The NFL is a copycat league. In Week 3 the Eagles were able to hold the Steelers to a measly three points. Can the Chiefs copy what the Eagles did against the Steelers?
I watched the Steelers-Eagles game to see if I could find out how the Eagles did it.
The Eagles Forced the Steelers to be One Dimensional
The Eagles did two things to force the Steelers to go pass heavy.
- They got a big lead early
- They constantly stuffed DeAngelo Williams at the line of scrimmage
Williams had eight rushing attempts for 21 yards. Of those eight attempts I saw five of them were stuffed for two yards or less. The Chiefs defense is going to need to shut down the Steelers run game. Good news they could be missing a starting guard.
Bad news for the Chiefs: Le’Veon Bell is returning ... because you know Roger Goodell could never do anything to give the Chiefs a break. (Still bitter about tampering)
Derrick Johnson and the Chiefs defensive line is going to need to have a great game to keep Bell and the rest of the Steelers running game in check.
Getting an early and big lead in Pittsburgh on the road is not easy. For now it would be best to put the faith in our defense to shut down the Steelers running game.
The Eagles Brought Consistent Pressure
With the Steelers running game shut down the Eagles were able to constantly collapse the pocket against the Steelers. By my count, Ben Roethlisburger underwent 10 pressures throughout the game. The pressures accumulated into four sacks.
Eagles DL consistently collapsed the pocket against the Steelers pic.twitter.com/5HwMMaHdtt— Gary McKenzie (@Super_G_Chiefs) September 27, 2016
The Eagles were able to push the middle of the pocket. This kept Big Ben from being able to step up and also allowed the edge rushers to get to Big Ben.
To stop the Steelers offense the Chiefs will need a strong interior pass rush from Poe, Bailey, Allen, and Jones. If I’m Bob Sutton I would try and utilize Chris Jones as much as possible.
The Eagles Tackled the Steelers Receivers Immediately
There is nothing scarier than the thought of Antonio Brown catching the ball in open space. Throughout the game the Eagles defenders were quick to tackle Antonio Brown and the other Eagles receivers after the catch.
Eagles defensive backs tackled well and didn't allow Steelers receivers to get yards after the completion pic.twitter.com/eeh4Qh9ilx— Gary McKenzie (@Super_G_Chiefs) September 27, 2016
The Eagles played a lot of press man coverage in this game, and it really helped them blanket the Steelers receivers in a way that allowed them to make quick tackles.
Not only were the defensive backs tackling quickly, but the Eagles linebackers were also quick to close on the Steelers receivers.
Eagles LBs were quick to the ball on passing plays and made numerous solid tackles pic.twitter.com/dvgYa8gueE— Gary McKenzie (@Super_G_Chiefs) September 27, 2016
Countless times throughout the game the Eagles defenders made great plays on the Steelers receivers and made immediate tackles.
The Chiefs defenders are going to need to limit the Steelers YAC. This means both the Chiefs linebackers and defensive backs are going to need to play tight coverage, make sure tackles, and close quickly on the Steelers receivers when Big Ben puts the ball in the air.
To go into Pittsburgh and come away with a win, the Chiefs will probably also need a little luck. Against the Eagles the Steelers had a FG blocked, dropped four passes, endured five errant passes from Roethlisberger, fumbled, and threw an interception.
The ball will need to bounce the Chiefs way to come away with a win in Pittsburgh.
Can the Chiefs Copy the Eagles?
Can they? Yes.
Will they? I have no clue.
The Chiefs will be challenged to generate a pass rush. The Chiefs only have three sacks in 2016. It’s hard to imagine the Chiefs will have a sack party against the Steelers. However, the Chiefs interior pass rush is a strength for the defense and I could see it causing problems for the Steelers, especially if guard Ramon Foster is out.
The Chiefs will also be challenged to get ahead early. The offense hasn’t exactly come out swinging early in games this year. If the Chiefs want to be successful at making the Steelers go pass heavy they will need to reverse their trend of starting slow in games offensively.
Thinking about what the Chiefs will do against the Steelers run game is a total crap shoot. For one the Steelers are getting Le’Veon Bell back. Also to note is the Chiefs are 20th in the NFL with a 4.2 yards allowed per rushing attempt average. Bell could be rusty and the Chiefs defense has played better against the run as the season progresses. In a nut shell - I have no idea which way this could go.
One thing I am confident in is the Chiefs ability to tackle and play press man coverage well. Of course they haven’t faced Antonio Brown yet.
Lastly we have the luck component... Come on everyone, when have the Chiefs been the recipient of good luck in Pittsburgh? I’m not counting on the Chiefs having a lucky bounce here or there.
All in all it will be very difficult to copy exactly what the Eagles did against the Steelers; especially since the game is in the Steelers house.