The Steelers are number one on basically all of the power rankings around the web this week. Obviously, that doesn’t mean squat. But it’s nice to see the team and especially the defense getting a lot of recognition for their start to the year. It’s been an awesome three weeks. If you have read Blitzburgh Blog for more than a few months, you’ll know that I’m always harping on sample size. So that certainly applies here. The Steelers defense is one bad game away from looking like an average defense over the first four games.
So, with that grain of salt, lets take a look at a few of the ridiculous numbers that the defense has put up so far this season.
59.7 That’s the average rushing yards allowed by the team. Amazingly, that ‘only’ puts the Steelers as the third best rushing defense in the NFL. Chicago and Houston are way ahead, but I’d argue that those numbers are skewed because those teams have each faced a pass happy opponent like the Packers and Colts, respectively. Houston is allowed 368 passing yards a game and Chicago is giving up 279. Both are in the bottom five of the NFL so nobody needs to run against those teams. On the other hand…
5 The Steelers have 5 interceptions so far, tying them for second best in the NFL. Last season, the team finished with 12. In 2008, they had 20. (!!!!)
43 Troy Polamalu. You can’t overestimate the difference he makes when he is out there.
33 Lawrence Timmons has 33 tackles, well ahead of James Harrison’s 23 for the team lead. How good has Timmons been so far? Wow. Him making the jump to a borderline-elite linebacker has been huge for this team.
11.0 The Steelers have only allowed 11 points per game so far this season, the best in the league. I’ve written a couple times that all the Steelers offense needs to do is to score a couple touchdowns a game and we’ll be in business. That certainly shouldn’t be too much to ask, especially once Ben Roethlsiberger returns. It is also important to remember that the defense has scored a TD themselves (an average of 2.33 points a game). The ‘net’ points allowed by this defense is in the single digits.
7 That’s how many Steelers have already registered a sack through the first three games. In 2009, 12 players finished with at least one sack.
66.3 That’s Joe Flacco’s QB rating right now. I’ve got a feeling that it won’t be going up to much after this weekend.