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Turnovers just not coming with Steelers defense

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Steelers go a third straight game without a takeaway while seeing their opponents notch five of their own.

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers safety Troy Polamalu blurred around the field in Sunday's 40-23 loss to the Chicago Bears.

He flashed, fired and fought. He, and the rest of the Steelers' defense, ended their third consecutive game without a takeaway.

It's hard to come up with answers at this point, but even on a team that took two steps forward and one step back on both sides of the ball it's past feeling like something has to give.

Like Mike McDermott says in Rounders: "If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour you're at the table, then you are the sucker." The Steelers' defense simply can't make plays. There really isn't another way to view it.

Sure, Polamalu looks closer to 2010, when he was the Defensive Player of the Year, than he did in 2012, when he battled a lingering calf injury. Granted, the Steelers have been without the guy who seemed like their best playmaking cornerback for the last two games - Cortez Allen. Yes, Ike Taylor held wide receiver Brandon Marshall in check for the vast majority of the game - Marshall came up big on a 45-yard completion on third down from Jay Cutler, but otherwise, was held to 11 yards on four catches.

Perhaps most notably, and sadly, the Steelers doubled their season sack total by getting another QB takedown from LaMarr Woodley and another one from Brett Keisel.

It's just too hard to win games when you're on the wrong end of a -5 takeaway margin.

The Steelers now sit at -9 overall in give/take, after losing three fumbles and throwing two interceptions. The offense absolutely takes blame for its lack of ball security but the defense is operating as if they're under different rules.

They just don't know why those rules are different.

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