With Week 2 of the 2016 NFL regular season now in the books I can pass along the ANY/A (adjusted net yards per passing attempt) differential stats from the first two weeks.
It goes without saying that not much can be read into the ANY/A stats through the first quarter of the season as just a few games won’t really give us a good read on how good or bad teams really are as it relates to these passing numbers. Starting in Week 5, I’ll be able to provide some better analysis related to these weekly stat updates but for now, I’ll just focus on the numbers of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
As you will see below, the Steelers differential number went in the wrong direction in Week 2. In reality, and tracking this stat for a few years now along with watching every game at least 10 times, my biggest concern when it comes to the Steelers is their pass defense and more importantly, their ability to get after opposing quarterbacks. Through the first two games of the 2016 regular season the Steelers defense has recorded just one sack and that was by a player who had originally dropped into coverage.
While it is true that passing yards allowed are not a great way to measure how good or bad a defense is, the Steelers enter Week 3 having allowed the second-most amount allowed in that stat. With that said, the defense has been able to get off on third downs so far through two games and have only allowed an average of 16 points, the most important stat of them all.
While I guess you could call the last paragraph me somewhat defending the play of the Steelers defense through the first two weeks of the season, I’ll tell you that the team’s defensive ANY/A number needs to start coming down over the course of the next few weeks as history has shown us that the closer it is to 5.0 or below, the better their chances are at winning a championship. With just games played so far, that defensive ANY/A number can drop quite a bit with a solid showing in Week 3 against the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles.