Watch: Tyson Alualu’s huge fourth down stop
Steel City Underground will pick a play of the game from each side of the ball each week of the Steelers 2017 season. Stay tuned as we hand select the very best from the black and gold!
This week’s Z-Factor, as chosen by staff writer Zac Celedonia, is a little-known cog in the Steelers defensive machine: Tyson Alualu. The reason Zach chose Alualu as his version of an X-Factor for Sunday’s game is that the former first-round pick from the Jacksonville Jaguars was stepping into Stephon Tuitt‘s role on the defense against the Lions.
Alualu ended up making a huge impact, as predicted, in Sunday night’s game, but none as large as this play on 4th-and-1 from Pittsburgh’s one-yard line. Down 13-12, the Lions were poised to go-ahead on their third try from the one. Detroit QB Matthew Stafford stepped back to pass, and whether planned or not, a delay appeared to open a lane for the quarterback to run unimpeded to the end zone.
However, Alualu makes a great awareness play, using his athleticism to spin and stop Stafford for a loss. The sack would turn the ball over on downs and set up the huge 97-yard pass play from Ben Roethlisberger to JuJu Smith-Schuster a little over a minute later.