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 Post subject: Your 2010 Pittsburgh Steelers Defense -- By the Numbers
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:06 pm 
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Here's something I wrote over at StillerNation about the defense:

http://stillernation.com/blog/

Respect the D.

I know it's become a bit of a fad to rag on the Steeler defense and shout to the rooftops that Dick LeBeau should retire, but I thought we should all be aware of five numbers that demonstrate just how good the 2010 edition of the Pittsburgh Steelers defense has been so far. In my view, these are the five most important defensive metrics:

Statistic -- 3.0 yards allowed per rushing attempt -- NFL Rank (1st) -- the Steelers were the best in this category by a country mile. The second-best team in this statistic, the 49ers, allowed a full half-yard more per rushing attempt. Just a great, consistent performance by the defense against the run this year.

Statistic -- 6.3 yards allowed per passing attempt -- NFL Rank (1st) -- though some may argue that the Steelers' pass defense was average because the team ranked 12th in the league in passing yards allowed per game (214.1 yards), the more important statistic is yards per passing attempt, which demonstrates how well (or in this case, how poorly) teams generally moved the ball on a defense through the air. Once again, the Steelers were the #1 defense in this important, if often overlooked, category.

Statistic -- 33.5% third down conversions allowed -- NFL Rank (tied 2nd) -- the Steelers improved tremendously in this vital category from 2009 (42.3%) to 2010 (33.5%). Obviously, allowing opposing offenses to only convert one out of every three third down attempts gets the Steeler offense back out onto the field.

Statistic -- 35 takeaways (21 INTs, 14 FRs) -- NFL Rank (tied 3rd) -- the Steelers also showed great improvement in their ability to take the ball away this year, often due to the unpredictable actions of a whirling dervish wearing #43. The Steelers went from 22 takeways (12 INTs, 10 FRs) in 2009 to 35 takeaways in 2010, allowing the team to finish off opponents instead of allowing them to hang around.

Statistic -- 14.5 points allowed per game -- NFL Rank (1st) -- quite simply, the most important defensive statistic is points allowed. And the Steelers were the only team in the NFL this season to allow opponents to score less than 15 points per game. To give you an idea of how important this statistic was league-wide this year, you should know that all of the TOP EIGHT teams in points allowed made the playoffs (including all four teams that earned bye weeks). In contrast, only six of the top ten teams in points scored qualified for the post-season.

In sum, your 2010 Pittsburgh Steelers ranked in the top three in all five of these important defensive categories, and ranked first in three of them. There is no doubt that the best defense in the NFL in 2010 (so far) wears black 'n gold. When you feel like complaining about the defense, try to imagine what it must be like rooting for NFL teams that would kill to have a defense that just ranks in the top TEN in some of the above-listed categories. Trust me, folks, the grass is not greener on the other side.

Now go get 'em in January and February, Steelers...



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 Post subject: Re: Your 2010 Pittsburgh Steelers Defense -- By the Numbers
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:33 pm 
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They have to get the Patriot monkey off their back. Belichick and Brady have owned them.

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 Post subject: Re: Your 2010 Pittsburgh Steelers Defense -- By the Numbers
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:52 pm 
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bucco boy wrote:
They have to get the Patriot monkey off their back. Belichick and Brady have owned them.


C'mon. Enjoy the greatness of the regular season for a couple of minutes before worrying about the playoffs, my friend.

The Steelers really ratcheted up the pass defense after that loss to the Patriots.

Belichick has lost to the Steelers twice, and Brady once. So they certainly have been the toughest matchup for the Steelers historically. But the defense is playing far better now than it was in November and the offense has hit its stride in the last month. I don't think it's inconceivable that the Steelers could take the Patriots in January. We may get to see that game.

But that's way out there. First, the Steelers will have to take care of business in the divisional round.


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 Post subject: Re: Your 2010 Pittsburgh Steelers Defense -- By the Numbers
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:03 pm 
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The greatness of the regular season is over. The playoffs are all that matters.

And I think the Steelers can beat the Patriots, but that is the main obstacle. I feel the Steelers are the second best team in the playoffs, but they have never beaten the Pats on the way to a Super Bowl.

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 Post subject: Re: Your 2010 Pittsburgh Steelers Defense -- By the Numbers
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:15 pm 
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bucco boy wrote:
The greatness of the regular season is over. The playoffs are all that matters.

And I think the Steelers can beat the Patriots, but that is the main obstacle. I feel the Steelers are the second best team in the playoffs, but they have never beaten the Pats on the way to a Super Bowl.


And the Patriots haven't won a Super Bowl since the 2004 season, with the Steelers winning two Lombardis since then. So what?

I'm not worried about the Patriots right now. The Steelers cannot play them on Jan. 15. I'll watch this weekend's games with an eye on the team that will visit Heinz Field in the divisional round.


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 Post subject: Re: Your 2010 Pittsburgh Steelers Defense -- By the Numbers
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:52 pm 
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bucco boy wrote:
They have to get the Patriot monkey off their back. Belichick and Brady have owned them.


So beyond true.

My hope is that the Ravens and Colts win this weekend and then the Ravens upset the Pats.

I don't see how the Steelers can beat the Pats (not that they aren't good enough, but they just don't play them smart or well at all)

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 Post subject: Re: Your 2010 Pittsburgh Steelers Defense -- By the Numbers
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:55 pm 
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My lord, this has to be the first time I've seen or read...

Quote:
I know it's become a bit of a fad to rag on the Steeler defense and shout to the rooftops that Dick LeBeau should retire,


I know of no sensible football person saying this.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: Your 2010 Pittsburgh Steelers Defense -- By the Numbers
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:38 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
My lord, this has to be the first time I've seen or read...

Quote:
I know it's become a bit of a fad to rag on the Steeler defense and shout to the rooftops that Dick LeBeau should retire,


I know of no sensible football person saying this.

ZM


If any coordinator should be fired, it's Arians and not the Hall of Famer LeBeau.

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Rage, rage against the regression of the light.


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 Post subject: Re: Your 2010 Pittsburgh Steelers Defense -- By the Numbers
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:19 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
My lord, this has to be the first time I've seen or read...

Quote:
I know it's become a bit of a fad to rag on the Steeler defense and shout to the rooftops that Dick LeBeau should retire,


I know of no sensible football person saying this.

ZM


It depends on where you go. There are hardcore Steeler fans who endlessly criticize the defense. It's scary, I know.


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