Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Pittsburgh is committing an average of 9.3 penalties per game on the offensive side of the ball, the highest rate in the NFL.
Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor and Antonio Brown got into a multi-round skirmish during a training camp practice in August. It was the highlight of a training camp that involved multiple fights between several players.
Some questioned what appeared to be a lack of discipline. The issue was enough some of the Steelers' veterans met outside the facility to iron out the reasons fights were springing up in practice.
Offensively, the've been called for 28 penalties in three games - a 9.3 penalties per game average, the highest mark in the NFL. Their 240 offensive penalty yards gives them an average of 80 offensive penalty yards per game, the third-highest in the league (Washington, 89, Baltimore 82.5).
It's a bit better on the defensive side of the ball, averaging around five penalties per game and 45 yards per game. The combined average of offense and defense is 14 penalties for 125 yards a game.
Not the overall mark of a disciplined team.
Say what you will about replacement officials (and Green Bay probably isn't any happier this week than they were after Week 3), the fact is the Steelers' offense is getting in its own way, and oddly, is by a healthy margin the more effective of the two units through three games.
Expect these stats to be reiterated in meetings throughout the week. The Eagles are an opportunistic team led by a quarterback, Michael Vick, who has fourth-quarter game-winning drives in each of Philadelphia's three wins. The Eagles are the kind of team that will make an opponent pay for every free yard they give them.
Discipline must be preached, lived and learned in preparation for this game.