Yesterday we showed all defensive plays in part two of our plays of the year, but today we start with an offensive play that helped seal a big game.
Play Number 9:
This play was what put the Steelers over the top against the Denver Broncos in the regular season. Chris Harris Jr. had not given up a touchdown for almost two full NFL seasons before this game. Antonio Brown would score twice against him. This touchdown came from both Brown's excellent route running and release at the line of scrimmage with Ben Roethlisberger's cannon arm and ability to read the defense. Ben sees the safety creep up into the box which leaves Brown with single coverage on his deep route. Brown works to get the inside of Harris and after that it's just a matter of leading him to the end zone.
Play Number 8:
We mentioned in our first edition of plays of the year how there would be plenty of highlights from the Arizona Cardinals' game, so here's the next play from that showdown. What would Steelers' highlights be without some James Harrison knockout plays? Here the team is again trying to contain the Cardinals' top ranked offense, when Harrison just reacts to quick pass and absolutely levels Brown to force the turnover in the early second half. The Steelers' offense absolutely needed this to keep them in the game when Michael Vick and Landry Jones were the only options at quarterback. If 2015 was Harrison's last season, he sure made it a good one.
Play Number 7:
This was the play that set up the Antonio Brown touchdown we highlighted above. Pittsburgh was on its way to completing a 17 point comeback when Ryan Shazier showed just how good a zone defense could be with explosive athletes. Brock Osweiler thought he had an open man in Emmanuel Sanders, but with Shazier and William Gay closing quickly what was a window of opportunity became a kicked in door from the untoppable Steelers on this day. Only in his second year, Shazier looks to be every bit of the player he was drafted to be.
Only two more editions which means six more plays that can be in our plays of the year for Pittsburgh. Next up will be some more Ryan Shazier, as well as some touchdowns from wide receivers not named Antonio Brown.