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Breaking down the Pittsburgh Steelers edge rushers vs. the Cleveland Browns

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The Pittsburgh Steelers were able to get a tremendous amount of pressure on Johnny Manziel in Week 10. Take a closer look at the Steelers' edge rushers in their latest game action.

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After a disappointing effort against the Raiders in Week 9, the Steelers outside linebackers bounced back in Week 10. Against a talented Browns offensive line they turned in a solid performance. The team combined for five sacks on the day, two of which came from the outside linebackers.  Jarvis Jones even turned in his best performance of the season.

The Pressure Production will allow us to take a closer look at the performance of Jones, Arthur Moats, and Bud Dupree. Let's start with the Sunday's surprising defensive star.

Jarvis Jones

Situational Success: The Steelers used Jones all over the field on Sunday. He may have spent nearly as many plays in coverage as he did rushing the passer, but he no doubt capitalized on his opportunities. On his 13 rush attempts on the edge, Jones converted 4 into pressures. That translates to a 30.8% success rate, which may not seem that great until you consider that Jones was facing Joe Thomas on those attempts. Creating pressure at a 30.8% rate is so small feat against one of the best offensive tackles in the league. Jones only had one attempt on the interior during the game but he successfully converted it into a pressure.

When rushing against one blocker, Jones converted 5 of his 8 attempts (38.5%) into pressure. Keeping in mind that that one blocker was Joe Thomas for the majority of the game, 38.5% is an extremely good success rate. Jones only had one attempt against multiple blockers on the day and he unsurprisingly failed to convert it into a pressure. Overall, he successfully converted 35.7%, or 5 out of 9, of his attempts into pressures. His highest cumulative success rate on the season through week 9 was 33.3% so this game was a substantial improvement.

Reason For Pressure: Jones' pressures were relatively concentrated. 3 of his successes came on bull rushes, while he created 1 pressure each with a shoulder dip and a coverage pressure. Although only 80% of his pressures in this game were "earned pressures" I don't think that takes too much away from his performance due to the caliber of offensive line he faced.

Pressure Conversion: Jones converted 2 out of his 5 pressures into sacks, although both were combined sacks rather than solo sacks. In these pieces in the past I have mentioned my surprise at Jones' high success rate, but I think his skill-set actually may lend itself to a high conversion rate. I would expect Jones to continue his success converting sacks for the rest of the season.

Arthur Moats

Situational Success Rates: 9 out of Moats' 10 pressures came on rushes on the edge. Of those 9 attempts, Moats had success on 33.3% on his attempts. On the inside he only had one attempt and failed to convert it into pressure. Moats took all of his 10 attempts against a single blocker. On those attempts he had success 3 times which converts to a 30% success rate.

Cumulatively, Moats' 30% success rate is well below his season average. Up to this point in the season Moats' production had relied heavily on pressures where he was left unblocked and that didn't happen once in this game. That could, perhaps, be the reason for a poor game from him overall against the Browns.

Reasons for Pressure: Moats' success on the season had been heavily reliant on being unblocked and shoulder dips. In Week 10, though, he didn't create for either of those reasons. Moats created his pressures against the Browns due to a rip move, a bull rush, and an initial jump. He hasn't had much success in these areas so far this season, so I don't know how much this game indicates for the rest of the season.

Pressure Conversion: Moats converted 1 of his 3 pressures in this game into sacks, which hasn't been his strong point this year. Including this game, he has only converted 8.7% of his pressures into sacks. It's an area he has clearly been struggling in this year.

Bud Dupree

Situational Success Rates: Out of the the three Steelers rushers in this game, Dupree was the least productive. All of Dupree's 11 attempts came on the edge. When he faced one blocker, which happened on 10 out of his 11 attempts, Dupree created pressure on 30% of his attempts. This is a typical result from Dupree. He will struggle to create anything on many of his attempts, but he will also have a few plays each game where he has his way with an offensive tackle.  It's just the nature of where he is in his development.  Dupree failed to create pressure on his one attempt against a double team. Overall, Dupree had a 27.3% success rate on his 11 chartable pass rush attempts.

Reason for Pressure: Dupree created his pressures in this game in a similar fashion as he has been for the entire season. 2 of his 3 pressures came on attempts where his athleticism was able to outmatch the offensive tackle with a bull rush and a shoulder dip on the edge. Dupree did mix in a swim move to his repertoire for this game. Even if it was just a freak occurrence and not something to stay a big part of his game, it's nice to see him beginning to develop some variety.

Pressure Conversion: Dupree was the only one of these three not to convert at least one of his pressures into a sack. That's unusual considering his conversion rate on the season is tied for the highest among all players charted. I don't see this being a trend, though, so expect Dupree to continue converting his pressures at a relatively high rate for the rest of the season.

In a game against an offensive line as talented as the Browns as well as a game script that would lean towards less blitzes and more safe coverage, I am very impressed with how productive the Steelers pass rush was. The defense overall continues to play at a much higher level than most expected them to play at coming into the season. A productive pass rush is a large part of that strong play.