I've had too much time on my hands recently and spent some time digging through our interception totals for the past five years or so and thought some of this was worth sharing.
Interceptions totals as a team:
- 2011: 11
- 2010: 21
- 2009: 12
- 2008: 20
- 2007: 11
So that means we're destined for a big year for interceptions in 2012 right? Well that all depends on #43, take a look at his interception totals by year:
- 2011: 2
Of course, the only constant in our defensive backfield other than Troy Polamalu, during those five years is Ike Taylor, and we all know his inability to turn passes defended into picks. In fact in the past five years his 75 passes defended, which is a pretty respectable number, have been turned into picks at an epically bad rate (8 picks/75 passes defended = 10.7%). Of guys with at least 30 passes defended in the past five seasons, no one's percentage was lower than Ike's but guys like Brandon Carr and Jabari Greer are also bottom feeders in this category (11.3 and 11.5). For what it's worth, of the 53 defenders who fit into this category, about half of the guys were above the 20% threshold (Troy was 27.6% and Ed Reed led the way with 34.8%).
One other semi-depressing stat, the Steelers' DB's (minus #43), have picked off a combined 49 passes in the past 5 seasons and haven't gotten more than seven since 2008. Since 2008, nine different players (including Troy once and two other guys twice) have picked off seven or more passes in a season, the same total as our entire secondary (less Troy) combined.
One final thought, would you rather be the 2011 Steelers or Packers pass defense? The Steelers led the league in pass yards allowed but generated just 11 picks (which tied them for 21st) while the Packers finished dead last in pass yards allowed but grabbed an eye popping 31 picks (second in the league was 23).