Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens, the stat sheet says the Pittsburgh Steelers defense allowed 323 net yards of total offense. When you factor in the defensive penalties, however, the Ravens moved the football a total of 376 yards in the game.
After the game, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin talked about how the loss was the result of “self-inflicted wounds” on both sides of the football. Defensively, Tomlin, could have best described that effort as “self-inflicted hidden yardage”.
Not only did the Steelers give up 53 yards worth of penalties to the Ravens Thursday night, they also allowed 103 yards worth of receiving after the catch on the 21 passes that quarterback Joe Flacco completed in the game.
In case you’re curious, Flacco only completed four passes that flew more than seven yards past the line of scrimmage with two of those only traveling ten yards.
To make matters worse, of the 157 yards that the Ravens rushed for in the game, 67 of those came after first contact, according to Pro Football Focus.
When you add the penalty yardage to the yards after the catch and the yards after first contact, you get 223 hidden yards of offense allowed in the game by the Steelers defense. That works out to 59.3% of the 376 gross yards that the Ravens had in the game.