Home > Uncategorized > Quick Cuts: It’s Antonio Brown’s World.

Quick Cuts: It’s Antonio Brown’s World.

Some quick cuts from the Steelers victory over the Falcons Saturday night.

DEFENSE:

  • To say the Steelers secondary needs work would be the understatement of the decade. It really seemed like they were getting exploited a ton. Ryan was able to complete passes underneath the coverage at will.
  • These underneath passes are the ideal way to neutralize the Steelers defense. LeBeau’s style, in a nutshell, revolves around the linebackers terrorizing the opposing quarterback and forcing him into lousy throws before his receivers can complete their routes. As a result the cornerbacks often play 10+ yards off their men. The Falcons exploited this by employing the three-step-drop and throwing quick outs. 5 yards here, 8 yards there, just chipping away at the defense, keeping them on the field for long periods of time. The Falcons dominated the time of possession in the first half (19-11). That is not Steeler football.
  • Michael Turner is a really, really good running back. The Falcons have a pretty solid offensive line. In spite of this, Matt Ryan threw the ball 42 times… in the first half . Turner recorded only seven first half carries. The leading rusher for the Falcons was Matt Ryan, who scrambled away from a couple of blitzes to pick up 22 yards.
  • Woodley and Timmons were absolutely all over the field. Woodley put tons of pressure on Ryan and blew up a few Michael Turner runs. Timmons pass coverage against Tony Gonzalez was incredible and his interception showed great concentration and soft hands. Great night for those two.
  • Crezdon Butler will probably make this team. He made a few nice tackles (one great open-field tackle on Julio Jones to prevent a first down), defensed a pass, and returned an interception 95 yards for a score. He’s fast as hell and he’ll be a beast of a cover man if he can learn the defense.
For as long as I can remember the Steeler defense has been all about “bend don’t break.” Allow the field goal but never give up the end zone. The defense was on the field a ton in that first half with the Steeler offense scoring on several quick strike opportunities. Ryan and company were having good success through the air. It seemed like a perfect storm for some big plays for the Falcons. But through it all the Steelers allowed only one touchdown and three field goals. Certainly 16 points in one half is more than they want to give up on a consistent basis, but it was great to see them keep a potent offense out of the end zone.
OFFENSE
  • Antonio Brown. Antonio Brown. Antonio Brown! Antonio Brown. He was absolutely unreal in this game. He caught just about everything that was thrown at him, seemed to get open at will, and was terrific on special teams. Wallace, Brown, Ward, and Sanders is a receiving corps I can live with.
  • But what are the receivers without their quarterback? Roethlisberger put on a clinic in the first half, completing 11 of 16 for 214 yards, two touchdowns and no picks. His throws had terrific velocity and accuracy. He averaged a ridiculous 13.4 yards per attempt. His only kind of bad throw was an off-balance number to a wide-open Hines Ward on their fourth possession. He took only two sacks (one of which on a play that was blown dead after Ben lost his helmet after spinning out of a tackle). All around great night for him.
  • Rashard Mendehnall was mostly invisible after he scored on his first touch of the game. He ran for only 8 yards on 7 carries. Arians seemed to forget about Mendenhall on occasion last year. The problem here is that Mendenhall is, you know, really good. Perhaps this was simply to keep him fresh and give the young receiving corps the chance to get better synchronized with Ben. Or maybe Arians is still mad at Rashard for his insensitive tweets. Who knows.
  • David Johnson looked solid on the first possession catching two passes. He is the logical option for fullback, but we didn’t get a good idea of how that would work in this offense with the lack of ground attack. Legursky checked in at fullback a couple of times in goal-line situations which confused me as it really seemed like a good opportunity for Johnson to get a chance to clear a path for Mendenhall.
  • Jonathan Dwyer showed some good vision and quicks in the second half. Seems like he’s developing nicely but I’m just not sure where he will fit in.
  • Marcus Gilbert had some struggles at left guard, but overall he was pretty good. He gave up a sack early in the first half and looked a bit slow to the outside. When the defense rushed directly at him, though, he was solid.
  • Maurkice Pouncey re-aggravated the ankle injury that kept him out of the Super Bowl last year. Tomlin said he should be okay. That said, I would sincerely doubt we’ll see him again before September 11.
The Steelers’ biggest problem over the years has been scoring touchdowns. They have come away from far too many solid drives with only three points. In two first-half red zone trips they scored 10 points. Clearly things will be much easier on them if they can continue to score with this quick-strike offense.
Misc:
  • Swayze Waters has an absolute Howitzer. If he can straighten out his accuracy he’ll be a stud.
  • Speaking Howitzers, Daniel Sepulveda should be this team’s punter, no questions asked. If he can stay healthy, HE will be a stud, too.
  • There Steelers suffered an unrealistic amount of injuries in this game. Leftwich’s arm exploded, Hampton sprained his forearm fat, Keenan Lewis hurt his knee somehow, Carter pulled his hamstring, and Pouncey re-sprained his ankle. Any questions about the Steelers playing their starters in the fourth preseason game have been answered as they no longer have any starters who are healthy. Anyway, it looks like both Batch and Dixon will be on this team going forward, because that elbow of Byron Leftwich’s was not elbowing properly.
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Categories: Uncategorized
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  1. August 29, 2011 at 10:29 am

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