If there's one call that has been scrutinized, and rightfully so, it has been the prevent call with 3 second left on the clock that cost us the game.
Or actually, the prevent plays throughout that drive.
We went up against an offense and offensive line that has had problems picking up pressure all season long and a QB who holds on to the ball way too long. Yet, we preferred to bring 3 on nearly every play instead of brining the standard 4 or blitzing with an extra guy or 2.
This problems on the Steelers' O-line became even more obvious when Jenkins went through nearly untouched and got to Ben, who broke out of the poor tackle and scrambled, only to have Raji cut of his escape route and having to throw it away.
Although I dont like prevent defense, and I don't think that we would've been put in as bad a position as we where, had we blitzed a little more, a prevent call with 3 seconds left on the clock, isn't too bad a call. You zone out the end-zone and force the QB to dump it off and hope for a miracle.
Or, at least, that's the theory behind it.
Obviously, that isn't exactly what happened in our case.
Let's start with the personnel on this play.
We're playing a 2-3-6. Obviously, we're playing prevent.
On the D-line, we have Jolly and Wynn.
I'm going to assume that Jenkins and Raji where out of gas on this one. Can't imagine that Capers would want these guys out there over them. I'd like to think that your main pass rushers can toughen up and play this one last play, but they are 300 and 340 lbs, respectively, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.
At LB, I think we're playing Matthews, Barnett and Poppinga. Cant see it very well. Matthews is on the TE, Barnett is on the RB and Poppinga is rushing the passer.
Williams, Bell and Bush are in man against the receivers. Woodson, Collins and Bigby are playing deep zone.
On the field, it looks like this.
If you added up the personnel tasks, you figured out that we're playing a cover 3 man. Most of our corners are giving the receivers quite a cushion and, thus, a free release. Only Williams is up close to the receiver.
Our guys can't get any pressure on Roethlisberger, who gets about 10 seconds in the pocket before throwing it in for the TD. Mike Bell was covering Wallace pretty well, but got no safety help at all.
On this picture Bigby is just running over to get into his regular zone (Marked as '1'). Had Bigby been there all along, Bell could've played underneath and batted the ball down. I assume that Atari made a mental mistake on this one, though, and got lured to the side where 4 Steelers receivers where running to, guessing that this play would be a hail mary. That resulted in getting Bell isolated on rookie WR Wallace. A match up that Ben had some trust in, apparently, as he threw it into some good coverage.
There is one different theory I can think off, and that is that the Packers where playing man all around, having double coverage on the Steelers' 3 best receivers in Ward, Holmes and Miller, which would result in an overload to the right, as Wallace was the only receiver going left.
If that's the case, Capers should throw that page out of his playbook. If anyone, you want Woodson in single coverage, and even then it's a weird play.
Lastly, Bell's play on the ball.
Personally, I think he did just about everything right for the situation he was in. He played close up against the receiver, not having any help over the top. He nearly made quite a play, as he did get his hand in between Wallace's hands while having to make that hard cut.
In hindsight, maybe he should've gone for a force out, but there's just a couple of corners in the league who bat that ball down or get the guy out of bounds.
Let's just hope that we won't 'prevent' another offense all the way down to our end-zone. This sequence of calls reminded me an awfull lot of Bob Sanders' vanilla defenses.... [url=index.php?name=Pro_News&aid=126]full article[/url].