Skip to main content

Steelers clear path to the pocket

A look at Steelers 43, Chiefs 14 via the magic of the DVR:


WINNING UP FRONT:** The Steelers consistently got penetration and repeatedly got to Chiefs QB Alex Smith on the pass rush on Sunday night at Heinz Field.

-Second-and-10, Steelers' 46-yard line, first quarter: Smith rolled left after accepting a shotgun snap, thought about a quick throw for TE Travis Kelce but decided against it and continued rolling left. DE Cam Heyward got across the face of LG Zach Fulton, reached out with his right hand and dragged Smith to the ground for a loss of 5.

-First-and-10, Chiefs' 46, second quarter: The Steelers rushed five against a six-man protection and got great pressure from LB Anthony Chickillo (on TE Demetrius Harris), DE Stephon Tuitt (on OT Mitchell Schwartz) and especially from Heyward, who appeared to have Fulton on roller skates on the way back to the pocket (NT Javon Hargrave drew a double-team).

Smith spun out of the collapsing pocket but stumbled down and LB Vince Williams touched him down for a loss of 1.

-First-and-10, Chiefs' 42, third quarter: The Steelers rushed LB Arthur Moats, Tuitt, LB Ryan Shazier, Heyward and LB Ryan Shazier against a five-man protection. Heyward beat Fulton off the snap and got to Smith as Smith was trying to step up and away from pressure generated by Moats and Tuitt. Jones and Tuitt arrived just after Heyward had dropped Smith for a loss of 6.

-First-and-10, Chiefs' 30, fourth quarter: Pressure from Tuitt off the left edge forced Smith to step up and into Heyward, who had fought through Fulton and OT Eric Fisher while executing a stunt with LB William Gay. The Steelers' fourth sack cost Kansas City another 5 yards.


PLAY OF THE NIGHT:** Heyward finished with three sacks but his best effort might have been the one that resulted in Jones' interception.

On first-and-10 from the Chiefs' 26 in the first quarter, the Steelers blitzed S Jordan Dangerfield off the left slot. Smith tried to work the opposite flat on a screen that turned out to be too slow to develop.

RB Spencer Ware never got in position to catch Smith's pass. Heyward saw to that by extending his left arm and knocking Ware to the ground while engaging Fisher with his right arm as Ware was trying to get out into the flat. Heyward then got his right arm up in time to deflect Smith's pass and Jones came up with the carom.

Heyward wound up flat on his back but the Steelers wound up with a first-and-goal at the Kansas City 4.

WHERE'S LE'VEON?: The Steelers immediately showed the Chiefs they intended to position RB Le'Veon Bell anywhere and everywhere upon Bell's return to active duty.

Bell lined up in five different spots the first five times the Steelers snapped the ball.

Two of the plays were called back due to penalties, but a tone was nonetheless set.

"He is a weapon wherever we put him," QB Ben Roethlisberger maintained. "So we wanted to move him around and do some stuff.

"I thought we could have used him even more in the passing game. We had some more things in the playbook, but other things were working, too."

Bell opened as the lone back behind Roethlisberger in a two-wide receivers, two-tight ends set.

From there it was slot-left, wide-right, wide-left and slot-right in succession (Bell was twice sent in motion pre-snap).

Bell even lined up where a tight end normally might, with WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (slot) and WR Antonio Brown (wide) to Bell's left.

Bell caught one pass for 8 yards and dropped another on the six-play drive that started at the Steelers' 5 and ended with a punt from the 50.

Take a look at the best photos from regular season Week 4 game. The Steelers defeated the Chiefs 43-14.

He finished with 18 carries for 144 yards and five catches (on six targets) for 34 yards for a grand total of 24 touches (counting the drop) on 55 offensive snaps.  

"You treat him as a running back, you treat him as a receiver and that's kind of what we wanted to do," Roethlisberger said.

POWERBALL: RB Le'Veon Bell' 2-yard TD run midway through the fourth quarter resulted from deception and from coming off the ball with authority.  

The Steelers deployed an eight-man line (TE Jesse James, OL Chris Hubbard as a reported eligible receiver, LT Alejandro Villanueva, LG B.J. Finney, C Maurkice Pouncey, RG David DeCastro, RT Ryan Harris and TE Xavier Grimble) against an eight-man front.

FB David Johnson side-stepped right just before the snap and then led right, which influenced the three Kansas City defenders behind the line of scrimmage, LB Derrick Johnson, LB Justin March-Lillard and CB Markus Peters, to initially move left in anticipation of a run that way.

Williams took the handoff and followed DeCastro pulling from right to left and cut between blocks by James (on S Eric Berry) and DeCastro (on March-Lillard).

Peters couldn't/didn't get around the DeCastro/March-Lillard collision and Williams went into the end zone untouched.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.