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Johnny's Week 13 Steelers Defensive Stat Sheet: Polamalu's Judo Chop Saves the Day

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Christmas came early when the Steelers grabbed a huge victory over the Baltimore Ravens at their house.  The win propelled the Steelers to first in the division with the inside track to the #2 seed.  The Steelers now "control their own destiny", because they do not have to watch scoreboards as long as they win.  In fact, there is a good chance the Steelers could clinch a playoff spot this weekend.  Let's not get ahead of ourselves though.  One game at a time.  This coming Bengals game is set-up to be a major trap game.  Hopefully, Tomlin keeps everyone focused with their eyes on the prize

Stat of the week: The Steelers have now allowed 3 passes of over 60 yards in the last two games.  Prior to week 12 the Steelers had given up 0 plays over 50 yards in the first 10 games of the season.  Actually, the Steelers only allowed 3 plays over 40 yards in those first 10 games.

Defensive Ranks

Category Stat Week 13 Rank Week 12 Rank Trend
Points Per Game 15.9 2nd
Total Yards Per Game 301.6 5th 5th --
Yards Per Play 4.8 2nd T-3rd
Rush Yards Per Game 62.2 1st 1st --
Yards Per Rush Attempt 3.0 1st 1st --
Rush TDs Allowed 4 T-1st T-1st --
Pass Yards Per Game 239.3 24th 22nd
Yards Per Pass Attempt 6.7 T-8th T-7th
Passing TDs Allowed 13
5th 5th --
Sacks 36
QB Rating Against 79.1 9th 9th --
Turnover Ratio +11 3rd T-2nd

No real major changes this week.  Most of our numbers stood pat with a good defensive effort against the Ravens.  Our sack number shot up and we are now tied with the most sacks in the league with the Oakland Raiders.  I keep waiting for our TO numbers to have a big game and shoot us up the TO Ratio standings, but nothing yet.  I read some where that the players pleaded with LeBeau to dial up more blitzes and he did this week.  Can we see more of that please?  4 sacks and 1 game winning turnover were forced by the heat that LeBeau brought.  I think that was a major component in keeping the Ravens offense confused all night.  If it were not for two blown coverages, the performance would have been even more impressive. 

This year feels so much like 2008.


Field Position


Steelers: 11
Ravens: 11

Average Starting Field Position

Steelers: Own 31
Ravens: Own 24

Average Starting Field Position for Season

Steelers: 31.74 (6th)
Opponent: 30.39 (24th)
Differential: +1.35 (13th)


Corner Back Stats


Name Thrown At Rec Catch % Yds AVG YAC TD Alwd INT Pass Def.
Ike Taylor 2 0 0.0 0
0 0 0 0 1
Bryant McFadden 8 5 62.5 100 12.5 32 1 0 1
William Gay 5 4 80.0 51 10.2 5 0 0 2



Name Thrown At Rec Catch % Yds AVG YAC TD Alwd INT Pass Def.
Ike Taylor 73 41 56.2 530 12.9 168 1 2 4
Bryant McFadden 90 64 71.1 706 11.0 161 6 1 5
William Gay 54 37 68.5 421 11.4 137 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 53 32 60.4 -- 12.4 -- 3 2 5


Ike Taylor continues to play phenomenal.  However, I think he is definitely benefiting from teams favoring McFadden and Gay.  Granted, when he is targeted he is performing very well.  Also, if they are not throwing his way that means he is probably blanketing his WR, unlike his counterparts.  I think McFadden should be cut a bit of slack because he was listed as doubtful for a good portion of the week with his injury.  However, the team needed him and he tried to step up and play.  A good indicator that he was still hampered by the injury is that he had 2 missed tackles on Sunday.  In the other 11 games this year he has had a total of 3.  He is a great tackler and does not miss often, the injury had to be affecting him.


Quick Slants

  • 20+ Runs: An interesting tidbit for this week is that the Cincinnati Bengals have given up 16 runs of 20+ yards this year, which is the worst in the league.  In fact, if the Steelers get a 20+ yard this weekend they will be the first team in the history of the NFL to give up a 20+ yard run in 13 straight games.  Anyways, on the other side of the spectrum the Steelers have only given up 1 run of 20+ yards, which is the best in the league.  The 2nd place team has given up 4 (a bit of perspective).
  • Silent But Deadly: James Farrior is like that fart you discretely let go that silently terrorizes everyone in the room.  Farrior has silently been tremendous these last 5 games or so.  Just look at the numbers 41 tackles, 4 sacks, 3 pass deflections, 11 QB pressures, and 21 stops.  Farrior will be looking to make it a 4 game sack streak this Sunday.
  • Comparing Defenses: Michael does a great job comparing this year's defense to past defenses in his weekly article.  Another good way to compare them is big plays allowed.  The 2008 defense allowed 4 runs of 20+ yards and 1 run of 40+ yards.  This year's team has allowed 1 of 20+ yards and 0 of 40+ yards.  However, the 2008 defense only allowed 23 pass plays of 20+ yards and only 2 of 40+ yards.  This year's defense has given up 29 pass plays of 20+ yards and 7 of 40+ yards.
  • Fun With Patterns: L-L-L-W-W-L-L-L-W-W-L..., that is Carson Palmer's career against the Steelers going from 2004 to most recently.  Obviously, an L comes next to maintain the 3-2 pattern.
  • For the Record: James Farrior needs just 14 tackles to overtake Carnell Lake in Steelers all time tackles (tackles were an unofficial stat before 2001, but kept from 1994-2000 by the league.  Prior to 1994 they were kept solely by each team).