Johnny's Week 9 Defensive Steelers Stat Sheet: Batman Consoles a Crying Robin

Sorry I missed last week.  I was in the midst of finishing up the toughest class in my graduate school program and we had about 2 huge projects at work pile up.  Thankfully, that is all behind me and my week is a lot less stressful.  Although, Day Light Savings pushing darkness up to 5:30 can push anyone into a funk.  Thankfully, we have football to bring us out of that fun and even better we have a very good football team.

Stat of the week: It's been said a million times, but it is worth repeating.  The Steelers defense is the first defense in the history of the NFL to hold each of its first 8 opponents under 75 rushing yards.  You cannot run through a steel curtain.

Defense

Week 9 Ranks

Category Stat Week 9 Rank Week 7 Rank Trend
Points Per Game 15.4 1st
1st --
Total Yards Per Game 298.2 4th 4th --
Yards Per Play 4.8 T-4th T-4th --
Rush Yards Per Game 58.2 1st 1st --
Yards Per Rush Attempt 2.6 1st 1st --
Rush TDs Allowed 3 T-3rd T-3rd --
Pass Yards Per Game 240.5 24th 24th --
Yards Per Pass Attempt 6.8
T-16th T-15th
Passing TDs Allowed 8
T-3rd T-1st
Sacks 24
T-5th 8th
QB Rating Against 80.2 15th 8th
Turnover Ratio +9 T-1st 2nd

The Steelers lead the league with 21 takeaways, which is a lot better than last year.  7 of those did come in one game, but those are still good numbers.  Another interesting note is that the Steelers defense is the 2nd least penalized team in the league.  They are very disciplined and come up with big plays.  Last year they were a below average team in takeaways and were the 12th most penalized in the league.  I wonder why Goodell is focusing so much on our team with such a low penalty rate.  Maybe he should take a look at the Ravens who have nearly double the flags thrown in their direction.

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Field Position

Drives

Steelers: 14
Bengals: 12

Average Starting Field Position

Steelers: Own 37
Bengals: Own 36

Average Starting Field Position for Season

Steelers: 33.16 (1st)
Opponent: 31.06 (24th)
Differential: +2.10 (10th)

I am still surprised that our opponent's starting field position is so high.  It seems like we are doing very well on KO coverage and punt coverage, yet our opponents are still getting a good starting field.  Maybe it is due to turnovers, but we are about middle of the pack in the league as far as giveaways go.  Maybe, we are just giving them away to deep in our own territory too often, like in Miami.

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Corner Back Stats

Weekly

Name Thrown At Rec Catch % Yds AVG YAC TD Alwd INT Pass Defl.
Ike Taylor 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Bryant McFadden 8 7 87.5 96 13.7 4 1 0 1
William Gay 9 6 66.7 75 12.5 17 1 0 1

 

Season

Name Thrown At Rec Catch % Yds AVG YAC TD Alwd INT Pass Defl.
Ike Taylor 55 31 56.4 358 11.5 121 1 2 1
Bryant McFadden 62 48 77.4 513 10.7 93 5 1 3
William Gay 32 23 71.9 257 11.2 98 2 0 4
LEAGUE AVG -- -- 60.5 -- 12.3 -- 2.5 1.5 3.5

 

If you did not know already, I like to flip flop a lot on my opinions a lot.  I am about to do that with Bryant McFadden.  I really liked the trade when it happened and I really thought he played great at the beginning of the year within the system.  However, he has been awful lately.  He has been responsible for 5 of the 8 passing TDs we have given up and 3 of those in the last two games.  It appears teams are beginning to believe he is a weak link and they are targeting him.  Also, when he was only giving up about 1 yard after the catch per reception in the first 4 games it worked perfectly.  However, since then he has been giving up around 3 yards after the catch per reception.  That may not seem like a lot, but consider he is giving up an average of 10.7 yards per reception.  That is almost 14 yards every time he is targeted, or 77.4 % of the time he is targeted.

Also, I was worried with Ike at the beginning of the year, but he has come on strong in the last few games.  He has been allowed to play more bump and run and he has flourished.  We should definitely look toward resigning him and replacing McFadden.

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Quick Slants

  • Historical Numbers: As I listed above in the Stat of the Week, the Steelers are on the brink of being historically the best rush defense in the history of the league.  This is only the third time in NFL history a team has held their opponents under 60 yards per game this deep into the season.  They are actually on pace to finish ahead of the 2000 Baltimore Ravens who hold the record for the least rush yards given up in a 16 game season.
  • The Mack: Through 8 games this season, Lawrence Timmons has as many tackles as he had all of last year, 78.  That means from here on out it is profit.  Also, if Timmons can get two more takeaways that will also top his career high from last year.  I imagined that Lawrence would be getting more sacks this year, but I can let that slide because he has been such a crucial part of our run defense.
  • Special TeamsJason Worilds has 7 tackles, Ryan Mundy has 6, Will Allen 5, Ike 5, Anthony Madison 5, Gay 4, Fox 4, Sly Guy 3.
  •  Play Selection: Our opponents have elected to pass the ball on us 64.9% of the time, which ranks 2nd in the league and very close to 1st (Redskins 65.2%).  
  • First Down Percentages: The Steelers are giving up 1st downs on only 28.1% of the plays they see, which is the 6th best mark in the league.  On running plays they are giving up 15.3% first downs (3rd) and 30.8% on passing plays (15th).
  • Run Success Against this D???:  Apparently, the only successful place to run against the Steelers defense is to the left outside.  They are giving up 4.27 yards per carry there (18th) and every where else they are giving up below 3.2 yards per carry (all 7th or better). Only 8% of the runs come there though.  59% come up the middle which we are the 2nd best team at stopping.
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