Roethlisberger Says Steelers Will ‘Address’ Offense’s Second-Half Performance

When the Pittsburgh Steelers offense took the field in the first half against the Dolphins on Sunday, it was almost like clockwork. Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, and the offensive line pretty much dominated a quality Dolphins defense—though absent a few starters—and were able to secure a commanding lead by halftime.

Things kind of dried up after that point, however, and, in fact, a bit earlier than that, and that is a fact that Roethlisberger and his group are perfectly aware of—and working on addressing and fixing by the time they take on the Chiefs in Kansas City on Sunday.

Chris Harlan wrote for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Roethlisberger said the passing game “lacked a little detail” in the second half, saying, “I think we can be better”. He continued, saying, “I think it’s a little bit of a false positive, if you will, because you start out so well. We went down and scored the first three series, and you’re kind of doing whatever we wanted to”.

The Steelers had little trouble marching up and down the field early on, starting out with an 11-yard run by Bell on the first play of the game. The opening drive ended with a screen pass to Brown that he took for 50 yards and a score.

The second drive followed a similar line—which started all the way back at their own 10-yard line, I might add—with a good run, a third-down conversion, and then a long catch-and-run from Brown, this time a 62-yard score.

On the third drive, with the safeties pressed back, the Steelers rode Bell on a 10-play, 10-carry drive that ended up with Bell in the end zone. After a missed extra point, it was 20-3, and the offense looked like it would be able to do whatever it wanted with nearly three quarters to play.

Their final drive of the quarter was not so bad in the beginning, either, but it ended poorly. Roethlisberger nearly threw an interception to a nose tackle dropping into coverage, and then a few seconds later, Brown let a high pass bounce off his hands for a drop, and into the arms of a defender for an interception.

The second-half offense was not nearly as crisp as they were early in the game. “I don’t know what it was”, Roethlisberger said, “but it will be addressed this week”. He added that “addressed” sounds “so harsh”, and clarified that “we will talk about it”.

One might be inclined to think that the offense got comfortable sitting on a substantial lead early in the game that led to some more lackadaisical performances in the second half. The Steelers did score 10 points in the third quarter, but both of them came off of shorts fields due to defensive turnovers.

And the touchdown that they scored even came from the benefit of the Dolphins jumping offside on a field goal attempt. Bell eventually scored from eight yards out on third and five on a drive that started at Miami’s 25-yard line.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • WreckIess

    I’m glad they’re taking this approach. Because complacency could end up sending them home early. It’s really easy not to push yourself this time of year so It’s great that he sees good enough isn’t good enough.

  • FATCAT716

    I rather that than talks about his ankle

  • treeher

    Maybe there was a drop off, but give Miami defense credit for making adjustments and putting up a fight.

  • Sam Clonch

    Thought they left a lot on the bone, but seemed like they meant to. I was thinking the whole second half how sold out the Phins were on stopping the run, if they threw in some play action they could KILL them. I’m sure everyone saw the same thing. But with no reason to, and Bell continuing to churn out yards, there was no point. Save the wrinkles for a game where it’s needed.

  • Steel Tippin

    Ben just seems to lose all interest in the game when we have sizeable leads. I mean he loves close games so much he’ll go out there and throw an int or two to make the game interesting if he must.

  • Shane Anderson

    I was hoping that they would try to re-incorporate Coates as a deep threat once they had a comfortable lead.

  • nutty32

    This is positively Ben’s worst season. Accuracy way off all year. Every bomb under thrown.

  • RickM

    I think you’re exactly right that the O got too comfortable. I’ve never seen AB drop a pass like that short crossing route. Roethlisberger wasn’t as sharp. Even the holes for Bell weren’t as frequent.

  • treeher

    Here’s some motivation. Post this in the Steelers locker room:

    Date Event Information – TICKETS

    2017-01-15 12:05:00 Jan 15, 2017Sun 12:05 PM
    AFC Divisional Playoffs – Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas City, MO

    2017-01-22 17:40:00 Jan 22, 2017Sun 5:40 PM
    AFC Championship Game – TBD at Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas City, MO

  • Jon Crissinger

    Every single team does this. You can buy AFC Championship tickets at Heinz Field.

  • treeher

    I know. Still a visible motivator.

  • Tedium cha

    You could tell the offense checked out. Brown especially. The drops he had were egregious and can’t happen. I wish this team wasn’t so aware of what they need to do. Like in close games they step it up. In blow outs they relax. One of these times they’re gonna need to flip the switch and the light won’t come on. I just hope that happens next season…

  • Jaybird

    Pretty sure he OVERTHREW twice-AB and DHB .
    DHB resulted in a pass interference.

  • Jaybird

    I think some of that is play calling also. How easy would it have been to use play action in the second half after the way bell ran in the first half? They just seemed way too content with that lead.

  • Bradys_Dad

    The 2nd half of any playoff game, no matter how well in hand, should ever be taken for granted. No doubt Haley and Ben will rectify this issue before Sunday.

  • Matt Manzo

    I thought we just switched to running more? Ben only had 4 incompletions, right? And only threw it 18 times.
    I was thinking it was more game plan than execution.
    Maybe I gotta rewatch the 2nd half!

  • I hate when we have momentum then you start seeing silly plays. There was no need for been to start holding he ball and running for 1st downs, he had Bell wide open in the flat on one play. We dont need the heroics…Ben has to realize he doesnt have to carry the team with that style anymore. Just the D@m ball away! Im tired of getting so close then losing in the playoffs- We want a ring!!! Lets get it