The Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense is leading or near tops in the league in tons of categories this year. But they’re leading in one they wish they didn’t claim. And according to Pro Football Focus, the Steelers come in first place with 77 misses on the season.
They tweeted out this graphic over the weekend.
The Seahawks have the fewest missed tackles in the NFL pic.twitter.com/9LMGOmRmH5
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) November 4, 2017
Two caveats to this. This was tweeted out before yesterday’s slate of games so I’m not 100% sure how the numbers look right now (the Chargers were also on a bye, meaning they’re definitely staying at 73). Either way, the Steelers are still at the bottom or close to it.
And our Josh Carney pens his weekly missed tackles counter. Excluding special teams, he has the Steelers down for 93 so there is clearly a discrepancy (we still stand by our numbers). The main reason why I’m passing this graphic along is PFF obviously tracks things we don’t – the rest of the league. The missed tackles stat loses some meaning without being able to compare it to other teams. And now we have some information. It ain’t pretty for Pittsburgh.
Missed tackles have certainly reared its ugly head throughout the year. The Chicago Bears performance was rock bottom, 23 of them, and while things have evened out since, it hasn’t been perfect. They missed 15 a week ago against the Detroit Lions.
Ryan Shazier, in part due to how many plays his athleticism gets involved in, leads the Steelers with 17 misses. No one else has even cracked double-digits. He also led the team last year with 27. Sean Davis is in second place in 2017, just as he was as a rookie, then finishing with 19.
Mike Mitchell, despite the flack he gets for being a poor tackler has one of the lowest missed tackle rates with just four on the season. He had 16 a year ago.
As the Steelers march into the second half of the year, and probably the playoffs, it’s one defensive number they must reduce.