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发表于 2019-5-22 11:43:25 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Heinz Field Report: Getting an in stadium account of a much-needed Steelers win For those Steeler fans out there who have had the great privilege of attending a game at Heinz Field Roosevelt Nix Jersey , you know the experience of the game is much different than viewing it on television. Between the constant replays and commentary, it is not always easy to notice everything that is broken down. But sometimes the in-person experience can bring things that may or may not be noticed by the cameras. Most importantly, feel for the game in stadium and how momentum is shifting for or against the Steelers cannot be replicated on a screen.First off, it was a very strange experience heading to Heinz Field Sunday. For the first time I can recall, I did not hear a single “here we go” chant before the game. Not on the Gateway Clipper. Not on Art Rooney Avenue. Not in the Great Hall, and not in the Ford Fan Zone. Maybe I just missed them, but usually fans are chanting like crazy, even at preseason games. But not this past Sunday.Confidence in this team was low coming in, but the first drive of the game started building some energy. It began with the Steelers finally getting a first down on their first drive of the game in 2018. Then it was marching the ball down the field with a balanced running and passing game. Next was the touchdown which really wasn’t. But there was a feeling that it didn’t matter – the Steelers were going to get into the end zone. And then the stadium erupted with the touchdown. The energy was back.The missed PAT gave the fans a little bit of a reality check. It was a very subtle reminder of the woes the Steelers have faced thus far in 2018. It was also a reminder of the defense yet to prove itself which was about to take the field. But after a couple first downs, the defense dug in and forced a punt. With the ensuing touchdown drive, it felt as if the Steelers may have turned a corner.There were some bumps along the road. In the second quarter even before the interception, it was obvious Ben Roethlisberger was forcing the ball to Antonio Brown. It seemed every time AB was the target, the throw was off-line. Then the poor decision to force the ball in Brown’s direction rather than throw it away squandered a great scoring opportunity. Having the halftime lead was nice, but leaving at least three points on the field was troubling. Fans still weren’t sure what to expect for the second half.The defense changed the worrisome tone right away. After giving up one first down Jesse James Jersey , they forced yet another punt. The response was a drive that ended with the first Ben-Brown touchdown. It seemed like the momentum was finally rolling in the Steelers’ direction.The defense responded again, forcing a three and out. Then the play which sealed it for the fans in the stadium was the blocked punt which gave the Steelers the short field. It was that play which allowed the stadium to watch the game with confidence in a team who was not going to be denied on this day.There were several aspects of the Steelers win that were apparent during the commentary-free in-stadium experience:Joe Haden was the man. He followed Julio Jones wherever he went and kept him from even recording a catch in the first half. Jones was not a factor in the game until it was already out of reach. The run game matters! Not playing from behind and being able to establish both the run and the short passing game to the running back is key to allowing things such as the play-action pass to be effective.L.J. Fort was having a great day, even before the TD. Not only did he bring pressure on the blitz, his tackling was solid. Terrell Edmunds is improving. He made a nice tackle on third down to force a punt. But the play that really stood out to me was late in the game when he missed a tackle. After not making the play initially, Edmunds got back up and came back into the play to help get the receiver to the ground. Not giving up is exactly what you want to see out of a young player.It was nice to see a defense that was bringing pressure from various places. After the Artie Burns almost interception (which would’ve been a very nice catch if he had made it), it was great to see the Steelers come back with a blitz, even though they did give up the first down. Even then, the Steelers continued to bring pressure which led to the strip-sack and touchdown.There were some different personnel packages deployed on offense. My personal favorite was a “13 personnel” package with three tight ends, Antonio Brown, and James Conner. With the defense going with a run-heavy response, the Steelers bunched all three tight ends to the right while splitting James Conner out wide with AB to the left in order to pass. Additionally, a 47-yard touchdown coming on play action mad the offense seem to at least have some new wrinkles....I’m hoping the NFL network replays the game at some point this week so I can try to break it down from the TV perspective. But even if I don’t get to see the game in its entirety, I was like many Steeler fans that slept well after a great in-stadium experience. The first quarter of the Steelers’ 2018 season was dreadful, terrible and nauseating at best. Thankfully the second quarter yielded a perfect record to top the 1-2-1 start. So as I am tasked to break out the red pen and evaluate the season’s second quarter Dan McCullers Jersey , I no longer do it from the ledge.As I’ve stated all along, I’m not a football coach or a teacher, but I play one in blogs and podcasts. Each week of the 2018 exhibition and regular season, I’ve graded the efforts of the Black-and-Gold via “the eye test”. Grading games is an extremely difficult and somewhat thankless task. While the coaches’ grades, of course, are what count the most, the media and fans can’t help but evaluate as well. So you, the reader, get to vote as well. You even get to grade the grader in the comments section.So let’s take a look at BTSC’s perceptions of the defense for the 2018 season’s second quarterefenseIn the first quarter of the 2018 season, the Steelers’ defense was ranked 30th in the league in total yards allowed (421 ypg) and 26th with a 29-points per game (ppg) average through four contests. This unit was 29th against the pass (304.75 pypg) and tied for 22nd against the run (115.8 rypg). It was one ofthe worst starts on defense ever in the Steel City.Now at the season’s halfway point, vast improvement has been observed. the Steelers’ defense is currently ranked 12th in the league in total yards allowed (347.9 ypg), aided by giving up only 275.3 ypg in games 5-8. Keith Butler’s crew is 15th by allowing a 23.5 ppg average and a mere 18.5 ppg through the last four contests. The pass defense is ranked 21st against the pass (257.6 pypg) and 6th against the run (90.3 rypg). The incredible improvement occurred due to only allowing opposing passers 210.5 pypg and enemy runners 64.75 rypg on average over the last four games.The scheme was terrible and outdated. Myself and many in Steeler Nation were calling for a new coordinator and Mike Tomlin excusing himself from coaching the defense as well. But the results have been absolutely astounding.The defensive line was subpar with a lack of pressure up front is giving quarterbacks plenty of time to pick apart the secondary. The defensive line of Cam Heyward, Javon Hargrave, Stephon Tuitt and a subbing Tyson Alualu and Dan McCullers has rebounded. Especially Tuitt Xavier Grimble Jersey , who went from zero to three sacks in the last three games. Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty ImagesThe middle of the field can still be a feeding frenzy for QBs and TEs. Although Ryan Shazier’s absence is glaring still...Jon Bostic, Vince Williams and L.J. Fort are patrolling much better and playing more solid ball.The OLBs of T.J. Watt (7 sacks) and Alvin “Bud” Dupree (3.5 sacks) have 10.5 sacks combined. Watt has been solid, but gets his sacks in clumps. Bud still overruns quarterbacks, but has been coming along very well in the last four games.Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY SportsThe secondary is no longer an absolute mess, but it’s still untidy. The guys who have help shore up this unit are CB Joe Haden, Mike Hilton and S Sean Davis. These guys have performed the best for Tom Bradley’s unit and are the reason for the sudden resurgence. Morgan Burnett’s absence has led to more Terrell Edmunds, who has struggled as a rookie, but is improving every week. Burnett is back and his presence should strengthen the secondary. Coty Sensabaugh and Cam Sutton have been overmatched on the corners, but both are improving, especially the new starter Sensabaugh. Artie Burns has regressed to the point, I worry for his employment. The secondary has only four interceptions all season and that needs to be remedied. Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty ImagesDefensive Valedictorian: Joe Haden and Mike HiltonOverall Offense Grade: B-


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