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When it comes down to crunch time, the Steelers’ defense rises up

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On those key downs, in key situations, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense is one of the best in the game.

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are turning into a fourth-quarter team. Sure, we would all like to see the Black-and-gold put together a dominant performance for 60 minutes, but the team has usually been clutch when it matters most.

Check out the stats below from ESPN’s NFL Matchup verified Twitter account. (Note: These rankings were prior to Week 14):

This shouldn’t shock anyone who has followed the Steelers throughout the 2017 season, and especially after watching the Week-14 win over the Baltimore Ravens. When things were going south in a hurry, Pittsburgh’s defense stood tall in the fourth quarter.

After giving up 14 and 17 points in the second and third quarters on Sunday night, the Steelers allowed just one touchdown in the final frame, and every single stop they delivered was huge in giving the now-potent Pittsburgh offense plenty of time to orchestrate the necessary drives to pull off the dramatic comeback.

With the Patriots coming to Heinz Field in Week 15, a slow start, both offensively or defensively, could be the difference between a win and a loss, but the stats show, if it comes down the fourth quarter, the Steelers’ defense is more likely to stand tall than fold.