The Pittsburgh Steelers plan on Monday night was pretty simple. On defense, the plan had two parts. The first part was to overcommit to stopping New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley.
The second part of to pray the secondary could hold up without the typical level of support by the front seven they had grown accustomed to. In the end, everything worked out as the
and the calculated risk really paid off.
After the game, head coach Mike Tomlin was asked about his plan to focus so heavily on Barkley and how it allowed the Giants passing offense to pick on the Pittsburgh secondary. Tomlin noted the team “put the secondary in harm’s way” with their philosophy but was happy it paid off.
Pittsburgh used a mix of blitz-heavy sets designed to shoot gaps and force Barkley to run east and west where the Steelers defense could run with him. This often left the Steelers players in coverage to fend for themselves and allowed Giants quarterback Daniel Jones to finish with 279 passing yards.