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Steelers Have Fewest Takeaways in NFL Since 2011

By Kipper @pghsportsforum
Steelers have fewest takeaways in NFL since 2011
By Neal Coolong
http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com...nfl-since-2011
Steelers have fewest takeaways in NFL since 2011
A stat confirms what Steelers fans likely knew or at least would have guessed. The team isn't forcing takeaways
Scott Kacsmar @FO_ScottKacsmar
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Fewest takeaways since 2011
1. Steelers - 55
2. Colts - 58
3. Dolphins - 61
(Patriots have league-best 107)
4:32 PM - 12 Sep 2014
We've given you a ray of sunshine (two of them actually). Now, let's talk specifics.
The Steelers simply do not force takeaways. This is the root of the problem. This game is about flipping the field. Teams can no longer prey on receivers bold enough to go across the middle, giving them a savage beating for their mistake, along with jarring the ball free. Twice in the loss to Baltimore, we saw this effort appearing futile - Troy Polamalu delivered a big hit and picked up a flag and, a few plays later, Mike Mitchell did in fact dislodge the ball but also picked up a penalty.
It's essentially impossible for a player to hit a receiver in that position in a way that will jar the ball free but without coming close to the receiver's neck and head area. Maybe a 1-in-100 shot. Instead, teams must rely on quickening a quarterback's feet and forcing him into bad throws to prompt turnovers in the passing game.
There always are linebackers simply stripping the ball from receivers on short routes as Baltimore did twice Thursday, but I digress.
The main long-term concern here is we no longer can view this as randomness. Fumbles, and recoveries in particular, wax and wane with over-corrected levels of incidence appearing to stick with a basic, long-term trend. Interceptions are more skill-based. Logically, we can infer the Steelers have gotten more of their interceptions based on pressuring the quarterback. The scheme hasn't changed in their defensive secondary. They don't draft the ball-hawk kinds of cornerbacks. They've had very little variation in their safeties during the last 10 years besides a few injury-replacements thrown in there. The Steelers' defensive backs simply haven't been around the ball.
They've feasted on tipped passes and bad reads and easy-to-spot hot receivers. Just a general observation but it seems like quarterbacks are too smart today. Offenses are more comfortable with the notion of a passer just completing passes, and less concerned with the depth of field being used to accomplish that task. They run less and throw shorter. That the Steelers also are struggling against the run is a separate problem.
Since 2011, the Steelers have played 50 games, and, according to Football Outsiders (and Pittsburgh native) Scott Kacsmar, they have 55 takeaways. Barely more than one per game.
While this isn't a call to fire Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, it's a hope he, as well as the rest of the Steelers' defensive coaching staff and players, will watch a few games this weekend and try to find a way to come up with something schematic to alter this stat. We're past the time of resting comfortably on the expectation that turnovers will come. We've mentioned that philosophy many times. While it's fair to point out Ike Taylor, Lawrence Timmons and Cortez Allen have dropped interceptions so far this season, the team isn't disrupting passers or passing enough to believe it's just a blip on the radar. It's a self-produced trend now, and something needs to be done.
It does not surprise me. When you have the ball hit our guys in the hands and they can't get a pick.....what does anyone expect ? It starts from lack of pressure on the opposing teams quarterback to a secondary that is old and hands of stone.
oh, and you have a defensive coordinator that is in the HOF for probably a lot of reason of being an interception player that can't pass his knowledge to his own team.
Quote Originally Posted by fezziwig View Post This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. ://">://" onclick="kh99_iqts_show('340235_1'); return false;">Show Quote It does not surprise me. When you have the ball hit our guys in the hands and they can't get a pick.....what does anyone expect ? It starts from lack of pressure on the opposing teams quarterback to a secondary that is old and hands of stone. Yep. Pressure starts with the front seven. The Steelers are not getting to the QB. Plain and simple. They only have 3 sacks through 2 games. All of those were against the Browns. This is the professional level, when the QB has time to throw they will find open receivers or make a play. The lack of forced turnovers is also concerning. Teams that force turnovers are successful. When Pittsburgh was making the playoffs, they had 40-50 sacks per year and forcing 2-3 turnovers per game... The more turnovers created yields more offensive possessions and opportunities for drives and putting points on the scoreboard.
I just read on another site, " playing the Steelers for an opposing quarterback, is like a bye week for that quarterback. " ha ha !
Quote Originally Posted by fezziwig View Post This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. ://">://" onclick="kh99_iqts_show('340258_1'); return false;">Show Quote I just read on another site, " playing the Steelers for an opposing quarterback, is like a bye week for that quarterback. " ha ha ! Sure seems like that, huh? The sad reality is the problem is not limited to takeaways or sacks. It extends to the lack of a pass rush and guys continuing to commit STUPID penalties. Where is the discipline? Sure, when a defense is going to play like this, it's in the favor of the QB and the opposing offense. So I can completely understand that statement, fezziwig.

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