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.