Game Rewind: Steelers Vs Ravens Notes

Brief notes from the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Week Four win over the Baltimore Ravens.

First Half

– Kick coverage. Sensabaugh-Golden-Nix-Fort-Vince Williams-Boswell-Matakevich-Chickillo-Watson-DHB-Hilton

– First run of the game. Looks like Sean Davis is at fault. Alley defender and does a poor job taking on the block. Easily turned out.

– Punt return team. Nix/Fort/Matakevich/Watson/Golden/DHB/Chickillo. Burns and Wilcox/Sensabaugh as jammers. Antonio Brown your return man.

– Punt coverage team. On the line. Moats-Fort-Canaday-Matakevich-Chickillo. Nix/Grimble (replacing Sean Davis) as the wings. Golden the upback. Wilcox/DHB gunners.

– 18 yard completion to Le’Veon Bell. Benefit of a vertical attack. Expand the defense as well and opens up Bell underneath. Get your playmakers in space.

– Split dig (vert + dig) concept to open Martavis Bryant over the middle. Good route scheme.

Second Half

– One note on these power/counter trey runs. Can’t outrun your puller like Bell does here. Same with zone schemes. Center/running back must be on same track.

– Good technique by Shazier. Near leg/near shoulder, head across, bring the arms and drive.

– Steelers going super old school with three pullers. Not the biggest fan of it though because it’s tougher to wash the frontside defenders.

– Steelers ran some Cover 6. Quarter/quarter/halves.

– Ben throwing to a blanketed AB. Honestly think he was just hoping to draw a flag.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • CP72

    I’ve been giving it to Sean Davis for not seeming to the leap forward that Burns and Hargrave have made. I will say I thought last Sunday was the best game he’s had this year.

  • falconsaftey43

    Watching it again a few times (there is a GIF in the missed tackle report) I think the first run is more on Shazier than Davis. Davis doesn’t do a great job taking on the block, but he has to keep outside leverage there. Shazier tries to go under the blocker and I think he’s 1 gap too far inside (instead of being in the gap the run went through). Williams should have been in the gap shazier ended up in, but he got reached by the C. My only question is who should have had backside A gap? Hargrave is lined up there, but pulls back to backside C with Dupree. Maybe he misread run/pass key, or was it on Williams? Anyway fits as I see them:
    90-E, 28-D, 50-C (run went here), 98-B, 97-A, ?back-A (79?), 91-back-B, 48-back-C.

  • Uncle Rico.

    The were in an okie front, suggesting 2 gapping, but Shazier was running a scrape exchange with Heyward. A 4i Heyward crossed the guard’s face into the front A and like with a twist Shazier came behind through the B. Same on the other side between Hargrave and Tuitt, it was a gap exchange. They usually do it on both sides of the ball rather than just one side. Kinda like a twist for the run game. But it shows they were one gapping all the way.

    The problem with the play is nobody had the front C. That’s not on Davis. He obviously was in man coverage on the motioning TE. He’s not an alley defender. He’s responsible for that TE who motioned outside the set TE. However, Watt ended up widening out.

    Had that TE not motioned, given the gap exchanges along the front, and because the C is uncovered, Watt should be expected to play outside in on that set TE, contolling the D and squeezing shut that C gap.

    That shouldnt change with the TE motioning outside creating a new E gap. Davis has that, because he still has man coverage on that TE. Watt should not have widened, and should’ve stayed with the initial design, D/squeeze C on inside TE.

    Having Davis trade off with Watt and try to carry out the same run fit as Watt originally had is a lot to ask. I think Watt made a mistake adjusting when he shouldnt have. Sorta ironic because last week, the Steelers habitually failed to adjust when they should have.

  • falconsaftey43

    Great input man. yeah, not sure what their check is there between Davis/Watt. Either way, I think Shazier has to be the guy that was supposed to be in the play side C gap. Not sure who messed up on the backside, but no way Hargrave and Dupree were both supposed to end up in backside C. Maybe Hargrave was supposed to go B and Tuitt A, but that seems like asking a lot from Tuitt on a play away from him. Someone screwed something up because there was no one in the play side C and two in the backside C.

  • Alex Kozora

    That’s good info Rico but I think it ends up relying on speculation. You don’t see that kind of exchange often in this defense, at least, not that I can recall. You can see Watt widen as the TE motions over, which is pretty typical when a new gap is created in this defense.

    Yes, Davis has the TE M/M. But, as I know you know, there’s a run and pass responsibility on each play. I don’t think the fact that he does matters. I see Shazier spilling it (he has B gap on the scrape, as you point out) and Watt forcing it back inside.

    Maybe Davis is in a bind but he’s gotta at least get square to the block and read the running back. Unless it’s on VW for not working over and filling that gap but that seems like he’s asking a lot.

  • falconsaftey43

    regardless, most of our run defense issues seem to be around the same theme. Either plays are not getting in the correct gaps, or the scheme has left a gap open. Most have come on plays where there is some sort of blitz/stunt happening so it could be either poor scheme design where all the gaps aren’t covered, or the players aren’t executing the proper gap exchanges when they call these blitz/stunts. I’m sure it complicates things even more when there is motion. If one guy doesn’t adjust properly to the new gap, it’s all for not.

  • Uncle Rico.

    Is there a reason why my reply keeps getting flagged ‘pending’?

  • falconsaftey43

    FYI, article on Steelers website eludes to it being Shazier’s fault for going under the block.