Steelers film study: Big Ben felt pressure vs. Bears
Ben Roethlisberger will be the first to admit that he didn't have one of his best games Sunday against the Bears.
Roethlisberger fumbled twice and threw a pair of interceptions that directly led to 21 points in a 40-23 kiss but also was harassed all game by the blitz-happy and stunting front seven of the Bears.
Or was he?
There's no denying Roethlisberger was under a lot of pressure from the Bears, but not as much as one might think.
Roethlisberger had a “clean” pocket in which he did not have to step up, scramble or throw quicker than he would've liked on 27 of the 46 times he dropped back to pass.
Roethlisberger got rid of the ball in an average of 2.3 seconds when he wasn't pressured, which resulted in a couple of big plays down the field.
When he was pressured, those numbers changed a lot.
Roethlisberger didn't have a “clean” pocket on 19 throwing plays, which included 14 pass attempts, three sacks and two running plays.
Roethlisberger completed 7 of 14 passes for 111 yards and a pair of interceptions when he was pressured.
When Roethlisberger was pressured, it came quickly. Chicago got got to him within two seconds seven times with the majority of those comes because of left tackle Mike Adams.
Adams allowed five hurries of Roethlisberger including one sack. All five of Adams' hurries gave Roethlisberger less than three seconds to get rid of the ball — 2.7, 2.3, 2.8, 2.9 and 2.9.
• The Steelers haven't been pressuring quarterbacks like they once did, but the Bears weren't going to take any chances Sunday. Jay Cutler's first 10 passes were released at an average of 2.0 seconds. The two longest were a pair of play-action passes (3.2 and 3.4 seconds). For the game, Cutler released the ball on average 2.26 seconds.
• Fullback Will Johnson was part of the game plan more than he was the first two weeks, but not when it came to being a lead blocker. Johnson led the way for only three of the Steelers' 19 run plays, gaining 11 yards. Johnson played 17 snaps. He came into the game taking part in seven snaps in two games.
• The outside zone blocking was used a little more, but took a back seat to the power game once again. The Steelers called five outside zone runs with poor results: 8, -2, -2, 1 and 0 yards. The Steelers used the scheme three times with Felix Jones and twice with Jonathan Dwyer. The Steelers have run the outside zone seven times in three games.
• The Steelers have yet to create a turnover in three games, but it isn't because defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau isn't dialing up different kinds of pressures. Against the Bears, LeBeau used either a corner or safety as a fifth rusher 12 times led by Troy Polamalu's five. Shamarko Thomas blitzed three times, Robert Golden twice and William Gay and Ryan Clark once each. Coming into the game, LeBeau had sent the defensive backs only seven times.
• The Bears made a concerted effort to keep receiver Brandon Marshall away from Ike Taylor. Marshall lined up in the slot a number of times forcing Taylor to slide outside and cover either Alshon Jeffery or Earl Bennett. During the first drive alone, Marshall lined up in the slot five times forcing a number of different Steelers to cover him, including Thomas, Ryan Clark, Jarvis Jones, and LaMarr Woodley.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers’ defense on pace for fewest sacks in 16-game season
- Steelers notebook: No-huddle gets limited use vs. Texans
- Nearing season’s midpoint, Steelers still have issues to sort out
- Steelers’ Pouncey, brother won’t be charged in July fracas
- Snapshot in time: Comparing Cowher, Tomlin drafts
- Steelers film session: Watt kept under control
- Steelers’ defense rebounds after shaky 1st quarter, forces Texans into mistakes
- Steelers dial up 2-point play for Brown’s TD toss
- Steelers lookahead: Colts QB Luck becoming one of NFL’s elite
- Rookie Bryant sparks deep passing game for Steelers in victory
- Steelers use 3 late first-half TDs to stun Texans