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Pittsburgh Steelers' poor tackling costly in loss to Ravens

The Pittsburgh Steelers' defense is a 'run and hit' style defense. That could be re-named to 'run and miss' if the tackling doesn't improve.

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and Dick LeBeau have named the team's defensive philosophy the 'run and hit' defense. By drafting speed at all positions, the ability to run to the ball carrier and take them down is paramount to the success of the defense.

After Thursday's debacle against the Baltimore Ravens, that defensive title could be changed to the 'run and miss'.

Per Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Steelers defense missed 16 total tackles in the game on Thursday Night Football, the most the team has experienced since the loss to the Minnesota Vikings last season in London, England.

To make matters worse, the Ravens gained 93 extra yards after those missed tackles. That 93 yards equates to 29 percent of their total yards gained that night.

When looking at individual players and their missed tackles, some might look at a couple of factors: the number of tackles missed and also the amount of yardage given up due to that missed tackle. The Steelers had shocking numbers in both categories.

Mike Mitchell missed two tackles and they proved to be extremely costly. One missed tackle on Bernard Pierce, and another on Justin Forsett accounted for 41 yards of additional field position.

Other than Mitchell's two missed tackles, Lawrence Timmons missed five tackles which led to an extra 15 yards of offense for Baltimore, Cortez Allen missed three tackles, and Troy Polamalu and Ryan Shazier both missed a pair of tackles as well.

To say the Steelers tackling is 'below the line' is putting it mildly, but tackling across the NFL has been poor. Simply watch more than one game any NFL Sunday and you'll see tackling issues across the board. Some attribute that to the new CBA and the lack of practice time, some attribute it to poor mechanics while others simply write it off as early-season mistakes.

However you view this issue, the Steelers tackling is an issue that needs rectified for this team to compete. Giving teams nearly an extra 100 yards of offense after missed tackles simply isn't going to win many games in the NFL.