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Johnny's Week 12 Steelers Defensive Stat Sheet: Flag-Slingers Attempt to Tame James Harrison

The classic illegal clean hit.
The classic illegal clean hit.

Well, I missed another week of stat sheets and I blame it on the holidays.  Getting near a computer for longer than 30 minutes was difficult to do with family in town and plenty of good times to be had.  I hope everyone's Turkey Day was just as good as mine. out. 

The Steelers are riding a two game winning streak and the two games could not have been more different.  A blowout of Oakland followed by a very closely fought battle in Buffalo.  I pretty much expected that going into each game considering the style of offense for both teams.  It is no secret that the Raiders like to run and the Bills like to pass.  We are much better at handling the former, which is evident by watching both of these games.

Stat of the week: James Harrison has been fined $125,000 this year.

Defensive Ranks

Category Stat Week 12 Rank Week 11 Rank Trend
Points Per Game 16.5 3rd
3rd --
Total Yards Per Game 304.5 5th 5th --
Yards Per Play 4.8 T-3rd 3rd --
Rush Yards Per Game 64.0 1st 1st --
Yards Per Rush Attempt 3.0 1st 1st --
Rush TDs Allowed 4 T-1st T-3rd
Pass Yards Per Game 240.5 22nd 22nd --
Yards Per Pass Attempt 6.6 T-7th T-9th
Passing TDs Allowed 12
5th 5th --
Sacks 32
T-2nd --
QB Rating Against 78.4 9th 10th
Turnover Ratio +11 T-2nd T-2nd --

After the Raiders game everything shot up (as opposed to after the Patriots game where everything dropped).  Now, things are beginning to level out a bit and our defense looks pretty good based on the numbers.  We might be ranked badly in pass yards allowed, but consider that we see quite a few more pass plays than the majority of the league.  Moreover, I like that our yards per pass and pass TDs are relatively low.  Additionally, we rank 9th in interceptions with 14, which is a big step up from last year's 25th ranking with only 12 all year.  The TO ratio is crucial going into the Ravens game where every points will be rare.  The Ravens sit at -2, which could favor us and swing the game in our favor.


Field Position


Steelers: 11
Bills: 11

Average Starting Field Position

Steelers: Own 19 (Easily the worst of the season)
Bills: Own 38

Average Starting Field Position for Season

Steelers: 31.81 (4th)
Opponent: 30.90 (26th)
Differential: +0.91 (14th)


Corner Back Stats


Name Thrown At Rec Catch % Yds AVG YAC TD Alwd INT Pass Def.
Ike Taylor 8 4 50.0 56
7.0 13 0 0 1
Bryant McFadden 2 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
William Gay 8 4 50.0 36 4.5 16 0 0 2
Anthony Madison 4 2 50.0 20 5.0 9 0 0 0



Name Thrown At Rec Catch % Yds AVG YAC TD Alwd INT Pass Def.
Ike Taylor 71 41 57.7 530 12.9 168 1 2 3
Bryant McFadden 82 59 72.0 606 10.3 129 5 1 4
William Gay 49 33 67.3 370 11.2 132 5 0 6
Anthony Madison
5 3 60.0 24 8.0 10 0 0 0
Keenan Lewis 1 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
LEAGUE AVG 46.5 28.5 60.8 -- 12.2 -- 3 1.5 4.5


Where are the William Gay haters after this game?  Gay had as good of a game as a CB can have without getting an interception.  Only half of the passes thrown his way were caught and he kept his WRs to a measly 4.5 yards per reception.  Also, he had 2 passes defenses/deflected, which is something you see more of in a cover DB.  Gay only has 3 less PDs compared to Darrelle Revis's 9 this season.

Anyway, the last two weeks have shown more DBs getting action, I presume to prevent teams from getting comfortable passing against us.  Both Madison and Lewis have seen a few snaps and defended a few passes.  Neither have done overly poor, which is also nice.  Since the NE fiasco, all 3 of our main CBs have brought down their Ct%, which is very nice to see.  McFadden in particular has seen his drop nearly 6%.


Quick Slants

  • Better Than the 2008 DPotY: What is James Harrison not doing that he did in his impressive 2008 season?  He had 101 tackles that year and he is on pace for 109 this year (75 so far).  He had 16 sacks and he is on pace for 14.5 (10 so far).  He had 7 forced fumbles and he already has 6 this year.  He had 1 interception and he already has a career high of 2 this year.  Clay Matthews, on the other hand, has 39 tackles, 12 sacks, 1 interception (for a TD), and 1 forced fumble.  I would vote for Deebo right now, hands down.
  • The Race to 100 on the Inside: Lawrence Timmons has 97 tackles on the year and Ray Lewis has 95.  Both square off this week in a heated divisional battle.  Who do you think gets there first?  Timmons has slowed down a bit and has not gotten a 10 tackle game since the Saints, whereas Lewis has a two game streak of 10+ tackles.
  • Captain Obvious: Teams are passing a lot more on the Steelers than they are running.  Our opponents are passing 66.62% of the time against us, which is 2% more than any other team in the league.  Just for reference, league average is about 58% pass.
  • Random Plays by Percentage: The Steelers get a sack on 6.9% of passing attempts (9th), an interception on 3.2% of passing attempts (12th), and a turnover on 3.72% of all plays (3rd).  Additionally, they give up a pass TD on 2.4% of passing plays (3rd) and a rush TD on 1.7% of rush attempts (4th).