Film Room: Steelers offense out of sync in Chicago

You know there’s a problem when, in the week leading up to the game, you constantly say to yourself, “This is a game we should win, but we probably won’t because that’s our M.O.”. Another road game against a team with a losing record, another loss. In case you missed the stat, the Steelers are 5-13 in the last 18 such games. On the flip side, the Steelers are 22-6 when facing teams with a record of .500 or over since 2014. It’s a head-scratcher for sure. Let’s take a look at what worked and didn’t work for the Steelers offense.

What Could’ve Been

The Bears won the coin toss and deferred giving the Steelers offense the first shot on the field. Unfortunately, they didn’t take advantage of their golden opportunity.

The offense has their 12 personnel on the field (one back, two tight ends, two receivers) with Antonio Brown, Xavier Grimble, and Martavis Bryant split out to the right in a trips formation. This play shows how much defenses respect AB. He initially runs a curl route, but with the underneath linebacker cutting off that passing lane, he adjusts towards the middle of the field. Rookie safety Eddie Jackson (#39) notices this and tries to jump the route and cornerback Marcus Cooper (#31) freezes. This allows Martavis Bryant to easily get behind the defense.

Man, what could’ve been. Instead of the Steelers being up 7-0 seven seconds into the game, they’re left with a 2nd & 10. Look how incredibly close this play was:

Everyone is pointing their fingers at Bryant, and while it looks like he could possibly extend his arms a little more to try and get this, Big Ben needs to get a little air underneath this throw. He has struggled mightily this season throwing the deep ball accurately.

Another Turnover

With the Steelers driving the ball past midfield and facing a 3rd & 8, another mistake gives momentum right back to the Bears.

The Bears defense does a great job of hiding the blitz. Slot cornerback Bryce Callahan (#37) never shows his hand and overloads the right side of the line with linebacker Danny Trevathan blitzing as well. Two defenders that right tackle Chris Hubbard has to account for. Eli Rogers, who is lined up in the slot, sees the blitz and immediately turns to Ben with his hands up to make him available to his quarterback. Ben is fixated on the left side of the field and never sees the corner coming. A sack, strip and fumble recovery for the Bears defense.

Pittsburgh Steelers Chicago Bears Week 3 Strip Sack

AB Gets His First TD of 2017

With seven yards between the offense and a tied game, they called upon their best player.

Cornerback Prince Amukamara (#20) lined up with his heels in the end zone giving a seven-yard cushion. AB reduced his split, meaning he moved closer down the line of scrimmage in order to cut down the travel time for the ball to get to him from Ben, and it looks like he gives a hand signal, most likely signaling the quick screen pass.

Pittsburgh Steelers Chicago Bears Week 3 Antonio Brown TD

With the cushion that Amukamara gives him, AB easily makes a move to the inside, extends, and breaks the plane for a touchdown, his first of the 2017 season.

Antonio Brown full extension for touchdown


These three offensive plays by the Steelers exhibit what can happen when things go wrong, things go right, and something in the middle happens (with the middle ground being the near fingertip miss by Bryant in clip one).

The Steelers offense may have looked stagnant at times, and they were. But once they clean up small errors in their game, there’s a load of potential for this team looking ahead.

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