2016 Season Blog.

Pitt Vs KC.

4th Quarter.


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The Champ Game Is Set.


1st and 10, Pitt lined up in a 3-Wide Singleback Twins-right. They like to run in the 3-Wide Singleback, 8 of 9 times so far. They ran to the left. Bell made one guy miss at the line. "He's definitely a tremendous back, extremely patient. But he also has a little quickness and things like that," Flowers said, and then continued. "He's a little shifty. He can be a little shifty. So just being able to anticipate that." Then got knocked down.

2nd and 9, 3-Wide Weak shotgun, Twins-Right. KC stacked the line looking for the run. It would be good to pass here. "Ben is an incredible player, and he's been that way since 2004 when he came into the league," TB12 said. "I've always loved the way he plays: very tough, hard-nosed. He's great for the city of Pittsburgh: a very tough, hard-nosed city. I have a lot of friends from there. He's just been a great player. I think the respect is very mutual. To play at his level for as long as he has and with his style of play has been remarkable." Ben threw it to Rogers over the middle for a First.

1st and 10, 3-Wide Weak shotgun, Twins-right. They ran out of this formation first, and then have passed three straight times. So they trick me and run a Draw. " He's good all of the time," BB said about Bell. "He's really a hard guy to tackle. He's got good vision, great patience, and he does a good job." Bell found a crease for a few.

2nd and 7, Empty. They threw a little screen to Conley. He danced for a few. "They are a great team. They have a lot of great players and a lot of explosive players that can do some special things," Chung said about the offense. "We have to do our best to contain them, and we'll be fine. We are working hard, too, just like they are." 3rd and 1, 3-Wide Singleback, Stack-right, 2 for 2 Run. Bell hopped slowly up to the line, and fell forward for a First.

1st and 10, 4-Wide Strong shotgun, Bunch-Left, 2 for 2 pass. "They're really good," BB said about the Pitt's Big-Three, which might be a Big-Four with the way Jesse James played in this game. "They're a tremendous offense. Kansas City was able to make some plays in the red-area. But I mean, they could've easily been up in the 40's last night. They do a lot of things well: can run it, can throw it. Brown's the main guy, but all of the receivers, tight ends, backs, I mean they're all a problem. Roethlisberger is really good, can make all of the throws. It looks like his mobility is good. They're doing a great job. They're a good offense." Ben dropped. He pump faked and hit James deep over the middle.

1st and 10, they Checked into a 3-Wide Strong shotgun Twins-R. They ran from this formation last time they lined up in it, and passed the last time he checked. So I'm guessing pass. "They're both up there for us," Flowers said about Bell and Brown. "They're both guys that we've got to attack. Both guys that we've got to game plan for and key in on. They're both explosive players. So anytime they've got the ball in hand, we definitely [have to make sure that] all guys are at a point of attack." He handed the ball off underneath to Bell. He got stuck behind a blocker after a yard.

Their O-line is really playing well in the run game. "We have to do a great job of playing team defense. That includes everybody," BB said. "And Bell has great vision, patience, and they have a very good offensive line, and a good scheme. So they make it hard to penetrate. There are not many times when guys are running into the backfield against them." The Pats actually don't want penetration.

They want to encircle him and prevent him from burst upfield. "They do a good job of getting on the blocks, staying on them and eventually, Bell does a good job of creating space or finding space or making it look like he's going to go to one spot and kind of enters in another gap," BB said. "So, we're going to have to do a good job across the board, and whatever the defensive tackle's responsibility is [he has to win]. Is it a two-gap? Is it a one-gap? Whatever it happens to be, then that's what they're going to need to do and everybody is going to have to do a good job." The Pats have to control their Gaps, and not let him find a lane.

If they control the Gaps, not shot the Gaps, and don't let him dance between the O-line until he finds a crack. "No one guy can stop the running game," BB said. You've got to have team defense and multiple players playing good technique, playing the right responsibility and then tackling is an issue. Even if you play well, you've still got to get him on the ground, and that's hard." When Bell can't dance around behind his blockers for three or four seconds it is surprising.

2nd and 8, 3-Wide Weak shotgun, Twins-Right, Run 1 for 1. They change their tendency and Ben threw to Rogers going down the seam. The DB defended it. 3rd and 8, 4-Wide Weak shotgun, Trips-Left, Pass 3 for 3. They kind of have to pass here anyway. Ben got sacked, and was bent backwards in an awkward way to force a field goal. That had to hurt his back. Pitt-18. KC-10.

1st and 10, KC Empty. Pitt matched up in a 3-2 Dime. Smith threw to Kelsey for a First, and then he ran to midfield. 1st and 10, 3-Wide Singleback. Pitt matched up in a 2-4 Nickel with four guys on the line. They ran. The Pitt D-line over pursued to the Strongside. The RB cut back for a First. That was a perfectly executed Zone run, which the Pats are very good at running.

1st and 10 at the 40, KC in a 3-Wide Weak shotgun. Pitt matched up in a 2-4 Nickel. Smith went deep to Maclin, and he was wide open over the top for a TD. Smith threw it to the wrong shoulder, and Maclin couldn't pull it in. That really ended up being the difference in the game, because that was a TD.

2nd and 10, 3-Wide Winged-shotgun. Pitt in a 3-4, with Dupree way off the line like a Sam. "They do occasionally move those guys inside. Really, to have kind of four linebackers on the field with Harrison, Dupree, Shazier, and Timmons. Or it could be Jones or Chickillo, whoever those four guys are, with a couple of defensive linemen. So, they can put those guys in different spots, they mix them up and do different things in their third-down packages," BB said. "Dupree is long, he's athletic, runs well, but he's got some length and he's a hard guy to throw over. He does a good job working the edge on the pass rush. They have good depth at that position, the outside linebackers. As they have played those guys through the year, it's been more Dupree and Harrison in the last, I'd say, second half of the season. But, those other players played, and [Jarvis] Jones has done a good job for them in the kicking game. So, they've been able to get production out of all of those players." Smith went deep again. Ware got called for a facemask penalty.

2nd and 25, 3-Wide Winged shotgun. Pitt matched up in a 3-4 with five guys on the LOS. They sent four, which left a hole in the middle of the defense again for James to run into for 17. 3rd and 8, KC Empty. Pitt matched up in a meandering 2-4 Nickel. They sent three. Dupree got some pressure.

Then Harrison ran him to the sideline, where he had to throw it away. "I mean, James Harrison, fellow Flash. He's an unbelievable stud," Edelman said about his alum from Kent State. "The guy has been doing it consistently for a long time. I've been a huge fan of him before I got in the league, and just to see and kind of have an idea where he came from, it's unbelievable to show how hard he's worked to get to where he's got. He's a large man that is fast, explosive, and if he's coming my way, it's going to be a 'get down.'" Then he hit Smith for good measure.

4th and 8, KC Empty. Pitt matched up in a 2-5. They sent Five. "I think there are multiple layers to that. You know, experience is great, but I think ultimately what matters is how we perform and execute on that night, or on that day. You have to understand that everything you're looking at before the ball is snapped might not always be exactly what you're looking at once you snap the ball. So, there are different layers. You can try to gain some of the information before the ball is snapped, but certainly, I think at the quarterback position in this league with how difficult defenses have become and the different things they try to do to disrupt the quarterback position, you've got to do a good job of not only using some pre-snap information or keys, but you better read the coverage out, or the pressures once you have the ball in your hands, because that's ultimately going to be when the defense declares what they're doing," Coach McDaniels said. "So, Tom has obviously done this for a long time, he's very well versed in all of those things, and we also understand that the other team, they prepare hard and they have a good game plan, and Houston was extremely well-prepared and well-coached, as we knew they would be. They did some things to try to disrupt us, and that's part of the game. You've got your two playoff teams playing a game to try to move on, and both teams are going to give it their best. I thought they did a few things to try to change it up, and we had to make some adjustments, and that's how these games go at this time of the year." They didn't reach Smith. So he threw it to Conley over the middle, which has been Pitt's weakness on D all game.

1st and 10, KC lined up in a 3-Wide Singleback. Pitt matched up in a 2-4 Nickel. "They're very confident in their system and what they do, and like I said, they do it well," David Andrews said about the Steeler's defensive front. "They're good at running blitzes, their blitzes they run, they're good at it. The big thing for us is just everyone being on the same page, getting that coordinated and handling that, and not having anyone run free with some of their blitz packages." They ran a Smash to Hill, but the run defense was terrific.

2nd and 7, KC Empty. Pitt matched up in a 2-4 Nickel. They sent four. KC ran a bubble screen, and Dupree was fooled. "They're playing some of their best football right now. They obviously got Bud Dupree back on the edge and they're able to work him around in their package," Andrews said. "They've really just settled in, I think, and like everyone, they're playing their best football right now. They're a good front, they do what they do, and they do it well." But the rest of the defense wasn't. 

3rd and 9, KC in a 4-Wide Strong shotgun. Pitt matched up in a 2-3 Dime. They sent four. Smith threw deep over the middle to Conley, and he was cheap shotted by Davis at the One for a 15-yard penalty.

1st and 10 at the 12, 2-Wide Weak-formation shotgun with the FB next to Smith, and the RB behind him. Pitt loaded up on the line. They lined up in a 3-4, and a Safety lined up on the line outside the Will. Smith high lobbed the ball over the blitzing Safety to the RB. He swung outside for Six.

2nd and 4, KC Empty. Pitt lined up in a 2-4 Dime with Shazier out in the Slot covering a recovered Conley. They faked the Jet-Sweep. Smith flicked the shovel pass to Kelsey inside. But Gay sliced in and grabbed his shoestring.

3rd and 2, 3-Wide Strong shotgun. Pitt backed off a little in a 2-3 Dime with only three guys on the line. Then they jump forward and bring two more guys up to the line on the Blindside. Smith rolled out to the right, ran out of room, and had to dump it off.

4th and 2, KC in a Singleback. Pitt matched up in a meandering 2-4. Smith threw to the FB for a 1st. "[They've won] nine games in a row. It really looks like they've come into their own. They're playing as a unit pretty darn well; probably the best we've seen this year," Edelman said about the Pitt-D. "They're fast. They're athletic. They're young. But they also have veterans in key spots to help them know the game a little more. So it's definitely going to be a huge test. And we definitely have to take advantage of these next few days to really hone down our skills for it." The FB was taken down at the One.

1st and Goal from the One, KC lined up in a Bunch-Right Strong Shotgun. Pitt matched up in a 2-4 Nickel with both D-linemen on the Blindside. Very strange on the One-yard line, like Pitt was daring them to run to the right. Smith gave the ball to the RB, and he hopped to the right, and ran it in for a relatively easy TD. KC went for Two. They lined up Empty. Pitt matched up in a 3-4. Smith threw for a TD but it was called back for a Holding call.

1st and Goal from the 12, for the Two-Point Conversion to tie the game. KC lined up in a 3-Wide Weak shotgun. Pitt matched up in a 2-5, with four guys on the line, and three linebackers deep. Smith threw it down the middle, and two DBs knocked the ball down with 2:39 left on the clock.

After a terrible return Pitt lined up in a tightly Bunched Singleback to run the clock out. They handed it to Bell and he hopped and bopped forward for a few. 2nd and 8, Pitt had to run the ball to get rid of another KC timeout. They lined up in the same formation, but they surprise everyone with a great play action. Ben threw to Rogers dragging across the field. But he was taken down short. The clock went down to the two-minute warning.

3rd and 3 to end the game, when Pitt had to pass to end the game, they lined up in a 3-Wide Bunch left Strong shotgun. Brown was on the left. He angled up field, and had to hop around the LB. Then he just went straight across the field until Ben found him. That was his only catch of the 2nd Half. Game. Set. Match.

4th Quarter:

3-W Singleback Twins-R: Run 1 for 1

3-W W-shotgun Twins-R: Pass 1 for 2

3-W Singleback Stack-R: Run 1 for 1

4-W S-shotgun, Bunch-L: Pass 1 for 1

3-W S-shotgun Twins-R: Run 2 for 2

4-W W-shotgun Trips-R: Run 0 for 1

Checked into:

3-W S-shotgun Twins-R: Run 1 for 1

First 3-Quarters:

4-W W-shotgun Trips-R: Pass 3 for 3

4-W S-shotgun, Stack-L: Pass 1 for 1

4-W S-shotgun, Trips-L: Pass 2 for 3

4-W S-shotgun, Bunch-L: Pass 3 for 3

4-W W-shotgun, Bunch-R: Pass 1 for 1

4-W S-shotgun, Trips-R: Pass 1 for 1

4-W W-shotgun Trips-L: Run 1 for 1

4-W S-shotgun Trips-L: Pass 2 for 4

3-W S-shotgun Twins-L: Run 2 for 3

3-W S-shotgun Twins-R: Run 2 for 2

3-W S-shotgun Stack-R: Run 1 for 1

3-W W-shotgun Twins-L: Run 3 for 5

3-W W-shotgun, Stack-L: Pass 1 for 2

3-W W-shotgun, Stack-R: Run 1 for 1

3-W W-shotgun Twins-R: Pass 3 for 5

3-W W-shotgun Trips-R: Pass 1 for 1

3-W Wing-shotgun Twins-L: Pass 1 for 1

3-W Singleback Bunch-L: Run 1 for 2

3-W Singleback Stack-R: Run 3 for 3

3-W Singleback Stack-L: Run 1 for 1

3-W Singleback Twins-L: Run 3 for 3

3-W Singleback Twins-R: Run 1 for 1

Singleback: Run 1 for 1

Singleback, Bunch-R: Run 1 for 1

Twins-L I: Run 2 for 2

I-Formation: Run 2 for 2

Checked into:

3-W W-shotgun Twins-L: Pass 1 for 1

3-W S-shotgun Twins-R: Run 1 for 1

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