Onward with our overview of various team and individual statistics for the Pittsburgh Steelers at the quarter pole of the 2011 NFL season. We began with a look at several offensive team statistics and how they stacked up across the league. Now let's turn to the team defense numbers and how Dick LeBeau's unit has fared through the first four weeks. Obviously not as well as fans and analysts would have expected, particularly against the run where they've been next to impossible to exploit for the past decade.
To the numbers:
TEAM DEFENSIVE STATS (league rank):
- Points/Game: 18.0 (5th)
- Yards/Game: 277 (2nd)
- Yards/Play: 4.9 (t-4th)
- Passing Yards/Game: 157.5 (1st)
- QB Rating Against: 85.2 (13th)
- Sacks: 7 (t-22nd)
- Rushing Yards/Game: 119.5 (22nd)
- Yards/Rush: 4.8 (t-23rd)
- 20+ yard Rushes Allowed: 4 (t-25th)
- Interceptions:0 (32nd)
- Forced Fumbles:2 (t-25th)
- Fumbles Recovered: 1 (t-25th)
Lots of numbers there, and not all are as revealing as they might appear. For example, the Steelers passing yards allowed figures look good. But the quarterback rating against is closer to the middle of the pack, which I'd say is about how the pass defense has performed.
The four runs of 20-plus yards is certainly troubling. By contrast, the Steelers defense allowed only 1 run of 20 or more yards in 2010. Obviously the turnovers are a huge issue as well. If the Steelers don't start pressuring the quarterback more consistently -- ahem, LaMarr Woodley -- those takeaway totals may not jump up quite as much as we might expect or hope. We'll see how Lawrence Timmons fares playing outside linebacker against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. James Harrison, of course, is shut down for the next few games at least as he recovers from surgery to repair a broken orbital bone.