The Steelers improve to 3-2 on a thrilling last second touchdown vs. the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football
Mike Vick struggled early and often as the Steelers offense tried to will their way past the San Diego Chargers on the road. Despite completing only 50% of his passes and being sacked 3 times, as well as an 18-second game clock “error” in the 4th quarter, the Steelers still managed to pull off a thrilling victory.
— Kelvin Beachum (@KelvinBeachumJr) October 13, 2015
With an assist from none other than coach Ben Roethlisberger
— NFL (@NFL) October 13, 2015
The Steelers now face a huge task of welcoming back old offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and his high-powered offense, the Arizona Cardinals (4-1). But, before that matchup, let’s examine the good, bad, and ugly from the Steelers-Chargers match-up.
Defense, defense, and more defense for the Steelers is easily re-establishing the narrative of the “Steel Curtain” reforming. A pivotal interception returned for a touchdown by Antwan Blake kept the Pittsburgh Steelers in the game to take a 10-3 lead when the Steelers offense could not take shape.
Steelers defense playing one of its best games in years.
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) October 13, 2015
The Steelers allowed only 52 rushing yards and 2 rushing first downs, despite giving up 354 passing yards. Pittsburgh also caused 2 turnovers for the 2nd consecutive week, one amounting to a touchdown by Antwan Blake.
.@steelers defense now has 16.0 sacks on the season – first time since 2010 the team's D has had 16 through the first 5 games of a season.
— Dom Rinelli (@drinelli) October 13, 2015
Bud Dupree and Jarvis Jones were able to sack the quarterback, as well, giving the Steelers 16 sacks through the first 5 games this season. This is sure proof that the young defense of the Steelers is starting to grow up and come into their own.
Another positive was another week in the books where Mike Vick did not turn the ball over. Despite being ineffective in the pass for large portions of the game, Vick contributed big time where it mattered.
His 24 yard scramble, 72 yard passing touchdown to Markus Wheaton, and set up to Heath Miller to make way for the winning touchdown made Vick clutch where it counted.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) October 13, 2015
Heath Miller served as a big target for Vick tonight hauling in 3 receptions for 46 yards. And, Le’Veon Bell’s 111 yards on 21 attempts along with 4 receptions kept the struggling offense alive.
When the Steelers get back to Latrobe to go over film, head coach Mike Tomlin will definitely point out the large amount of special teams penalties committed by the Steelers.
The Steelers coverage unit amounted for 4 penalties that one can say contributed to the Steelers struggling offensive output tonight.
4th special teams penalties on #Steelers.
— Bob Pompeani (@KDPomp) October 13, 2015
Giving Mike Vick a long field constantly after good defensive showings, the Steelers found themselves digging out of holes due to holding and blocking in the back penalties.
Due to said penalties resulted in Antonio Brown accounting for only a 5.4 yard average on punt returns. The Steelers will definitely need to address the amount of penalties committed by special teams going into the weekend facing the Cardinals.
Arizona is a team with a highly stingy defense and shooting yourself in the foot with penalties on punt returns will make their job easier and yours harder.
Mike Vick’s passing game is in dire need to upgrade. Although he has shown strides of improvement by the 2nd half of the Chargers game, he will need to do more vs. the Arizona Cardinals defense.
A 50% completion rate and only 1 passing touchdown has to improve when you have the weapons that Pittsburgh possess.
Until Vick’s 72 yard touchdown to Wheaton, he largely was ineffective in the pass for 3 quarters.
That's the 5th time in Mike Vick's career that he's thrown TD pass of 72+ yards. 3 of them were to DeSean Jackson. pic.twitter.com/H3dA9gUTHi
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) October 13, 2015
Vick will need to be more confident in taking shots downfield. Although scrambling is his strong suit, he has to limit the one-dimensional constant roll out to one side of the field because it nearly caused two interceptions on telegraphed passes.
Without a doubt, the 18 second time gaffe in San Diego will be reviewed by the NFL league office. No excuses for such a mistake.
So game clock went from 2:56 to 2:38 on touchback before #Steelers final drive. That 18 seconds a bigger deal if LeVeon doesn't score
— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) October 13, 2015
In a league where the margin for error is already is less than zero, a nice memo to those who run the time clock should suffice.
To reiterate, despite the thrilling finish, the Steeler offense for 3 quarters left much to be desired.
The Steelers aren't playing for overtime. Rare to see a team so aggressive in FG range
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) October 13, 2015
Pittsburgh can’t afford to get overly aggressive with their backs to the wall in Ben Roethlisberger’s absence. The Steelers had 2 touchdowns in the 2nd half, and zero first downs for an uncomfortably long amount of time.
Pittsburgh won’t have the luxury of facing an opponent that will play equally sloppy football to keep them in games. Getting the offense in gear and capitalizing on turnovers with scores benefit the cause.
The Steelers defense had to help themselves nearly all game. The offense has to return the favor going forward with how well the defensive unit has come into their own over the last 3 weeks.