The Pittsburgh Steelers were victorious in Week 7 with a 27-24 win over the Tennessee Titans in Nashville. In the first half it was a dominant performance by the visiting team, and mainly the offense quarterbacked by Ben Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger hit a wide array of targets, and often let them do damage after the catch. Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster had big days, and the offense exploded to 24 points in the first half.
The second half was not as great, only adding three points to their total, but the folks at Pro Football Focus (PFF) shared how Roethlisberger, at age 38, is utilizing his skill set to the best of his ability...and it’s working.
STORY OF THE GAME
At 38-years-old and with an average depth of target of 7.2 yards, Ben Roethlisberger cannot push the ball downfield. He looked tremendous in Nashville, embracing his physical limitations to carve up the Titans defense as a lethal dink-and-dunk passer.
Derrick Henry finished the first half with eight carries for 27 yards, averaging less than a yard before contact. Without Taylor Lewan, the Titans offense could not get any push against the Steelers defensive front.
Tannehill looked like a shell of the MVP candidate he has been through the first six weeks. He came into the game ranked as the fourth-highest-graded QB on throws for 10 yards or more. Without a dominant performance from Henry, Tannehill could not thrive off of play-action, attempting only two deep balls of at least 20 yards.
Roethlisberger delivered the ball to seven different targets, leading all QBs with the shortest average time to throw (2.27 seconds). The quick passing game wore out the Titans’ pass-rush, which generated five total pressures.
How about the rookies in Week 7? How did they do in the game? After all, Chase Claypool didn’t light up the stat sheet with only 1 catch for -2 yards. PFF gives the breakdown for both sides of the Week 7 matchup at Nissan Stadium this past Sunday.
Chase Claypool played in 65.7% of Pittsburgh’s offensive snaps, catching just one pass — he looked like a decoy while his teammates combined for 17 receptions, 222 yards and two touchdowns.
For Tennessee, Kristian Fulton tallied 34 snaps as the primary backup to 14-year veteran Johnathan Joseph. Fulton held up in coverage, allowing three catches on four targets for 28 yards.
The Steelers’ schedule doesn’t get any easier. Up next is a trip to M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MD to play the 5-1 Ravens coming off their bye week. Can Roethlisberger and the short passing game continue to thrive? Or will this be a week where Chase Claypool and James Washington take to the air and make big plays the theme of the week?
Only time will tell...
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the Week 8 game in Baltimore and roll through the 2020 regular season.