Steelers vs. Raiders: Defense explains recent struggles

Following Sunday's disappointing loss to the Oakland Raiders, the Pittsburgh Steelers defense has allowed a combined 31 points in the first half and 30 points in the fourth quarter through three games this season. As if that wasn't enough, head coach Mike Tomlin elected to attempt a late fourth quarter, fourth-down conversion deep in Pittsburgh territory during a tie-game because he didn't trust the defense.

For members of the unit, they understand why their coach would make such a decision. Via Observer-Reporter.com:

"I know when our offense goes out there and puts that many points on the board, they're giving us an opportunity to win the game," said Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley. "It's our responsibility on the defense to go out there and shut teams down, and we didn't do that."

With linebacker James Harrison and safety Troy Polamalu out of the lineup, some have noted that their absence is the reason why the unit is struggling. However, free safety Ryan Clark doesn't think thats the case and believes the defense's issues are arising because players aren't focusing on their jobs and are trying to do too much.

"We've played games without those guys before. It really wasn't anything (Oakland) did. We just tried to do too much. We don't even need to look at the tape to see that."

Harrison and Polamalu are both expected to return to the lineup following the bye week.

For more on the Steelers, please be sure to check out our blog Behind The Steel Curtain and SB Nation Pittsburgh for all the latest news and updates.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Pittsburgh

You must be a member of SB Nation Pittsburgh to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Pittsburgh. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Pittsburgh

You must be a member of SB Nation Pittsburgh to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Pittsburgh. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.