Categorized | Article, News, Rankings

Steelers Cornerbacks Shut Out In Latest ESPN Power Rankings For Corners


The Steelers cornerbacks were shut out in the latest ESPN Power Rankings that the panel of ESPN bloggers put out today and it is not too surprising. Not one of the Steelers corners is considered a shut-down corner type and that includes Ike Taylor. The Steelers defense under coordinator Dick LeBeau is one that is predicated on not giving up the big explosive play of 20 yards or more and is focused more on making teams be patient in their passing game and take what is given them underneath. The cornerbacks in the Steelers secondary are expected to quickly close on the receiver and wrap up the receiver quickly, especially in zone type coverages.

In the table below you will see that the Steelers pass defense as a whole did a great job of limiting the explosive play as they only allowed a league low 35 plays that went for 20 yards or more during the regular season. In addition, they only allowed 15 passing touchdown during the regular season for 3rd best in the league. Another hidden stat is the YPA (yards per attempt) stat. The Steelers pass defense only allowed 5.78 yards per attempt during the regular season, once again a league best. Now the cornerbacks do not get all the glory for these stats I admit, but they do get a good share of it. It was not like teams were not trying to throw against them either as during the regular season they faced an average of a little over 37 pass attempts a game. Only the Titans, Patriots and Ravens faced more average pass attempts a game in 2010. You could go even further and look at the first down percentage allowed through the air as it is just one more area that the Steelers pass defense excelled in.

Although the ESPN Power Rankings is based on individual performances, the sum of the parts remains the biggest factor. Also these rankings are blind to defensive scheme and it is obvious. Sure, Taylor, William Gay and Bryant McFadden had their moments in 2010, but overall they carried out what was expected of them in the Steelers secondary well. Can the secondary be improved? Sure, and it likely will be addressed early in the upcoming NFL draft. Teams will likely try to exploit the Steelers in the future much like the Patriots, Saints and Packers did last year with four receiver sets. Do not get lost in the individual rankings because as you see, it is the sum of the parts that makes the biggest difference. You could have one shut-down corner on your team, but that does not guarantee success as a team, especially in the Steelers defense. It certainly helps I agree, but it does not tell the whole story.

Sortable 2010 NFL Regular Season Defensive Passing Stats

Team Comp Att Pct Att/G Yds Avg Yds/G YPA TD Int 1st 1st% 20+ 40+
Steelers 363 593 61.2 37.1 3,425 6.3 214.1 5.78 15 21 182 30.7 35 7
Chargers 285 488 58.4 30.5 2,845 6.4 177.8 5.83 18 16 153 31.4 36 5
Buccaneers 307 521 58.9 32.6 3,216 6.4 201 6.17 23 19 171 32.8 37 9
Bills 294 473 62.2 29.6 3,072 6.9 192 6.49 28 11 179 37.8 38 4
Falcons 364 560 65 35 3,625 6.9 226.6 6.47 23 22 183 32.7 38 6
Vikings 333 529 62.9 33.1 3,367 6.7 210.4 6.36 25 15 178 33.6 39 7
Colts 356 535 66.5 33.4 3,433 6.8 214.6 6.42 22 10 190 35.5 40 4
Saints 306 494 61.9 30.9 3,103 6.8 193.9 6.28 13 9 150 30.4 42 7
Lions 330 518 63.7 32.4 3,498 7.3 218.6 6.75 23 14 187 36.1 43 9
Chiefs 319 581 54.9 36.3 3,519 6.5 219.9 6.06 23 14 186 32 44 10
Bears 363 582 62.4 36.4 3,588 6.6 224.2 6.16 14 21 183 31.4 44 5
Packers 296 527 56.2 32.9 3,107 6.5 194.2 5.90 16 24 163 30.9 44 8
Giants 308 539 57.1 33.7 3,352 6.8 209.5 6.22 24 16 159 29.5 44 10
Titans 410 625 65.6 39.1 4,032 6.9 252 6.45 23 17 214 34.2 45 10
Panthers 326 526 62 32.9 3,393 6.9 212.1 6.45 19 17 176 33.5 45 7
Bengals 326 514 63.4 32.1 3,469 7.1 216.8 6.75 21 16 170 33.1 47 10
49ers 358 550 65.1 34.4 3,697 7.2 231.1 6.72 25 15 188 34.2 48 11
Jets 269 531 50.7 33.2 3,210 6.5 200.6 6.05 24 12 169 31.8 48 5
Browns 309 507 60.9 31.7 3,531 7.3 220.7 6.96 26 19 195 38.5 49 8
Dolphins 288 502 57.4 31.4 3,348 7.1 209.2 6.67 22 11 166 33.1 50 11
Rams 328 570 57.5 35.6 3,578 6.8 223.6 6.28 21 14 191 33.5 51 5
Raiders 249 470 53 29.4 3,027 7.1 189.2 6.44 29 12 150 31.9 51 7
Ravens 349 596 58.6 37.2 3,599 6.4 224.9 6.04 22 19 187 31.4 52 5
Eagles 309 536 57.6 33.5 3,469 7 216.8 6.47 31 23 185 34.5 54 9
Patriots 388 611 63.5 38.2 4,136 7.1 258.5 6.77 25 25 226 37 55 4
Cardinals 324 533 60.8 33.3 3,654 7.3 228.4 6.86 22 17 178 33.4 55 7
Texans 354 547 64.7 34.2 4,280 8.2 267.5 7.82 33 13 211 38.6 56 18
Cowboys 348 540 64.4 33.8 3,894 7.7 243.4 7.21 33 20 200 37 57 13
Redskins 367 578 63.5 36.1 4,187 7.5 261.7 7.24 23 14 207 35.8 57 10
Jaguars 329 506 65 31.6 4,004 8.3 250.2 7.91 28 13 197 38.9 58 13
Seahawks 339 585 57.9 36.6 3,994 7.2 249.6 6.83 31 12 206 35.2 60 11
Broncos 297 502 59.2 31.4 3,780 7.8 236.2 7.53 26 10 184 36.7 62 12

Tags: , , , , ,

About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
If you enjoy our content & podcast, feel free to buy us a cup of coffee below.
Shop for 2012 Pittsburgh Steelers Nike and New Era Team Gear at Fanatics

Archives