Steelers Only Playing 45 Minutes Of Defense

Dating back to the Super Bowl against the Arizona Cardinals, the Steelers defense has played a great first 45 minutes of football in each game. The problem is that there is 60 minutes in a game. The last 15 minutes of the last 4 games shows that the defense clearly has problems sealing the deal.

Starting with points allowed, the Steelers defense has allowed only 65 points from the Super Bowl through week 3 of this season. Of these 65 points, 41 have been allowed in the 4th quarter alone. That rounds up to 63.1% of total points allowed in the 4 game stretch coming in the last 15 minutes. Yardage wise, the Steelers gave up 1282 total yards over these 4 games as well, this total does not include the fake punt run by the Bengals on Sunday as we will put that on the special teams. In those same 4 games, 544 of those yards came in the 4th quarter. That works out to 42.4% of the total yards allowed being 4th quarter yards.

As far as turnovers go, the Steelers have forced 3 fumbles in 4 games with 2 of them only coming in the fourth quarter and only one was recovered by the defense. That one of course was the final sack of Kurt Warner in the Super Bowl. Interception wise, the Steelers have only intercepted 2 balls in these 4 games and none of them have come in the 4th quarter. One was the 100 yard return by James Harrison in the Super Bowl to end the half and the other was the amazing grab by Troy Polamalu in the second quarter against Tennessee in week 1.

Sack wise, the Steelers have only recorded 7 sacks over these 4 games with only 2 coming in the 4th quarters.

You can clearly see by these numbers, that the defense has to start playing better in the 4th quarter. Not only yardage allowed, but the sacks and turnover totals must improve if the Steelers are going to make another run at their 7th championship.

Below is the total of yards by game and by drive that the Steelers have allowed in 4th quarters.

TeamYardsPtsResult
Arizona60Punt
Arizona877TD
Arizona390Punt
Arizona647TD
Arizona280Fum
Total22414
Tennessee363FG
Tennessee120Punt
Tennessee30End Reg
Total513
Chicago727TD
Chicago413FG
Total11310
Cincinnati856TD
Cincinnati718TD
Total15614
Grand Total54441

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • DG

    I agree with what is stated here BUT….it would be a moot point if our offense would start coming out with 6, instead of 3’s in the red zone. Of course you defense is going to be put on their heels when the games are so tight because we can’t score 6, instead of 3. Heck, look at the game yesterday…if we would have just scored one TD out of the two FG’s…that last drive by Cinn would have been for not. Plus the fact, Limas dropping another wide open TD pass did’nt help the cause! Heck, even against Chicago Santonio dropped a TD pass too, that would have sealed that win too. So, I am not so sure we should be looking at the Defense in regards to these losses, as much as redzone points & dropped passes. On another note, the running game looks to be getting better & that is HUGE with the passing game we have now. Also, I live down here in Mississippi and am a season ticket holder for the Ole Miss Rebels. I watched Mike Wallace his whole career there & just get use to that kind of performance like yesterday and better from him! He is a solid reciever that can blow by any DB in the NFL and WILL NOT drop the ball…as you have seen so far! Thanks! -DG

  • admin

    Never said it was the only reason they are having problems winning, just one of the MANY problems. Regardless of the offense, it was what it was. One can play if’s and but’s all day about the last 2 games. Regardless, they had the lead going into the final quarter of both games and the defense could not keep the lead.