The Steelers offense exploded for 38 points against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, eclipsing the 30 point barrier for the first time since a December, 2018 game against the Los Angeles Chargers. While rookie receiver Chase Claypool was the undisputed star of the afternoon, scoring four touchdowns and looking like Calvin Johnson 2.0, offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner and assistant coach Matt Canada played important roles as well. The Steelers unveiled several creative play designs that both confused and exploited the Philadelphia defense, most impressively on their opening drive of the second half that resulted in Claypool’s third touchdown. This article breaks down the best of that drive.
Leading 17-14, the Steelers opened the second half with the ball at their own 25 yard line. Ben Roethlisberger converted a 3rd and 5 from the 30 by hitting tight end Eric Ebron for a seven yard gain. On 1st and 10 from the 37, Fichtner dialed up a reverse to Ray Ray McCloud that netted 58 yards and set the Steelers up at the Philadelphia 5 yard line.
The reverse was an obvious attempt to get McCloud, who has proven to be a shifty runner in his brief tenure in Pittsburgh, into space with the football. McCloud did his part, taking the ball through a nice seam in the blocking and sprinting away from Philly’s pursuit. The timing of the call, however, and the way it played off of one of the Steelers’ core designs, were the real brilliance of the play.
Before we look at the reverse, let’s look at this play from the first quarter. The Steelers went heavy on run plays from bunch and compressed sets early on. Here, they motioned James Washington across the formation before running a counter back into the boundary,