First and foremost thanks to KiwiSteelerFan for continuing a discussion and prompting me to go back and look at the video to clarify a point I was making with a previous comment! When I did that I found something else as well.
As for the play in question (PFF claims to have numerous people reviewing these plays so they are better equipped than I am to see this) it can be seen in the "Steeler Vertex: How Cam Sutton took Round 2 against the Bills" article.
Allen to Davis TD -
By jumping in front of the WR (Davis) as he was headed to the goal post area, Sutton left Davis with the option to angle the opposite way with Sutton trailing.
That is where the potential to win the play was put in motion by Davis and lost by Sutton.
(This doesn't mean that Sutton's play was horrible or in any way egregious!)
Please notice that I didn't say route because of the following:
The other 2 receivers on the top side of the field ran extremely short routes and the Steeler DBs were on them tight so that left the deeper portion of the end zone clear of defenders. (No way for the Steeler DBs to help on Davis with the speed of the play/pass itself.)
It seems like Haden had the other receiver to the bottom of the screen covered.
The RB, who was picked up by Schobert, never got into a pattern past the line of scrimmage before the ball was in the air.
If Sutton doesn't cut him off in the way that he did then Edmunds, dropping from a couple yards off the line of scrimmage to provide what appears to be center field help in the area of the goal post, might have had a shot at the ball or been able to hit Davis in the act of catching and keep him from maintaining control of the ball.
Sutton would have had trail/underneath coverage.
That scenario seems like it would be a much harder throw and catch.
IMHO there is the very real possibility that Sutton forcing Davis inside towards Edmunds/goal post area would have meant that Allen had to:
- throw the ball away,
- pull the ball down and run and probably get sacked* by TJ Watt/UGIII,
- or get sacked* by TJ Watt with that extra heart beat of the ball not being thrown.
* TJ Watt hit Allen right around the time he released the ball and UGIII (#54) walked his blocker back into Allen's face from the line of scrimmage (top of the screen)
I don't see any other options for Allen with the way the Steelers covered the other potential receivers.
Without the All 22 it's hard to tell for sure but Edmunds doesn't appear to be covering anyone throughout the play but is shading to Haden's (bottom of the screen) side.
This seemed like a play specifically designed to get the person in coverage to jump the route in that manner with how the routes tie into one another. Seems odd that an entire play would focus on 1 match up so it is possible that the Steelers mucked up something else that was expected to be there by the Bills.
Sutton play was excellent but it wasn't enough and Davis and Allen made the better, and only, positive play available to the Bills with the on the money throw and pressured catch.
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