Minkah Fitzpatrick has four interceptions over the course of the last three games, with at least one in each of him. His streak of three games with at least one interception is the longest for the Pittsburgh Steelers during the regular season since Troy Polamalu last accomplished that feat in 2008, picking off a pass in four straight games.
Tomorrow night against the Cleveland Browns, he can tie Polamalu’s career-best four-game streak if he can pick off a pass from Baker Mayfield, who has been rather generous with the ball so far this season. The second-year quarterback has thrown 12 interceptions this year in nine games, though he hasn’t thrown one in the last two.
“He does a great job reading quarterbacks’ eyes. There are some coverages and things they do that allow him to have some freedom to be the playmaker that he really is”, Mayfield told reporters this week when asked about Fitzpatrick, who has five total interceptions and a forced fumble in seven games with the Steelers.
“He has made a lot of plays”, he added. “He has put himself in good positions to win and create those turnovers, and then their pass rush has been a unit that has created some chaos up front so it allows them in the backend to play freely even more”.
While Fitzpatrick’s three games with an interception in a row put him in good company in recent Steelers history, though, it’s actually not so impressive over the course of time. In fact, the Steelers have had two streaks last 10 games or more, though they occurred in the 1960s, and over a span of three or more seasons.
In all, the Steelers have had eight streaks of six games or more with an interception in their history, though the only other case among that group that involves accomplishing that feat in a single season was Mel Blount’s, when he intercepted eight passes over a six-game span in 1975.
He could join 10 others, Polamalu being the most recent, to intercept a pass in four consecutive games, though only half of those streaks took place in a single season. Aside from Polamalu, the most recent in a single season was Sam Washington, intercepting six passes over four games in 1984. Johnny Sample, Dick Haley, and Paul Martha are the others to have done it.
Considering the Mayfield has thrown more interceptions this season than anybody other than Jameis Winston (with 14), it seems that Fitzpatrick will have at least a reasonable chance of extending his streak to four games, which would make him just the seventh player in franchise history to do that in a single season.