Steelers Vs. Ravens Tape Analysis - Don't Blame McFadden For the Ravens' First Big Play

So I'm re-watching the Pittsburgh Steelers' Week 13 victory over the Baltimore Ravens. I would have liked to have done this earlier in the week, but alas, better late than never.

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As you can see, it's not Bryant McFadden who's lined up with Anquan Boldin on the first of two long pass plays for the Ravens. It's Ryan Clark who's got one-on-one coverage with Boldin. With Troy Polamalu blitzing, Clark is the last line of defense. Considering the circumstances - 3rd and 15 from inside their own 5 yard line - Clark is probably taking too aggressive of a position. Boldin is running a straight fly, and you can already see that Clark's shoulders are too square, meaning he's going to be a split second late turning and running with Boldin. That's exactly what happens...

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Again, this is not on McFadden. He's actually outrun his man and is able to make a last-second attempt to break up Boldin's reception. Being the sturdy playmaker that he is, Boldin held on to the ball. If you read the gameday thread, you'll read all sort of blame heaped on B-Mac for the big gain, but it's unfounded.

Look, I'm not trying to convince anybody that McFadden is an All-Pro caliber CB or even a long-term solution necessarily. But I think he's been a lot better than people give him credit for. What I really like about his game is his ability to make sound tackles in the running game, and in the short-passing game. Plays like this...

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More forthcoming.

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