing.

    His speed has him around the ball near the end of the route, but prior to the Browns game, he was struggling with a fair amount of issues that rookies tend to struggle with. Thanks for sharing Josh!