First off I’d like to say that this team has made progress. It was a tough week 1 matchup to pull and a win would have been more surprising. Thought we played hard for the most part. Main takeaways (in no specific order.)
- Graham has to do better changing coverages. Pittsburgh was making our defense declare man/zone from the 2nd Qtr on with all their motions. Graham is known for playing a lot of man and Pittsburgh had the man beaters ready. Rub routes, drags, whip routes, and curls galore. Our CBS were actually in good coverage most of the night (sans the touchdown on Yiadom by Smith-Schuster). Many times Ben was just throwing it before his receivers made their break. Tough to defend that.
- Offensive line struggles more about communication than talent. Guys were confused by Pittsburgh’s pressure packages and too often we had two guys blocking one guy and leaving a free runner into the backfield. Or guys recognizing the blitz late.
- Evan Engram is a very athletic player. But he doesn’t have the physicality or IQ to properly play his position. Tony Gonzalez wasn’t a great blocker but he knew how to get open for his QB and had reliable hands. We keep banking on what Engram COULD be. But all he’s proven to be time and time again is a liability and the 1st drive encapsulated the many ways he lets this team down.
- Daniel Jones should have been given the reigns of this game earlier. We moved the ball when we let the passing game lead. Coming in we knew running the ball against Pittsburgh wasn’t going to be easy. They were run blitzing almost every 1st down. Needed to mix more playaction in on 1st and 2nd.
-Absolutely. Positively. CANNOT have that interception in the red zone on that long drive. Inexcusable. Worst decision of the game by Jones. Cannot happen. Can’t. Either get rid of it earlier or eat the sack. Even 3 there is huge for the game momentum.
- Peppers on special teams is a move I like. Almost broke one.
- Didn’t like the lack of energy on the last scoring drive. It’s was still a two score game, ahead of the 2 minute warning with 2 timeouts. They seemed too just be content putting a drive together instead of playing to for the game into overtime.
-Darius Slayton is legit. Good find by DG.