This is not a post that will make you jump out of your chair. All of Steeler Nation knows how much the loss of strong safety Troy Polamalu has been to the defense. Where they are really missing him most is in the 4th quarter. Another "Captain Obvious" statement I know, but the numbers in the 4th quarter show the huge disparity.
4th Quarters With Troy
Through 15 games, Polamalu has played in just 3 4th quarters. In those 3 games, the Steelers have held the opposing quarterback to a 33.7 QB rating. Those 3 quarterbacks were Derrick Anderson, Brett Favre and Kyle Orton. None of those 3 QB\'s threw a 4th quarter touchdown in those games as well. In addition, the Steelers have 4 of their 8 interceptions on the season in these 3 games in the 4th quarter. The completion % in those 3 games averages out to only 55% as well. The most important stat is the Steelers went 3-0 in these games as well.
Now of course it is not all Polamalu, but his mere presence alone seems to make this defense better in the 4th quarter. Sure it is a small sample of stats, but it will be interesting to see if indeed Polamalu can play the final two games versus Baltimore and Miami, if the stats continue to correlate.
Below are the stats from the games that Polamalu did not play in the 4th quarter. An astounding 124.1 QB rating and 67% completion rate. Zero interceptions, 11 touchdown passes and 2.4 more yards per attempt. The chilling fact is the names of a few of these quarterbacks that have 100+ QB ratings in the 4th against us. Culpepper, Cassel & Gradkowski.
4th Quarters Without Troy
Please Troy, get well soon! Like this week versus the Ravens. At the very least, play the 4th quarter.