For the file, no present hate in direction of Amari Cooper. He was only a thorn within the Pittsburgh Steelers’ aspect final night time and I can not move up the possibility to make an obscure reference to one of many only a few motion pictures I am conscious of.
Whereas the Cleveland Browns’ robust operating sport will rightfully garner up many of the consideration at present, Nick Chubb had his manner with the Pittsburgh Steelers’ entrance seven final night time, Amari Cooper was the person who made the first-half affect. He picked up the place he left off of their Week Two loss to the New York Jets, ending final night time’s victory with seven catches for 101 yards and a landing.
Let’s recap how Cooper torched the Steelers’ secondary.
We’ll begin with Cooper’s landing, the primary of the night time for both aspect. A pink zone rating, Cooper was open on a slant for a straightforward pitch-and-catch. Here is how issues regarded pre-snap.
Cleveland is in 11 personnel, three receivers on the sector. Pittsburgh would not match personnel right here, staying of their base 3-4 protection in an effort to cease the run. With solely two cornerbacks on the sector, Terrell Edmunds is tasked to align towards Cooper over the slot.
Edmunds is taking part in off protection and with security assist to the highest, is defending himself towards an out-breaking route. The Steelers are in Cowl 1, man-free right here, man protection throughout the board with Minkah Fitzpatrick taking part in the deep center zone. Edmunds is getting an excessive amount of depth on the snap, far an excessive amount of of a cushion, and he is not capable of drive on the soccer to make a play on the throw, as an alternative operating parallel and making an attempt to deal with the catch. He nor Fitzpatrick can shut shortly sufficient and Jacoby Brissett hits him on the cash for the rating.
It is also price noting the Steelers are sending a five-man rush right here, not dropping out an OLB like they usually do, particularly towards 11 personnel right here. Pittsburgh’s making an attempt to ship numbers to generate a move rush but it surely would not get residence and the off-coverage to Cooper, their high goal, makes for a fast throw by Brissett.
All through the sport, Cooper actually put Ahkello Witherspoon in a blender. Early within the second quarter, Cooper turns Witherspoon round with this nice route for an 18-yard achieve. Watch Cooper launch off the road and threaten vertical, getting as much as full velocity to get on the corners toes and make him suppose the route goes deep. That forces Witherspoon to open his hips and as Witherspoon does, Cooper breaks his route off to the sideline. This creates a ton of separation as Witherspoon has to flip his hips round to match him and Brissett makes a very good sideline throw with Cooper tapping each ft inbounds. Actually robust route right here.
Third-quarter on the Browns go-ahead area objective drive. As they’ve finished yr after yr, Cleveland dominated Pittsburgh with their empty set, the Steelers unable to seek out solutions with man or zone. After getting picked aside in zone, they struggle man protection right here with Cooper changing into the #2 as RB Nick Chubb is motioned out. LB Robert Spillane is strolling out with him is a powerful man-coverage indicator, although it is price mentioning the Steelers performed zone out of that look in Week One towards the Bengals, a play that led to Witherspoon’s decide in Week One.
Right here, the Steelers are in man protection and Witherspoon is uncomfortable understanding of this slot alignment. Cooper is basically operating a velocity out at a bit deeper depth of 9 yards, proper on the sticks. Cooper creates house on his reduce of him and Witherspoon flails as he comes out of his break. One other correct ball by Brissett, some actually stable throws by him final night time, and Cooper’s hit in stride and turns upfield. He tightropes the sideline for an additional 19 yards for a 28-yard achieve. Broadcast and All-22 angles right here.
Once more, Pittsburgh is taking part in Cowl 1/man-free right here out of a 3-4 look with three ILBs and only one EDGE rusher on the sector. They create a fifth rusher, Myles Jack dashing from depth and unable to get residence in time. One other five-man stress that limits protection, cannot play Cowl 2 out of a five-man rush, and leaves fewer guys to cowl. if the frenzy would not get residence, you are not in a terrific spot. The YAC right here is very painful.
Remaining one. A backbreaker. third and 1 on the primary play of the fourth quarter. Steelers anticipating a QB sneak or run after getting chewed up all through the quarter. Nevertheless it’s playaction, a two-man route with a submit/wheel route. The Steelers chunk laborious and Cooper cuts throughout the sector, creating house towards Cam Sutton and Brissett places it on him for a 32-yard achieve.
Minkah Fitzpatrick bites laborious on the stretch playfake and is completely taken out of the play. Sutton has exterior leverage and Cooper makes use of a terrific stair step to initially push vertical after which snap the route off on the crosser to create explosion and house. Sutton finally ends up trailing and may solely deal with the catch to stop a protracted landing.
Cooper added a few good performs alongside the way in which however these had been the most important ones and none of this even considers his would-be lengthy catch-and-run negated by him stepping out of bounds. As we wrote in our pre-game scouting report, Cooper was an ignored and too simply forgotten piece in a busy receiver market this offseason. He is been a dominant pressure over the past two weeks and is paying off because the workforce’s true #1 receiver, pairing so nicely with their potent run sport.