The success the Pittsburgh Steelers defense has seen in the 2017 regular season is largely due to the improvement of the team’s pass rush. The Steelers are currently tied for second in the NFL with 24 sacks thru seven games, but this isn’t just about sacking the quarterback, but applying pressure to the quarterback.
Why has the team’s secondary been so vastly improved from 2016 to 2017? How about the fact the team is pressuring the quarterback 7th best in the NFL heading into Week 8, per NFL Matchup on ESPN. Moving the quarterback off their spot and hurrying passes can make a dramatic improvement on a defensive secondary.
While this improvement has played a huge role in the success of the defense, the team the Steelers play in Week 8, the Detroit Lions, are on the other end of the spectrum regarding pressuring the quarterback.
The Lions are the second-worst team, in regards to pressuring the quarterback, and are tied for 22nd in the league with 13 sacks through six games. Throw in the following stats, and you see a defense which is more mediocre than anything else.
Detroit ranks 19th in regards to yards allowed per game, giving up 244.2 yards per game through the air (22nd in the NFL), 94.3 yards on the ground a game (8th in the NFL) and 24.8 yards per game, which ranks 28th in the league.
If the Steelers can keep Ben Roethlisberger upright in Week 8, something they have done extremely well in 2017 only allowing 10 sacks through 7 games, it very well could allow the Steelers’ offense to do whatever they want when they step onto Ford Field Sunday night.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest and greatest surrounding the black-and-gold as they prepare for Sunday Night Football.