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.