The point after touchdown has been in discussion a lot in the last year. Some see it is a “ho-hum” part of the game and they can take it or leave it while others believe you keep it simply because of the traditional aspects of it.
While the PAT is almost always uneventful, there are times where something goes off by design or by a complete failure to execute properly.
Last Sunday night, the Steelers suffered from the latter but because of proper coaching and perfect execution from the PAT unit, a negative quickly turned into a positive. While the breakdown that follows is elementary to many fans, there are those who might not realize how this whole thing comes to fruition.
In Picture 1 above, the red arrow is indicating Matt Spaeth. His job is to make sure no one goes inside of him and to force anyone on the outside to go out as far as possible. When there is a bad snap however, he becomes the first target for the thrower.
In Picture 2 above, the snap has been botched by Wing who yells “fire” or some other key word the offense will recognize. This tells the eligible receivers to start their pass routes immediately. You’ll notice kicker Shaun Suisham in front of Wing. He actually whiffs on the Ravens’ player coming from the left but gets in his way just enough to allow Wing to escape.
Knowing he’s the primary target, Spaeth in picture three has released. Because Wing is right-handed, rolling right is the most logical move to make because the throw is easier. And just like that, it’s two points for the Steelers!
After going back to watch the play again I noticed how close Spaeth’s spike was to the defender (#50). This could have easily been called taunting under current rules but it wasn’t.
To most football people, this is a very basic play, but to many who don’t know the whole game this is a play practiced for just this occasion.
As much as we rip on Mike Tomlin and his staff for the team’s lack of execution, we need to applaud when it happens as well as it did here. Both Spaeth and Wing did their jobs perfectly and turned a missed PAT into a two-point conversion.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteelDad and the website @SCBlitz. Check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/steelcityblitz and on Fancred.com. You can hear him weekly during the season on game day on the Trib-Live Radio Steelers Pre-Game
photo courtesy foxsports.com.au