PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 18: Isaac Redman #33 of the Pittsburgh Steelers carries the ball against the Seattle Seahawks during the game on September 18, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
We reviewed the first quarter of Week 2 yesterday, and ended here; where I built up this upcoming play as, perhaps, the "ohhhh, man" play of the game. Without further ado...
Seattle in 4-3 versus '12.' See and remember the boxed area. Hines Ward motions, snap...
Heath Miller releases down the seam and will be covered by Hawthorne. Ward released off the line; Curry has underneath, knowing Thomas is in the area behind the box from earlier. Curry backpedals and watches Ward.
Ben throws. Ward keeps running when Ben thought he would stop; or maybe it was a bad pass to the receiver up top. Regardless, Curry sees the ball... could it be!?....
That was the play for him to exercise the demons. It's all about the ball. It didn't happen. The beginning of the end of the Aaron Curry era. Ohhhh, man.
Carroll calls a timeout when they get on the field for 3rd and 5 because, well, this whole team knows what just happened.
"Common, next play! Let's get off the field!"
The Steelers convert a 3rd down and keep driving. On 2nd and 7 from the 20 the Steelers get the matchup that will work, running at the vulnerable side of the nickel formation for the touchdown; Kam whiffed in the open field as the last man back. See, I promised; no more showing missed tackles. And it's 14-0. It could have been 7-7, and Aaron Curry could have had the play we've all been waiting for. Moving on.
It's time for some offense.
Longest play of the day for Seattle; a 17 yard pass to newly signed (and soon to be released) fullback Eddie Williams on a play action pass. Jackson had so much time; maybe he could have hit Anthony McCoy as he broke just a little deeper than Williams...
Also, the ball was behind Williams; had it been a catch in stride pass, there may have been more to bite off. Ball placement was key here.
Hawks go unbalanced on 1st down and then pull the tight ends outside on a receiver screen on 2nd down, like so: Obomanu in motion from top to bottom, notice the two arrows on the tight ends.
Obo gets about seven with some tough after the catch running, enough for the1st down. Chains moving, and then the ball is across midfield after this catch!:
Jackson and Tate have confusion on what looks to be the same play as the Obo one earlier in the 1st quarter, but Jackson and Tate somehow connect...
Go dee....no, stay...goo...I gotta throw!!
This is one of those examples of why this front office believes Golden can live up to his name.
Two feet. And he maintains possession.
But, a Russell Okung false start puts them back across midfield going the wrong way, and into 3rd and 9. A conversion would be huge here.
(Seattle came out in the same formation for 3rd and 4. I believe this to be the last play of the 15 play scripted opener.) Seattle in '11,' but Zach Miller is in the backfield as a blocker. Obo is circled up top.
Corner sits, for now. Obo releases. Jackson is at the top of a 7 step drop.
A couple of steps over; a lot of time, a clean pocket and a chance for a big throw. What did he see downfield as he hitched a couple of times?
Obo has a lot of separation and the corner is even facing the wrong way! It's possible Jackson could have made this throw after only the first hitch, or none at all; was any of it by design? (Oh, and peep Baldwin.)
But even still, there is a ton of room to make throw to the sideline (honestly, I lost the ball in the shot, but I believe it to be somewhere in that oval).
(Baldwin go Boom.)
It goes right through his hands. You could say a lot went awry on this play, in terms of chemistry, anticipation and ball placement (not to mention the "drop"); but they had every opportunity to make it work. A huge chance to gain some momentum and get back into the game before halftime, foiled.
Punt. Atari Bigby makes a nice tackle on the play.
The Steelers have scored touchdowns on two possessions in row. Seattle will get the ball coming out at halftime; With just over nine minutes left, the Steelers want to chew clock and put points on the board.
The Steelers methodically march down the field. Browner gets victimized a bit, the Steelers make a couple of plays and the Seahawks generally struggle in their quest to get some pressure. Branch and Bryant both got penetration against the run but couldn't make the play on said occasions. The game changer on this drive is when Big Ben completes a pass to Heath Miller into the redzone, which gets a little yardage added on after a Raheem Brock hit to the knees on Big Ben. Charlie Batch has to come in for two plays before Ben comes back for a pass on 3rd down. Maybe Trufant got away with one here (the hand on the right shoulder):
But the ref was right there, so I guess it was clean? Advantage Seattle. The Steelers kick the field goal, and then a touchback.
1st and 10 at the 20 inside of 2 minutes. This happens as they try to set up a screen to Baldwin:
Look at all of that space!
As the bobble happens, the timing changes and there is no throw; Jackson just runs for a loss of -2. Okung false starts setting up 2nd and 17. This leads to 3rd and 9 and since the Steelers don't have any timeouts left, Seattle runs it from and the 1:20's to :40 seconds and they call a timeout. They run on 3rd and 9 with Forsett, setting up a 4th and inches snap with :01 second left. A Jackson scramble ends the half.
Given that Seattle gets the ball coming out of halftime, there seemingly wasn't any urgency here after the poor start to the drive. This looked like an effort to prevent a major mistake, either self-inflicted or when the Steelers got the ball back (if they had not run the clock out). An underwhelming finish to a one-sided half. 17-0 Steelers.
Oh boy. Gamebook with complete stats, here.
Parts 3 & 4 (the second half) will cover some different aspects of the game: More screen game, the blitz will become a factor and the Seahawks will begin to experiment with their offensive tempo.