Breaking down the tape: Landry day

A look back at the Steelers' 25-13 win over the Cardinals via the magic of the DVR:

LANDRY DAY: Landry Jones wasn't perfect, but he made decisions and he made throws and in the end that was more than enough.

Whether Jones was overthrowing WR Martavis Bryant in the end zone on his first attempt of the afternoon or hitting WR Antonio Brown in the foot on what turned out to be his worst attempt of the afternoon, the ball consistently came out of the pocket quickly on either three- or five-step drops. And the positive far outweighed the negative on what turned out to be an 8-for-12 effort for 168 yards, with two touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 149.3 for the Steelers' third-string QB.

Jones' best play of the day was easily a 23-yard completion to Brown on second-and-1 from the Pittsburgh 41-yard line early in the fourth quarter. As Brown explained it, Jones noticed CB Patrick Peterson in one-on-one coverage against Brown and signaled Brown (as opposed to calling an audible), which took the Steelers out of the running play that had been called. Jones then delivered a back-shoulder throw down the sideline that drew rave reviews.

"What a beautiful throw," Fox play by-play man Thom Brennaman gushed.

Added Brown: "He was able to shoot me a signal. He showed amazing growth, amazing poise. He made a gesture to be a quarterback and a general to change the play."

Jones also read a blitz that sent six pass-rushers into a five-man protection, held up strong in the pocket with LB Markus Golden bearing down on him unblocked and hit TE Heath Miller for 5 yards on third-and-3 from the Arizona 39.

"That's great poise by Landry Jones," Fox color analyst Troy Aikman assessed.

Both plays contributed to a field goal and an 18-13, fourth-quarter lead.

Jones' growth was also evident when he hit Bryant in stride on what became an 88-yard, catch-and-run touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

A slant to Bryant on the Steelers' previous possession had moved the chains but gained just 10 yards because Bryant had been forced to go to the ground and reach back for the throw.

Aikman called the pass Jones dropped over S/LB Deone Bucannon and in front of CB Jerraud Powers to Bryant for 23 yards on a drive for a field goal in the third quarter "a perfectly-thrown ball."

The 8-yard Jones-to-Bryant TD in the third quarter resulted, Aikman said, from Jones putting the ball "where only Bryant could go up there and make that play."

The Steelers were 0-for-6 on third downs with Mike Vick at QB.

They converted three of six third downs with Jones (three of five in the second half).

DOUBLE DUTY: With OLB Jarvis Jones (hip) unavailable, the Steelers had to get creative distributing snaps at the position.

Much of that creativity involved Arthur Moats and Bud Dupree, who had been sharing LOLB, playing both sides.

Here's how they lined up at the outset of Arizona's 12 possessions:

  1. James Harrison at ROLB and Moats also at ROLB (in a nickel package with two down-linemen)
  2. Harrison at ROLB and Dupree at ROLB (nickel, two down-linemen)
  3. Dupree at LOLB, Moats at ROLB
  4. Dupree at LOLB, Moats at ROLB
  5. Moats at LOLB, Harrison at ROLB
  6. Dupree at LOLB, Harrison at ROLB
  7. Moats at LOLB, Harrison at ROLB
  8. Moats at LOLB, Harrison at ROLB
  9. Harrison at ROLB, Dupree at ROLB (nickel, two down-linemen)
  10. Dupree at LOLB, Moats at ROLB
  11. Moats at LOLB, Harrison at ROLB
  12. Moats at LOLB, Harrison at ROLB

Moats ended up playing a season-high 46 snaps on defense and contributed his first seven snaps of the season on special teams.

Dupree matched his season high with 48 defensive snaps (Sept. 20, San Francisco) and played four more on special teams.

Harrison played a season-high 50 defensive snaps and four more on special teams.


Game action from the Pittsburgh Steelers' Week 6 game against the Arizona Cardinals.

RED ZONE RECOVERY:** The Cardinals added to their NFL-high total of 17 red zone touchdowns the first time they penetrated the Steelers' 20-yard line on a pass from QB Carson Palmer to WR Michael Floyd on third-and-goal from the Steelers' 3.

Arizona's next three trips to the red zone resulted in a combined six points.

It was a case of the Steelers getting better in the red zone, the Steelers getting a break in the red zone and the Cardinals getting worse in the red zone.

Palmer underthrew WR John Brown in the end zone after CB Antwon Blake had slipped on first-and-10 from the Steelers' 14 in the second quarter. Had Palmer been more accurate, Aikman said, the play "would have been an easy touchdown."

And on third-and-9 from the Pittsburgh 13, CB Ross Cockrell was able to keep Floyd from finishing a catch in the back of the end zone but not before the cameras had caught Cockrell pulling Floyd's jersey out of the back of his pants.

"I'm not sure how you miss that as the official," Aikman said.

Arizona kicked a field goal.

The Cardinals tried a run on third-and-2 from the Steelers' 19 on the last play of the third quarter. A toss-right to RB David Johnson out of a bunch-right formation failed when Moats blasted through a chip-block by WR Larry Fitzgerald (who was on his way to LB Sean Spence) and then ripped through an attempted block by WR Jaron Brown and buried Johnson for a 2-yard loss. Cockrell had funneled the play inside by crashing hard into TE Jermaine Gresham, which created a pile Johnson had to avoid.

Arizona kicked another field goal.

The Cardinals' final snap was a throw into the end zone on fourth-and-3 from the Pittsburgh 9. John Brown had drawn the attention of S Robert Golden, S Mike Mitchell, CB William Gay and Cockrell and was still able to make a catch, but not inbounds.

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