The Pittsburgh Steelers did not add any new faces to the secondary this year. In fact, they even managed to bring back an old one in Sean Davis. So the assumption was that they should be particularly strong in the communication phase of the game. Nevertheless, there have been those lapses in this area so far this season, more than they should have.
In actuality, the Steelers do still rank in the top 10 in terms of passing yards per game, though that was helped with their best showing of the season, holding the Cleveland Browns to just 145 net yards passing on the day, which was the fourth-lowest by any team during the week.
But they’ve also allowed 18 explosive plays on the season through the air, which ranks in the middle of the pack, and doesn’t account for the fact that most teams have played one more game than they have. A lot of those big plays have been due to breakdowns in communication. How do they get these under control?
“Just get back on the film”, dime back Cameron Sutton said. “Week in, week out, different challenges that you face, different things that you face, game plans that have been changed in and out of the game, in and out of series at that. Just limit down on those areas, get them cleaned up, and just get ready for next week”.
As a reminder of just how prolific the passing offenses have come, and how they have come to dominate the NFL, the Steelers are allowing a completion percentage of 58.5, and that is the second-best in the league, one of only two teams holding opponents to a completion percentage below the 60-percent mark.
They are, however, allowing 7.4 yards per pass attempt, which ranks in the middle of the pack, as does the percentage of passes that they allow to gain first-down yardage, but their overall quarterback rating allowed of 79.6 is the third-best mark in the NFL, largely thanks to their eight interceptions, second-most in the league.
One must keep in mind when looking at these numbers that they have played so much football this year with leads, sometimes multiple-possession leads, and it’s typically under those circumstances that opponents can pick up a lot of ‘harmless’ yardage. We saw this against the Giants and the Broncos and the Eagles.