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Will the Steelers “splash” trend on defense continue?

The Pittsburgh Steelers have gotten off to a decent start to their season, starting 3-2 prior to they bye in Week 6. However, if you asked most fans they would agree the start could be viewed as “sluggish”. While certain aspects of the offense and defense can absolutely fall into the sub-par category, one area which the team is performing at a high level would be “splash” plays on defense.

Most would categorize “splash” plays as plays resulting in takeaways, or sacking the quarterback. Those plays are what most fans would say the current team is leaning on to keep them winning football games.

The Steelers absolutely have been leaning on splash plays on defense, and it’s important to see where they stand as they prepare for Week 7.

  • Interceptions: 5
  • Fumble Recoveries: 6

The ability to take the ball away, and in this case set up a struggling offense with better field position, is paramount for the Steelers’ early season success. Another key area to look at with the defense also combines with the offense. How many takeaways have the Steelers gotten on defense combined with how many turnovers the offense has had.

This equates in the differential. You want to be on the plus side of things, and the Steelers are after five games.

  • Turnover Differential: +5

The Steelers’ differential has them ranked tied for 6th in the league, and has to be an area of focus moving forward. Not just protecting the football, but also still showing the ability to take the ball away.

The final area of “splash” for the defense would be taking down the opposing team’s quarterback. That’s right, sacks. The Steelers, who have only played 5 games, compared to many team’s 6, have 17 sacks on the season. Not horrible, but a long way away from the Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills who have 24 sacks in six games.

With all that said, the question for the team moving forward isn’t “can” they take the ball away, but “will they continue” to take the ball away and make those necessary splash plays. If the Steelers’ offense continues to struggle, it makes these numbers even more important. Getting extra possessions and improved field position are absolutely key for the Steelers’ overall success.

Be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Los Angeles Rams in Week 7.

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