Steelers Week 14 Turning Point: Late AB Catch Followed By Watt Sack/Fumble

For those of you who follow our weekly “Turning Point” article, no the title above is not a typo or a duplicate post from a recent week. The Pittsburgh Steelers again squeaked out a late win against the Baltimore Ravens with another heroic effort by, you guessed it once again- Antonio Brown. Throughout the game Brown came up with big play after big play and ultimately finished the game with 11 catches and 213 yards, but his last catch on the day would prove to be the turning point of the game.

In a back and forth game, the Steelers found themselves down 38-36 with 2 minutes remaining and faced with a 3rd and 13 on their own 14 yard line.  After a key 1st down catch by Jesse James, the Steelers would then find themselves with a 3rd and 4 at their own 36 yard line. This is where the game turning point would begin.  Ben Roethlisberger hit Brown in stride down the sideline for a 34 yard gain where he ran out of bounds at the Ravens 30 yard line.

In one 6 second play the Steelers went from uncertainty to being in field goal range on the verge of completing another comeback win. Brown had 1 on 1 coverage with Ravens cornerback Brandon Carr down the right sideline and was simply able to beat him on a fly route.  About 7 yards off of the line of scrimmage Carr attempted to jam Brown but was unsuccessful as Brown was able to bounce off and fight through it to gain a step on him. The pass was placed perfectly in stride and seemed to have the look of something these two have practiced and perfected a thousand times over the years.

Roethlisberger and Brown will gain most of the credit on this drive as they rightfully should, but I would be remised if I did not give a shout out to offensive tackle Chris Hubbard and of course, kicker Chris Boswell.  On the above mentioned 34 yard catch by Brown, Hubbard did an excellent job of fending off a bull rush from Ravens edge-rusher Terrell Suggs. Suggs is a tough matchup 1 on 1 for any tackle in the NFL, let alone a backup with the minimal experience that Hubbard has.  Hubbard was able to hold off Suggs just long enough forRoethlisberger to get the throw off and give Brown a chance.

Last but certainly not least, Boswell deserves a ton of credit as well as he was a perfect 4/4 on field goals for the night and ultimately kicked the game winner.  Boswell has been a constant fixture in these recent late game victories and it’s about time he receives more credit.

Even after the field goal, the Ravens were only down 1 point with 42 seconds and 1 timeout remaining. There was plenty of time for them to get in field goal range and give Justin Tucker a chance to win the game.  That is something that no Steeler fan wanted to see.  Even at a 55-60 yard attempt I do not like the Steelers chances in that situation given Tucker’s track record. That brings us to the game sealing play. On 3rd and 10 the Steelers rushed 4 and rookie linebacker T.J Watt was able to beat his man and sack Joe Flacco from behind as he attempted to scramble to the left sideline.  Watt was also able to knock the ball loose for a fumble and it rolled out bounds. After the ball was spotted and the clock started the game was over.  This play is what you would consider an “effort sack” and a great showing of Watt’s high motor as he lined up on the opposite side of the field and was able to come all the way across and chase Flacco from behind.

The Steelers advanced to 11-2 on the season and clinched the AFC North in the process.  They will host the New England Patriots next week in a game that will all but decide home field advantage in the playoffs.

  • Ray

    Gotta change the title. AB catch wasn’t a touchdown

  • DirtDawg1964

    I loved how the Ravens, and even the announcers, didn’t know a fumble doesn’t stop the clock.

    Al Michaels said something like “and this is the one time you don’t want a strip sack”. I think Collinsworth thought it was a ten second run off rule.

    It was a beautiful way to end the game. Not the first time Harbaugh didn’t know the rules.

  • Rick McClelland

    The sack by Watt, is the same kind of defense they need to bring against New England. Line Watt up on the left and Deebo on the right and bring hellfire and damnation. Dupree can sit. He’s bringing nothing to the table at this point.

  • Chris92021

    Agreed. Dupree should only play special teams and on 3rd and long. That is it.

  • PaeperCup

    It’s so funny, the announcers so many times talked about how smart it was for the Ravens to sneak the safety over and double team AB, and every time he had a 1 on 1 matchup he burned them.

  • ThePointe

    I’m sure Harbaugh will suggest changing that particular rule next year.

  • Yeshaya

    I love how anti-anticlimactically the ref announced that the game was over. It’s especially satisfying when you think about that time he had his entire team commit intentional holding to run the clock out. I guess his rulebook mastery isn’t as good as he thought.

  • AndreH

    I think they should think about experimenting with Dupree at inside line backer along side Vince Williams. He’s quick from sideline-to-sideline but he has real problem setting the edge. He needs some extra bricks in his pants because it appears he’s a little in the pocket.

  • walter

    They need to try something. Moats is not the answer inside and Dupree cant play outside

  • John Noh

    My reaction when Ben threw the ball deep on that third and five:

    “NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!”

    My reaction when AB caught it in stride.

    “Great call! Knew it all along!”

  • Ryan Alderman

    Learning a brand new position sounds pretty difficult to me at this point in the season, but your point does have merit.

  • Ryan Alderman

    I got yelled at on here by a guy not long ago for giving my honest take on Collinsworth…

  • Ryan Alderman

    Haha, was a gutsy throw, wasn’t it!!??

  • KansasSteeler

    Seeing this again…Harrison got pancaked on the strip sack, and no way he makes the play that Watt did.

  • Andrew

    I agree with you in that 92 isn’t making the play that Watt did – but pancaked? He was into a lineman and his legs got taken out by Tuitt

  • Charles Mullins

    They also sent the back after 92 and left TJ 1on1. TJ isnt making the play if its him and Dupree.

  • CP72

    I think calling TJ’s sack an “effort” sack is a bit harsh. He cornered and flushed Flacco…..then had the speed to run him down.

  • Kevin78

    I was surprised by it though. I think it’s the first time that I have seen Harbaugh screw up a rule like that. I couldn’t believe it when they were huddling

  • Charles Mullins

    I would be intersted to see Watt on the inside. He might be better than Shazier was in coverage. Harrison, Watt, Vinnie, Bud. Get your best players on the field.

  • Kevin78

    I didn’t see anything from Harrison last night to believe that he is better than Dupree. Harrison got beaten around the edge multiple times, didn’t get pressure and we know he can’t cover. Dupree didn’t play that well, but his coverage was pretty good. He made two decent plays; one by dropping to take away Flacco’s first read on a big play and I think he tipped the third down incompletion that went through Tuitt’s hands.

  • John Noh

    I believe the word I used to text to my buddies was “ballsy”.

  • CP72

    I honestly thought we just had a hometown clock operator. I literally thought…hey nice try.

  • Buccos9

    It is lucky that Watt made the play, because the rest of the D line got destroyed, partially because Tuitt destroyed himself and Harrison. A real lack of coordination.

  • Gloria Burke

    Thought the same thing…he got taken out by Tuitt not pancaked. I like Watt on the left side and Harrison on the right side. Surely James can give you a little more than Dupree on the pass rush. Drop TJ into coverage. I did see they dropped Bud a couple of times into coverage last night.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    To me, the turning point was actually Jesse James’ catch on 3rd and 13. It was at that moment that I went from “Well, at least we were right there at the end, but it’s not going to be enough” to “OMG we’re going to win this!” That was the play that turned the tide imo.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    The move TJ used to even get there should not go unnoticed! That’s what we need from an OLB, imo.

  • CountryClub

    Watt uses his hands really well. He’s going to put up double digit sacks annually starting next yr.

  • CountryClub

    only if they’re going to rush Harrison. Can’t have him dropping into coverage. Brady will eat him up (like he did last yr).

  • Doogie

    Even if he knew the rule, don’t think he could’ve done anything about it. No TOs and not enough time left..

  • Taylor Williams

    I didn’t think Watt would raise this much hell in his rookie season. He’s good in coverage, blocks field goals, stops the run, rushes the passer.
    I mean he had a good combine and was praised for having violent hands. I guess the Watt bloodlines is real.

  • Doogie

    Id try him in the middle, cant do any worse than what happened this game. Probably fail but ok.. He is an athlete, maybe you could blitz him from the middle with James and TJ. SO just as an extra pass rusher on passing downs..

  • Ni mo

    Your blind he got helps each time and generates pressure that play watt made was because Flacco was scared of Harrison , he also collapsed the whole pocket

  • Ni mo

    He ate up Timmons not Harrison

  • Ni mo

    Pancakes or Tuitt slipped into him look at it again

  • Ni mo

    Facts

  • Justin Warrenfeltz

    Absolutely agree. He still has a ways to go to be a top-level NFL pass rusher, but he’s already showed more in his first season, I think, than Dupree has his whole career.

  • CountryClub

    no there was a play where harrison got shredded near the sideline. Not his fault, doesn’t belong out there covering those guys at this point of his career.

  • Kevin78

    It would have been very close if they could do it.

  • Kevin78

    Yeah, the clock winds so a team won’t get a clock stoppage from purposefully fumbling out of bounds in those situations.

  • Kevin78

    My blind what, Gollum?

  • Taylor Williams

    Dupree has “effort” sacks. And coverage sacks.