The Pittsburgh Steelers were shellacked at home when the Kansas City Chiefs put up 42-points on the defense, and while no one wants to continue to re-hash that game, sometimes looking back can help you understand some of the decisions made, and what might be coming in the future.
Obviously, with the way the game played out in Week 2, I focused on the snap totals for the defense. I wanted to see who dominated the playing time on the defensive side of the ball, and what it all might mean.
When I looked up the snap totals, I was shocked to see there were very few players who played the vast majority of the game. Sure, Sean Davis, Artie Burns and Vince Williams all played 100-percent of the snaps (58 total), but other than this trio, it was a mixed bag of goods.
In the secondary, the Steelers deployed Morgan Burnett for 52 snaps, while rookie Terrell Edmunds played 32 snaps. At cornerback, filling in for Joe Haden, the Steelers used Coty Sensabaugh and Cameron Sutton the exact amount — 29 snaps a piece.
What was truly unique to me were the numbers for Mike Hilton and Jon Bostic. Bostic has been the linebacker who comes off the field during sub packages, and Hilton is the first defensive back on the field in these situations.
Hilton logged 42 snaps, with Bostic just 31. In other words, the Steelers deployed a lot of sub packages, as usual, against the Chiefs in Week 2. This is a direct correlation to the number of snaps seen by Edmunds, who didn’t start in Week 2 as he did in Week 1. The increase in sub packages also resulted in just 17 snaps for nose tackle Javon Hargrave.
While fans don’t want to hear it, defensive coordinator Keith Butler tried almost every combination at his disposal to see if there was something which would work in slowing down the Kansas City offense. If you watch the film he used a lot of nickel, dime and even the ‘dollar’ package on a few occasions. He tried both zone and man coverage, and it all ended with the same result — failure.
The Steelers threw the kitchen sink at the Chiefs, and it didn’t matter. Here is to hoping the team can find an equation which works, and they stick to it in Week 3 when they play the red-hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football.
Check out the full list of snap totals, which are brought to you by Pro-Football Reference, below, or by clicking HERE.