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Steelers recent trends are pretty alarming

The Steelers were 8-8 a year ago, 0-4 in the preseason and now, following a 20-10 defeat in Cincinnati on Monday Night Football, are 0-2 to start the 2013 regular season. All pretty alarming trends. But if you examine some of the underlying (and maybe under the radar) trends, it's easier to see why Pittsburgh has struggled as of late.

Kirk Irwin

Trends have always been a very important part of sports. Trends are basically history, and like the saying goes, if you ignore history, you may wind up repeating it.

Unfortunately, for the 2013 Steelers, I don't know if there's anything they can do about some of their recent trends.

For example, as Neal Coolong pointed out, following another less than opportunistic showing in a Week 2 loss to the Bengals, Monday night, Pittsburgh's defense has a mere 35 takeaways in the last two-plus seasons. Also, if you go back to the time Ike Taylor strip-sacked quarterback Mark Sanchez and William Gay returned the fumble for a touchdown in the 2010 AFC Championship Game, Dick Lebeau's unit has two defensive touchdowns in the last 36 games that have counted.

Other recent trends of note:

--Dating back to a Week 9 match-up last season against the Giants at MetLife Stadium, the Steelers have been behind by two scores or more in eight of their past 11 games--including the last six in-which they weren't already eliminated from the postseason.

--Since December 4, 2011, Pittsburgh has scored 30 points or more one time in the last 19 games--including zero times since Week 3 of last season.

--In the past 15 games, the Steelers have scored less than 20 points seven times.

--The last time Pittsburgh led by as many as three touchdowns at any point in a game was Christmas Eve of 2011--a 27-0 rout of the Rams--and the team's biggest margin of victory since then was a 17 point defeat of the Jets in Week 2 of the 2012 season.

Finally, maybe the most glaring trend of all:

--In the last eight games with playoff implications, dating back to Week 11 of last year, the Steelers are 1-7.

How impactful are top 10 draft choices during their first year in the NFL? If the Steelers don't do something about their recent history, draft trends will soon dominate the discussions about the 2013 season.

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