Watch: Why The Steelers’ Secondary Got Lucky Sunday

Statistically, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ secondary looks really strong. And there’s no question they have improved and hopefully, probably, continue to do so. But they’re getting a bit lucky too and soon enough, it’ll catch up to them. We look at three plays from Sunday’s win over the Baltimore Ravens that could’ve and should’ve been huge plays for Baltimore.

As always, let me know your thoughts and comments below.

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.

  • falconsaftey43

    There were some lucky breaks in there. But luck goes both ways, Steelers have missed on some wide open throws as well. Both teams have to execute. I think this defense has greatly reduced the number of opportunities they provide the offense with. Wasn’t long ago we were all lamenting how even bad QBs were tearing up this defense. Now, through 4 games they’ve done what they’re supposed to do and shut down 4 bad QBs. Next 4 games will be a big test to see if they can limit some good QBs.

  • 太阳三联

    Can’t tell you how hyped I got when shazier smoked Wallace 😂😂

  • pcantidote

    Meh, there is luck in every game. The Steelers were the better team by far. Did the Bears get lucky when Rogers dropped a punt, or when we didn’t cover up the fumble in the end zone after the blocked FG?

  • pcantidote

    Who would those 4 good qbs be? Bortles? Dalton? Come on. I’ll give you Smith and Stafford, but none of them really strike fear like say Rodgers, Brees or Brady. If we have an above average defense then none of the next 4 should have a big day.

  • Darth Blount 47

    “I’d rather be lucky than good.”

    –Lefty Gomez

  • falconsaftey43

    I didn’t mean every QB in the next 4 games was a good QB. I meant they face some good QBs within the next 4 games (refering to Stafford and Smith mostly, but Dalton is certainly much better than the 4 QBs they’ve faced so far). Obviously Brady and Rodgers are on another level, but these guys are good QBs, just not elite. All three of them have had their fair share of great games. That’s why it’ll be a test for this defense. They’ve shown they can shut down bad QBs, now let’s see how they play vs. some good ones.

  • Ike Evans

    Alex you sound like such a yinzer….I love it

  • FATCAT716

    They face better QB’s in the next 4 than they faced in the first 4 that’s for sure

  • FATCAT716

    Luck or no luck I like where we are with this secondary at this point

  • TroymanianDevil

    It’s been alluded to already by others, but the flip side is all the plays that the Steelers missed. Specifically the should’ve been Bryant TD. I could also add the play where AB was open, the pass where Finney out of all people was open. Boom 3 more TD’s and we now have 47 points so therefore, these plays don’t matter as much.

    Bottomline is that defense much better. It starts up front, we finally have consistent pressure, which allows the secondary to make plays, which they finally are.

    Good breakdown though, especially that 2nd one. Bet they break that down and hopefully Davis learns from it.

  • Xclewsive

    Flaccid threw 49 times, had two INTs 6 PDS and just 3 errors were noted. This should of been about the pass defense success not 3 highlighted “unlucky” plays. I believe Flaccid got lucky I swear there were potential INTs that fell harmlessly to the turf.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    I’ll say this.. Mike Wallace has owned Burns so far. Feels like it could be worse if the Ravens offense was any good. Lucky?

  • 6 ring circus

    Good analysis Alex. Keep it coming. It helps the fans see that there is always work to do. You’re always on the journey, you never arrive. But then again, they say that half the fun is in getting there.

  • Kimothy Edwards

    I don’t call when a team plays good defense luck, especially on the second tape when the front put a lot of pressure on Flacco causing the arrant pass. How can he call that particular play lucky? That’s what should happen when the rush defense and the secondary plays together. I say the Ravens got lucky that the Steelers didn’t cause a fumble or interception with the amount of pressure they put on Flacco in that situation. Why is he penerlizing the defense for playing great defense in that instance, chalking it up as luck? SMDH!

  • Edjhjr

    Good points. I agree on the last play, the rush saved that one. But , the rush can make Brady look bad too.

    See Giants. It’s our turn this season to make Big Bad Tom , just bad.

  • Dshoff

    Alex, great commentary as always! This shows why I would rather die while blitzing than die sitting back. First you get pressure on the qb and his head isn’t completely clear. Second, pressure sometimes covers up mistakes in the secondary.

  • dillon degroot

    Luck plays a factor for every team, every week.

  • treeher

    Love these video analyses. On the last one, Flabbo released it late. Rush shouldn’t have mattered. We got double lucky.

  • Alex Kozora

    Sure and I would have no problem with someone talking about it the other way.

  • Alex Kozora

    lol i do?

  • Alex Kozora

    There were surely more than three but those are three game-breaking ones. Which is a lot, in my mind.

  • Alex Kozora

    There wasn’t really any pressure on the second play. Late by Tuitt but I doubt it affected anything. Three man rush.

    On the last one, I pointed out the benefit of rush/coverage. So I don’t know what you’re trying to say. The defense is improving and they’re getting a little lucky. Both are true. And that’s ok.

  • Kimothy Edwards

    Don’t know what you trying to say because there was pressure prior to Flacco throwing the arrant pass which which caused the inaccurate pass.

  • Alex Kozora

    On the 2nd play? The should’ve been a TD to Perriman? No, there wasn’t. Tuitt is miles away.

    https://gyazo.com/d83650706c2e657b8a4c335a08ccaf9d

  • Kimothy Edwards

    My bad it wasn’t the second tape but the last one when the rush and cover force the arrant pass. I don’t see how the Steelers got lucky when the rush force Flacco to throw the ball before he really wanted to causing the arrant pass. Like I stated if anyone got lucky it was the Ravens that they didn’t turn the ball over at that instance, you are reaching dude, especially on that particular play!

  • falconsaftey43

    And Alex said as much on the 3rd play. It’s not reaching to show a WR was wide open on a play. Yes, in this instance the pass rush covered for the secondary, but it doesn’t mean the secondary did their job. The secondary did in fact get lucky on this play, because if it had been one of the times the pass rush didn’t get pressure (no team gets pressure every play) then it’s a big play because two defenders in coverage fell over eachother.

  • Alex Kozora

    As falcon said, I pointed it out in the video. That’s why the pass was incomplete. So again, I don’t know what new point you’re trying to make. It’s been addressed.

  • Thomas

    I have some issue with the analysis of play 2. A robber by definition shouldn’t have a set zone assignment, he should be reading the eyes of the QB and freelancing.

    I think Dupree should be playing the deeper throw first and daring the QB to throw it short and and come up and nail the guy. He doesn’t need to get all the way to the depth of the receiver, just deep enough to tighten the passing lane (see Watt INT)

    It’s about 5-7 extra yards to cover with the benefit of seeing the throw to tackle the checkdown, very doable.

    I like these videos though keep it up 🙂

  • Alex Kozora

    You’re right, that’s what I’m saying. I think I even said that in the video.

    “He doesn’t have an exact zone to cover…he’s that robber, where’s he’s reading the QB eyes.” I don’t know what you disagree with.

    I don’t think there’s much Dupree did wrong. It’s not like Cover 2 where you jam/sink because you’re worried about the route combo that could beat you (smash). And it’s not like it was 3rd and long where you take the underneath throw all day. Davis just needs to match the route. He guessed. And guessed wrong.

  • nutty32

    I’d hate to be Mike Wallace in that Raven film room. What a jerk.

  • Bryan Ischo

    Oh yes, trust me, you have the Yinzer accent down pat. It’s a thing of beauty and entirely appropriate and welcome in a Steelers breakdown video.

  • Alex Kozora

    haha i’ll take it

  • TroymanianDevil

    I think it’s that the Steelers weren’t lucky, which is something I believe ( 3rd play only)
    First 2, sure, drop and bad throw. 3rd one I think the defense deserves more credit

  • Alex Kozora

    And I made sure to point it out. But like I said, I bet the Jags will test them on that. Even a pressured QB can make that throw.

  • Kimothy Edwards

    You can if, woulda, coulda all the hell you want but the fact remains the same the pass was off due to the pass rush getting pressure on the qb which made the pass off line which in turn made the receiver out of position to even catch the ball, and that’s the fact of the matter. And again if any team got lucky on that particular play, and again I say it was the Ravens. It could of easily result in a fumble or interception!

  • TroymanianDevil

    Sure, someone else can make that play. I fully understand your point of needing/wanting to clean this up. It’s obviously never good to trip over your own teammate. And I agree with all that, we’re on the same page about fixing this.
    My only point is that it’s not lucky, and thus doesn’t really fall under the title of the article, that’s all

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Every time I see we rush three we seem to have no luck with it….please can this defense.

  • Steve

    I like trains, so don’t sweat them.

  • Steve

    Burns has not had a good year so far, that for sure.

  • Xclewsive

    Alex you got a tough job being equal fan and critic.

  • Carl Mendelius

    Bud Dupree is not breaking out as most people thought he would and James Harrison could only be used in a very limited way. If I were Colbert I would trade for Cameron Wake with Miami which is not going anywhere. Wake is a great pass rusher and cannot be too expensive since he is 35. This is the last year for Ben, he is declining fast and after him the Steelers are going down. This is the time to be bold, the Pats are not strong right now.

  • Thomas

    Well I understand you did hedge slightly as to Dupree & Davis’ possible responsibilities.

    Well I guess this centers on our definition of what a robber is. All I was saying is that the conclusion that Davis is a robber and that he has ANY fixed responsibility in the zone are incompatible.

    Thus it falls on Dupree to make the decision of which guy to cover, making the choice to prioritize covering underneath route the wrong one.