Tale of the Tape on Emmanuel Sanders' kickoff return vs. Ravens
Each week, blogger Matt Vensel breaks down a critical play, sometimes with the help of Ravens players and coaches, from that week's game. Today, he looks at Emmanuel Sanders' key late kickoff return.
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2.( Screenshot / October 20, 2013 )
The Steelers had a return to the right setup, with running back Jonathan Dwyer leading Sanders, a speedy wide receiver, up the field. Sanders was at the right hash marks when he exited the end zone. When he reached the 3-yard line, Sanders swerved to the right so he could follow Dwyer up the right sideline.
Safety Jeromy Miles, claimed off waivers a few weeks ago to solidify the special teams unit, had the line directly to the left of Tucker and cut across the face of two Steelers blockers as he attempted to cut off Sanders inside the 15-yard line. But Miles got there a half second late. And with inside linebacker Albert McClellan blocked by his man, Sanders was able to get around the edge and start sprinting down the right sideline.
Safety Michael Huff had the L1 assignment, occupying the lane farthest to the Ravens' left, which was Sanders' right. Wide receiver Deonte Thompson had the L2 assignment right next to him. But Thompson quickly got sealed off by the Steelers and did not factor into the play. Huff was blocked out of his lane.
"We weren't in our right lanes. I'm the safety [on special teams]. So I'm the one when all fails, I'm supposed to clean it up. I'm supposed to make the play. Regardless of what happens, I should have been there so I take the blame for that," Huff said, adding, "That time of the game, we have to find a way."