Comparing The Steelers 2017 And 2008 Defenses Through 10 Games Played

With it being a mini by week of sorts, I figured today would be a great day to check in on how the Pittsburgh Steelers 2017 defense is currently measuring up to the 2008 unit through 10 games played.

As you can see by the key defensive statistics below that I like to follow when it comes to measuring NFL defenses, the 2017 unit still trails the 2008 unit in several categories.

Perhaps the biggest discrepancy between the two units is the total amount of explosive plays allowed as the 2017 Steelers defense has allowed more than double what the 2008 unit did through 10 games played. With 7 of the explosive plays allowed by the 2017 Steelers defense being runs, that has resulted in their yards per carry average being inflated still. Additionally, those extra passing explosive plays allowed by the 2017 unit mostly explains why they are behind the 2008 unit in the yards per pass attempt allowed and adjusted net yards per pass attempt statistical categories.

Make no mistake, this 2017 Steelers defense is still playing great this season and if they can start getting a better grip on the explosive plays allowed in their final six games they still might be able to rival the 2008 unit in several of these key stats. With that said, the 2008 Steelers defense only allowed a total of 27 explosive plays all season and thus the 2017 unit has already surrendered five more than that with six games remaining to be played.

Stat Category Through 10 Games Played 2008 Defense 2017 Defense
3rd Down Conversion Rate Allowed 37.1 33.3
Yards Per Rush Allowed 2.96 4.08
Total Sacks 36 34
Total Turnovers 15 16
20+ Yard Plays Allowed 15 33
Defensive Points Allowed 13.9 15.2
Yards Per Pass Attempt Allowed 5.7 6.7
Adjusted Net Yards Per Pass Attempt 3.7 4.4
Successful Run Play Rate Allowed 34.5 36.6
Successful Pass Play Rate Allowed 39.3 38.8


Game 2008 QBs Faced 2017 QBs Faced
1 Matt Schaub DeShone Kizer
2 Derek Anderson Case Keenum
3 Donovan McNabb Mike Glennon
4 Joe Flacco Joe Flacco
5 David Garrard Blake Bortles
6 Ryan Fitzpatrick Alex Smith
7 Eli Manning Andy Dalton
8 Jason Campbell Matthew Stafford
9 Peyton Manning Jacoby Brissett
10 Philip Rivers Marcus Mariota
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