Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers have played their first two games of the 2016 regular season, I will give you an update on the successful tackles made by the team’s defensive players and will continue to update these stats every two weeks for the remainder of the season.
So, what qualifies as a successful tackle? In short, a successful tackle is one that prevents the opposing offense from gaining 45% of the yardage needed to move the chains on first down, 60% of yardage needed to move the chains on second down, and 100% of the yardage needed to move the chains on third and fourth downs.
For example, if the opposing offense is facing 1st and 10 and only gains 4 yards on the play, the player or players who made the tackle on that play get credit for a successful tackle. Had the offense gained 5 yards on that play, the player or players who made the tackle receive no credit.
I have broken these successful tackle stats into two groups and they are tackles and assisted tackles. If two or more players are credited with a tackle, the first player listed gets a full tackle and the second player receives an assist. When figuring the successful tackle rates, players are given credit for a half a tackle for any assists that they have registered. Additionally, that rate is determined by the total amount of defensive snaps played.
As you can see below, Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons leads the team in successful tackle rate. Additionally, his 9 total successful tackles are also a team-best. Defensive backs are obviously going to have higher rates than defensive linemen and linebackers due to them playing so far off the ball. In a few more weeks, I will compare the individual numbers to the rest of the league for comparison purposes.