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Steelers Film Room: Plenty of blame to go around in Week 8 loss to Raiders

The Steelers had breakdowns in every conceivable fashion against the Oakland Raiders. Offense, defense and special teams all had their issues. Poor clock management, bad luck, wasted opportunities and injuries also contributed to the defeat on Sunday. All in all it was a miserable game, which we will now attempt to review with a few miserable highlights.

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The Pitt Panthers played the Naval Academy last week and will take on Georgia Tech this weekend. Both of these teams employ the triple option, flexbone, offense. The key to stopping this offense is to play assignment football.

The guy assigned to the dive has to tackle the dive. Where the defense becomes compromised is when a player ignores his pre snap responsibility, and instead does something else because he thinks someone else has the ball.

To combat this, defensive coordinators sometimes have the scout offense practice without a ball. The center moves his hand to simulate a snap, but there is no ball. This then works to prevent the aforementioned scenario. The person assigned to the quarterback tackles the quarterback. The person assigned to the dive tackles the dive.

There is no, "I thought the running back had the ball, so I tackled him instead of the quarterback."

It's not like they hit in practice anyways. The Steelers scout offense definitely should have practiced without a ball last week.

Right before the snap, Lawrence Timmons and Vince Williams switch due to motion of the Raiders fullback. Timmons should be on a scrape exchange with Lamarr Woodley. The backside linebacker always has QB on these plays. You can't have the defensive end sit. It puts the defensive end on an island with an athletic quarterback. It slows up his pash rush if they run play action. And, it leaves a huge cutback seam. Most teams run what the Steelers are doing here; a scrape exchange.

You see that Timmons attacks McFadden late. He did exactly what was described earlier. Instead of carrying out his assignment (quaterback) he thought that McFadden had the ball.

Clark is bad on this play also, but honestly, this is a bad defense to be in. The Steelers should have both Clark and Polamalu high and playing an aggressive quarters coverage. Woodley should be bumped out over the slot receiver and play the flats. The defensive end (either Keisel of Heyward) should be in a 5 technique and playing C gap. By playing quarters, the Steelers could still do the scape exchange and have both safeties playing aggressively against the running back and the quarterback. Yeah, Woodley is not going to be really good in the flat, but did we really think Pryor was going to beat us with his arm?

Jarvis Jones played his worst game as a pro against the Raiders.

This wasn't the only time he lost contain, both in the run and the passing game. What bothers me about this play more than anything was that he lost contain against a lackluster attempt by Darren McFadden to block him. He gives up his outside shoulder to McFadden. Once again, do we really think that if we contain Pryor in the pocket he is going to consistently beat us with his arm? You can tell by Keith Butler's reaction on the sideline that he doesn't think so, but it doesn't matter what the coaches know, it matters what the players know.

We all know that Ben Roethlisberger hangs on to the ball too long. But, the following play is an example of him holding on to the ball way, way too long.

I seriously doubt that Ben knows the name of the guy playing left guard on this play. Pre-snap, he has to recognize that Heath Miller is going to be open immediately. While I don't have a lot of faith in the offensive line being able to protect for a long period of time, I am pretty confident that Heath is going to fall forward when tackled. If he falls forward, it is going to be a first down.

Maybe Ben is looking to score. In that case, throw it to Antonio Brown. Brown has separated from the defensive back, and he has cleared the remaining inside linebacker. If he hits Brown in stride, it is six points. The defensive back on Emmanuel Sanders is inside of Sanders. Brown has already crossed the safety who is assigned to Miller. The only DB left is the one that Moye is clearing out. This is an easy touchdown.

I have no idea what Ben is waiting for on this play. He had a completion for a first down and a completion for a touchdown before there was any pressure. Maybe Sanders was Ben's initial read. How can Miller and Brown not be the next two reads?

On the Steelers first offensive play, the Raiders came out and loaded the box and played tight man coverage behind it. Correctly, Ben checked to a fade to Antonio Brown, who beat the corner by five yards. Ben overthrew Brown badly. It was a perfect symbol for a game in which the Raiders did not do anything to win, but instead watched the Steelers to do everything in their power to lose.

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