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Steelers Analysis

In the Film Room With T.J. Watt: Breaking Down the Defense’s Struggles Against the Run



PITTSBURGH — T.J. Watt and the Steelers left Heinz Field with a win, but there are certain things they need to go back to the drawing board on. Perhaps nothing was more true to that than the Seahawks pounding the football in the second half at will against the Steelers. While so far on the year Pittsburgh has been a fine run defense, on Sunday, it was a genuine problem. It was capped off on a guard-tackle wrap play on 3-and-7. The Seahawks ripped off a chunk play off of that, and got the first down.

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This is an incredibly gutsy call by the Seahawks, but it works and Watt gets kicked out to the point where he ends up on the turf. No one else is really ready for it coming either, and as a result, Travis Homer rips this one off for a massive gain.

“I think it was for us as I said, just us trying to understand as a defense what we’re expecting to get,” Watt said. “You know, they were committed to the run and running the ball. They were hitting it frontside and then when they weren’t hitting it front they were wrapping back really effectively. In shotgun, they hit us on a 3rd-and-7 run when we were expecting pass. Our ears were pinned back. I got kicked out pretty good. It’s just those situations where you have your ears pinned back where you have to understand that they can run the ball right at the outside backers.”