View Full Version : Play-action could be key for Roethlisberger

01-27-2011, 05:00 PM
Play-action could be key for Roethlisberger
January, 27, 2011
Jan 27

By James Walker
PITTSBURGH -- There are not a lot of holes in the defenses of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers. They were ranked No. 2 and No. 5 in the NFL, respectively, this season.

But ESPN Stats & Information examined the previous meeting between these two teams in 2009 and may have uncovered one of the keys for Pittsburgh and starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The Packers’ defense struggled mightily against the play-action pass during the Steelers’ 37-36 shootout victory.

Roethlisberger was a near-perfect 6-of-7 (85.7 percent) for 137 yards and a touchdown when using play-action against Green Bay last season. The Steelers averaged 22.8 yards per completion off play-action, which froze defenders and allowed Pittsburgh’s receivers to get open deep.

In total, Roethlisberger carved up Green Bay's defense for a career-high 503 yards and three touchdowns, while Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw for 383 yards and three touchdowns. Both teams racked up 973 yards of total offense.

"From the words of a great philosopher, Bartholomew Scott, neither one of us could stop a nosebleed," Steelers safety Ryan Clark said this week.

Both defenses are better this year, so don't expect another Packers-Steelers shootout in Super Bowl XLV. But there are still some things, such as Roethlisberger's success with play-action, that may be taken from the previous meeting and potentially implemented into the game plan on Feb. 6.

01-27-2011, 05:05 PM
I'd agree with that, I have seen the Pack bite a bit on play action, and it'll certainly be fun to see if they do. Mendenhall is a beast, and you know they can't have what happened to the Jets.

01-27-2011, 05:20 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if Lebeau is helping out with the offensive game plan this week. He knows the weaknesses of the defense and probably knows Capers' tendencies better than anyone.