Steelers Take Control With Opening Drive of 2nd Half

Because the posts have been and will continue to come fast and furious, I'm going to include links to previous ones in each post, so that one can jump around between them at ease.

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Let's take a look at some pictures from the Pittsburgh Steelers 13 play 77 yard drive to start the 2nd half. It featured 7 runs for 23 yards and 6 passes for 54 yards. Because this was one of the few drives actually where the running game wasn't clicking on all cylinders, the Steelers found themselves needing to convert 3 3rd downs of at least 7 yards.

They converted all three.

1) 3-7-PIT41 (12:13) (Shotgun) B.Roethlisberger pass short middle to S.Holmes to SD 49 for 10 yards (Q.Jammer).

2) 3-11-50 (10:37) (Shotgun) B.Roethlisberger pass deep right to N.Washington to SD 32 for 18 yards (P.Oliver).

3) 3-8-SD30 (8:33) (Shotgun) B.Roethlisberger pass short right to H.Miller to SD 12 for 18 yards (C.Gordon).

It all started with pass protection - from everybody, RBs, TEs, and OL alike.

Let's take a look at how it happened:

 

PLAY 1

Firstpocketpic_medium

You'll notice Moore is lined up on one side prior to the snap before recognizing the corner blitz from the other side and heading that way to meet Cason before he got in Ben's line of sight. . Let's take a look from a different angle:

Pocket5_medium
You'll notice above that C Justin Hartwig takes care of two Chargers pass rushers above. The first being the guy lined up across from him, the second being the stunting LB, who's trying to find an open lane in the middle of the offensive line. By the way, these stunts up the middle are all the rage in the league right, so congrats to the Steelers for being ready.

Pocket_medium

Part of why Moore was so easily able to recognize where he should be is the amazing pocket created by the rest of the lineman in front of him, most notably by Max Starks who is suffocating his man in the above frame. More on this play, and two more after the jump.

 

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I highlight the game clock above - notice that three second have passed (a loooong time in the first place) and Ben still has no one near him really.

PLAY 2:

Playtwo1_medium

Playtwo2_medium

All day to throw, with each and every lineman putting their hat on somebody. Ben has a huge pocket to sit in and survey the field from.

Playtwo3_medium

This time Ben has 4 seconds to unload the ball. Notice the great mechanics too. When Ben steps into his throws with time it's usually lights out for a defense. It sure was, look at this window Ben fits the ball into around 4 Chargers defenders - all because he had time to survey the field and step into a strong throw that's essentially unstoppable.

Ptwo3_medium

PLAY THREE:

All about Mewelde here.

Mooreblock_medium

Mooreblock1_medium

Moore_medium

Mooregood_medium

Ben's internal clock was perfectly calibrated yesterday. He had a bit less time on this play even though Moore had been doing a great job standing up the Chargers pass rusher. Still, Ben made up his mind and unleashed it while he still could.

A third straight successful third down and we were inside the red zone ready to take firm control of the game.

Previous Breakdowns:

Fake Punt Attempt
Santonio Holmes' Punt Return
Woodley's Thunderous Sack
Willie Colon - The Mauler
1st Half Review
2nd Half Review
Celebration Thread

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