The Pittsburgh Steelers pass defense has struggled over the past month or so, there is no doubt about it. The obvious thought is that since Joe Haden left, the defense has fallen apart. It is true that Coty Sensabaugh is a much bigger drop off than anticipated, but there are other moving pieces in the secondary as well. Mike Mitchell has bounced in and out of the secondary with an injury playing every other week over the last four games. This has put Sean Davis in coverage more often as well.
Sean Davis specialty is running down hill. He struggles when it comes to coverage. Unfortunately having to help Sensabaugh and Golden so much has also helped expose him as well. On Sunday, his down fall into a sophomore slump continued as he found himself lost in coverage on Sunday.
Davis is caught watching the quarterback and gets lost as Chris Moore blows by him for an easy touchdown.
This time, Davis falls for the post route by Mike Wallace. Wallace sees that he got the safety to bite inside and burns him to the outside for a 40-yard gain.
This is clearly not how envisioned his night going. Later in the game, out of pure frustration, Sean Davis decided to body slam Danny Woodhead on third down. He clearly had Woodhead wrapped up, and he did not need to go that far. You can see his teammates react. Cameron Heyward, the leader of the group called immediately got in his face and made sure he knew that was a stupid mistake that cost his team the game. Even Vince Williams, who loves himself a big hit threw up his arms in confusion and disgust as the team turned a third down stop into a first down. Fortunately, an offsetting penalty towards the bottom of the screen saved Davis from real scrutiny.
Still, 2017 has not been a good year for Davis. He started the year with an injury. Then, with the shuffling in and out of Mitchell, and him moving around in coverage, he has failed to find any momentum. Also, this is a player who spent the first half of 2016 in the slot. He moved around the secondary a lot in college and is not by any means a refined safety.
Still, on tape, he is going to pose as a weakness. Now, the Steelers, without Shazier, and a weakness at inside linebacker, and a hole at cornerback with Joe Haden, the added concerns with Sean Davis really makes this team easy to pass on. There is no doubt that the New England Patriots look to these matchups, and likely expose them on Sunday.