View Full Version : Sack Breakdown from Rats game

10-02-2008, 11:41 AM
Sorry I'm last with this...from postgameheroes.com

Sack #1
1st quarter - 7:13 - 3rd down and 12 - Shotgun - 4 WRs (TE slot) - RB flanked right - 5 man rush
VIDEO HERE (http://www.viddler.com/player/f931605/) [/URL] (http://www.viddler.com/player/aa617afa/)
Colon: LDE Johnson is down across from Colon on LOS and drops into coverage - Colon doesn’t block anyone off the snap but helps chip Pryce (who lined up at NT) with Simmons
Simmons: Does good job on NT Pryce
Hartwig: Retreats from LOS of scrimmage, trying to form pocket from the inside and keep anything from coming up the middle - left with no one to block as NT Pryce crossed left and Kemo picked up ILB blitz from Scott
Kemo: Does good job taking on ILB Scott on the blitz
Smith: Gets good positioning on OLB Suggs and foces him inside where there is plenty of help from Kemo and Hartwig
Davis: Does adequate job picking up OLB rush from Barnes - pushes him outside to form pocket for Ben to step up but doesn’t really finish block
Ben: Recognizes blitz right away but is unable to avoid unblocked safety Ivy
Ward is open in the slot but the communication isn’t there to take advantage of Ward vs. Ray Lewis (from middle of field). Very good blocking minus unblocked safety who was on the LOS across from slot receiver Ward
Sack 1 Breakdown:
This sack is the poster boy for the issues the Steelers have had protecting the QB since 2006. Defensive schemes that create unblocked blitzers and leave offensive linemen with nobody to block. Bottom line with this play is that there was a mismatch the Steelers HAD TO EXPLOIT to burn the blitz ( which was an uncovered Hines Ward in the slot). If the ball is delivered to Ward on time, I think this play is a success. I have to speculate, but it looked to me like Ben was looking at Hines, and Hines wasn’t looking at him. Because of the mis-communication (upfront and in the secondary), it’s hard for me to pin this on a specific player without knowing individual responsibilities, but it seems Ward should have had better football IQ and awareness in this instance and should have been looking for the ball.
Sack #2

2nd quarter - 3:48 - 1st down and 10 - 2 TE’s strong right - single back - 2 WR’s - 4 man rush
Colon: Doesn’t show good feet or quickness off the snap but does recover pretty well and uses his upper body strength to push LDE Pryce inside and away from collapsing pocket
Simmons: Decent job initiating on NT Ngata, who quickly backs off block to man LOS in middle of the field
Hartwig: Has nobody man-up on him at LOS - takes Ngata after Simmons pushes him along and Ngata backs off the line of scrimmage
Kemo: Does an excellent job on DT Bannan - unfortunately he steps on Ben’s foot as play gets started
Smith: After good initial positioning on RDE Suggs, he gets powered back after losing leverage. Suggs
shows great power reaching over and around Marvel here to get a hand on Ben’s jersey, and eventually completely shedding Smith for the sack
Ben lost his shoe, which clearly effected not only his dropback, but also any ability he may have had to elude the pass-rush. For most of his career Ben has showed quicker feet in his drops than to let Kemo step on him on a routine pass protection where Kemo did nothing out of the norm…. still and accident though.
Sack 2 Breakdown:
I expect Ben to get out from under center faster than he did, but Smith simply got beat by Suggs on this play and it cost the Steelers a sack.
Sack #3
2nd quarter - 2:26 - 3rd and 11 - 3 WR’s left - TE standing up to right - RB flanked right - 4 man rush
Colon: Good job recognizing the overload blitz from the left side of the defense - keys on his responsibility
Simmons: Initiates contact with LDE Pryce before pushing him off to Hartwig - helps out with OLB Johnson behind pocket
Hartwig: DT head up drops into coverage - does decent job on Pryce after Simmons passes him on
Kemo: Blocks no one
Smith: Does good enough job on Suggs to keep him outside of pocket
Davis: Is keyed up against LB Scott and is unable to maintain block, although he did do his part in pushing Scott out to form a pocket
Ben had Holmes open for a 1st down had he been a little more patient in the pocket; Ben fumbled the ball and Colon fell on it…..I think this was the play that Simmons popped his achilles.
[U]Sack 3 Breakdown:
At first watching this sack, I wanted to pin it on Davis, simply because he didn’t finish Bart Scott off. But when I saw the 2nd angle from behind the offense on the TV broadcast, it was pretty evident to me that Davis did his part to create a pocket for Ben, as did everyone else on the field. In fact, Ben had a great alley to step and throw to a wide open Holmes, and instead tried to scamble to his right, right into the pressure. This sack was on Ben - a little more patience and this could have been a big play.
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Topics: NFL (http://www.postgameheroes.com/?cat=5), Sports (http://www.postgameheroes.com/?cat=14), Steelers (http://www.postgameheroes.com/?cat=7) | 6 Comments » (http://www.postgameheroes.com/?p=3822#comments)

El-Gonzo Jackson
10-02-2008, 12:10 PM
Yeah, Sack #1 Hines needs to recognize the blitz.

Sack #2 Ben loses his shoe and it all goes down from there. Smith stalls the rush, but not for long.

Sack #3 Ben is probably a bit uneasy from all the pressure the past couple weeks.

Good pickup on this weekly feature. I like it. Kind of interesting how last week they credited the sacks to O-line-4, QB-2, WR/RB-3 and Ron Jaworski had a similar allocation of 3-3-3.

10-02-2008, 12:12 PM
It seems reasonable to me. I'm one of Ben's biggest fans, but to say he never holds on to the ball a tad too long is as silly as saying we don't benefit equally as much from him holding on to the ball.

Seems like 1 is on the OL, 1 is on Ben, and 1 is on the scheme. For some reason no one has ever looked at it like that on these boards (that I've seen), but that resonates perfectly with what my unspoken thoughts on it were. It seems like individually our guys do fine, it's just on any given play it seems one person is left out of the loop.

Now, the big part:

Why This Isn't a Big Deal

I'll address this one by one, why this doesn't seem a big deal to me from what I've seen in football:

Ben - He's a pseudomobile QB; in other words, the right kind of mobile QB. They tend to extend plays with their legs, and by and large take more sacks because of it. Ben will be similar to McNabb in that later in his career he'll settle down and become more of a strict pocket passer, which means he'll lose his legs but gain quicker recognition. His sack from this game wasn't even his fault, that write up is correct in that Ben saw it, but Hines didn't. Ben is evolving quickly.

OL - They've played...4 games together. This is a no brainer, we really do have serious talent on the line, they're just not playing as a unit quite yet.

Scheme - Sometimes you just get beat, plain and simple. If the schemes were always perfect, no QB would ever be sacked.

I noticed when we ran the no-huddle, our OL really stepped up and did quite well. My suspicion is the pressure of a no-huddle either 1) destroys any continuity between the linemen (and team), or 2) promotes greater unity. Clearly, we fall into the second.

Our line is on the way up (yes yes, I know, it can't get much worse). We've had new people on the line for years consecutively, without their backups being able to acclimate themselves. If we keep the same line, next year we'll be absolutely fine.

I want to say one other thing about Ben that's been brewing to all these naysayers and people who argue Ben isn't elite.

Ben isn't exactly a mobile QB in the sense that he relies on his feet. He's exactly the Elway type of mobile you need: a strong passer first who if all else fails he can use his feet. I daresay he's a step further in that he has the Brady-esque talent of dancing around in the pocket. That said, the difference in a Vince or McNabb-type QB who gets hit while running for it (not a sack) and Ben getting hit while working in the pocket (a sack) isn't huge. Bad sacks are when the QB doesn't see it coming and gets rocked. I'd venture a guess that only 1/4 - 1/3 of Ben's sacks are such hits. HBs take hits nearly everytime they run; QBs aren't magically more frail, they just don't see the hits coming. When you think of the 47 sacks, divide it in quarters, his "unforeseen" sacks are a reasonable 11.75.

People seem to carry this stigma that a "sack" means a horrific, injury-causing tackle. That's only the case when the QB doesn't see it coming. Other than that, it's just a tackle, on the QB (who isn't automaticaly a 5'2 105 lb ten year old), for negative yards. So let's stop this "If Ben keeps getting sacked 47 times a season, he'll retire by age 30." LT had 317 attempts last year. 317 hits. He isn't dead. Ben took 47 hits, a good portion of which he knew was coming.*

*I do want to say I don't want Ben to keep taking hits, but the way Ben plays sacks happen, thankfully he can usually brace for them and keep the hit away from his knees/shoulder.

man that was long...

El-Gonzo Jackson
10-02-2008, 12:29 PM
I think the MNF crew spelled out the risk-reward with Ben holding onto the ball long. I'm OK with the risk

I just think its amusing that as Steeler fans, we expect Woodley, Harrison, Timmons, Farrior and blitzing DB's to get sacks each game.......but if Ben hits the turf 3 times like in this game, its a big deal.

Sacks happen in the NFL. We just have to accept that taking 3 a game is probably normal and avoing taking 9.

10-02-2008, 12:32 PM
I think the MNF crew spelled out the risk-reward with Ben holding onto the ball long. I'm OK with the risk

Agreed. For every sack that Ben has taken because he held onto the ball too long, he's extended the play long enough to gain yardage, usually a large chunk of it. I'd even wager to say it's a 2:1 heal:harm ratio.

10-02-2008, 12:32 PM
I remarked during the game that Ben had happy feet in the pocket, and that is a direct result of not having confidence in the guys in front of him. So for that reason alone, he's probably going to run into a few more sacks before the season is over.

10-02-2008, 12:58 PM
We knew what we were getting when we drafted him. He's a gunslinger, and they take chances.

10-02-2008, 01:33 PM
Thanks for passing that on,, rev. I thought the line did a decent job, and I pinned a couple sacks on the skill positions too. I think even Madden spotted that first one, didn't he? Except that he had his lips all over Lewis' johnson calling it good coverage when Ward clearly had a step to the outside.

10-02-2008, 01:58 PM
I think even Madden spotted that first one, didn't he? Except that he had his lips all over Lewis' johnson calling it good coverage when Ward clearly had a step to the outside.

Lol, part of the risk/reward of Madden isn't it?

Thanks again rev for this. I'm also of the opinion that Ben is a high risk gunslinger and we as fans have to grow a toughter skin and learn to understand he's not gonna bore us -good or bad - I personally love every minute of it.

Avoid LLoyd1975
10-02-2008, 03:41 PM
Lets just hope that you don't have to post a thread like this after the Jags game.

10-03-2008, 12:53 AM
Lets just hope that you don't have to post a thread like this after the Jags game.

3 sacks allowed against the Rats is pretty decent. There's a big difference between 9 and 3. I think there will be a lot of points scored in Jacksonville, for both teams. Both offenses have pretty good success against the opposing defense.

10-03-2008, 08:56 PM
The o-line actually played well during the second half. I doubt they keep up the good work. They play well for a game or two and then fall apart, there's no consistency.

10-03-2008, 09:19 PM
Is it me but is 3 sacks in a game not all that bad? Especially playing the so called best defense in the NFL.

Of course Steeler fans were in panic mode after the Eagles game. Our star QB getting tossed around, but thats not to say I seen many fans give up. Mostly what I seen from fans was a call for better plays against D's that bring the house....

tony hipchest
10-04-2008, 01:39 PM
good stuff. these breakdowns are quickly becoming 1 of my favorite weekly reads.

10-04-2008, 08:29 PM
good stuff. these breakdowns are quickly becoming 1 of my favorite weekly reads.

I agree... instead of some rants about who sucks and who doesn't... at least these break it down. I disagree with the breakdowns at times... but there is some good thought involved in these breakdowns.

El-Gonzo Jackson
11-07-2008, 01:07 PM
Hey, is there a sack breakdown from the Redskins game that is done??

I was liking this weekly feature.