The Pittsburgh Steelers are placing a heavy emphasis on the defense trying to create turnovers, and that’s not just interceptions but also producing and securing fumbles. They were able to do the latter last night in their win against the Kansas City Chiefs, forcing and recovering three fumbles.
The offense, however, also put two balls on the ground and allowed one to get away. And Joshua Dobbs threw a costly interception in the red zone at the end of the first half. There was also a muffed punt by Diontae Johnson early in the game that he was fortunate to recover, so that was three footballs the Steelers with possession exposed to the ‘elements’, so to speak.
Head Coach Mike Tomlin was happy about the defensive production in the turnover area, but alarmed about the loose balls by his own playmakers. “That was encouraging”, he said during his post-game press conference. “I’d like to see us maintain possession of the ball a little bit better than we did in the game, and I think that turnover margin speaks to both sides”.
“We’ve got to be good at getting it, but we’ve also got the be good at securing it”, he added. “We got some today, but we also gave some up today, so we’ve got some more work ahead of us”.
Two of the Steelers’ produced fumbles on defense actually came following plays made by the Chiefs. The first came following a six-yard run by Carlos Hyde. He was first struck by Artie Burns upfront before Terrell Edmunds dislodged the ball with a hit from behind. Sean Davis recovered.
Late in the game, following a 25-yard completion to tight end Byron Bell inside the 20-yard line, P.J. Locke and Marcus Allen both collided with him, knocking the ball loose after he secured the reception, and linebacker Tegray Scales came sliding in to secure the ball.
In between was a Mike Hilton sack after the quarterback had already bobbled the snap. Already set to blitz, the defensive back put a big hit on him, spilling the ball loose a second time, with Tuzar Skipper recovering.
The Steelers did get the ball on the ground some last season, but struggled to recover it, so they are showing better awareness and reaction this preseason. So far. Isaiah Buggs recovered a fumble last week.
Offensively, however, Donte Moncrief allowed the ball to be ripped out of his hands after a short reception for a turnover, his only touch of the game. Earlier, Vance McDonald also fumbled out of bounds. McDonald has had some fumbling issues in his past.
The bottom line is the Steelers are getting some turnovers, and that’s a positive sign, but we’ve seen them get turnovers in bunches and watch it turn out to be a fluke, like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game. The key is to consistently put yourself in position to make those plays, which is what they’re working on doing now.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 18, 2019