PITTSBURGH — The Steelers’ defense certainly had a tough time with all the injuries that occurred over the course of the past few days, however, Minkah Fitzpatrick was still in the lineup.
Whenever that is true, the Steelers are at the very least have a puncher’s chance at a big play. However, on the crucial defensive play of Sunday’s loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, it was Fitzpatrick who was the one on the receiving end of a bad play.
Vegas wide receiver Henry Ruggs III burned the Steelers deep, and Fitzpatrick admitted that he was at fault for the play.
It appears to be a hi-lo concept against single-high coverage. Terrell Edmunds comes down to play Hunter Renfrow in the slot. So, Fitzpatrick is in a little bit of a conundrum. Ahkello Witherspoon is playing outside leverage expecting help from Fitzpatrick. However, Darren Waller runs underneath and holds Fitzpatrick for a second. Due to that, Ruggs is able to break open and catch this for a touchdown. From Fitzpatrick himself, he understands that it was his fault.
“They had 83 [Darren Waller] underneath by himself,” Fitzpatrick explained. “He ran directly at me, got me to settle my feet. He’s a big target for them, especially on big plays. I just can’t stop my feet. I gotta extend to the middle of the field, watch the quarterback. That’s on me, 110%. I just have to play better, do better.”
Fitzpatrick acknowledged the presence of Waller on that play and the magnetism that he had. As such, Fitzpatrick simply has to stay more disciplined. He knows what he did wrong, and will likely vigilantly go back to the drawing board to try and make sure this does not happen again.
It’s also worth noting that uncovered the Steelers’ unblocked blitzer, rookie defensive back Tre Norwood, didn’t get home in time to disrupt David Carr’s throw.