Steelers News

Ahkello Witherspoon: ‘If You Aren’t Stopping The Run, It Doesn’t Matter’

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ run defense is absolutely garbage, and they took garbage to yet another new level of Sunday with their heinously embarrassing display against the Minnesota Vikings and running back Dalvin Cook, who was highly questionable to even play in the game due to an injured shoulder.

While they were able to clean up the run defense late in the game, they still allowed the Vikings to go off for 242 yards on the ground, with 205 from Cook.

The Steelers have now allowed over 100 yards on the ground in six straight games, and in nine of the last 10. They have allowed at least 96 yards in all but one game. They rank 30th in rushing yards allowed and 32nd in rushing yards per attempt.

Absolutely, I mean that’s football. If you aren’t stopping the run, it doesn’t matter”, cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon said after the game. “They can just keep running the football every single time. So just by setting that tone and stopping the run, it opened up a little bit of room in the back end”.

Kirk Cousins actually only completed 14 of 31 pass attempts, albeit for 216 yards with two touchdowns, though he was also intercepted twice—both times by Witherspoon—after throwing only three interceptions up to that point on the season. But they simply couldn’t slow down the rushing attack until it was too late.

“I think stopping the run, first and foremost, gives us the opportunity to go back in, play, and do our job”, Witherspoon said. “First half some of those runs got away from us and then we’re playing catch-up. We just focused on the details, came out and focused on stopping the run then playing tight coverage”.

“Dalvin definitely did his thing today, have to give him his respect”, he added. “We have to be better on the run, doesn’t matter who’s at running back”.

That’s stating the obvious. They do get a bit of a reprieve this week against the Tennessee Titans, who earlier this season lost Derrick Henry. Yet they actually rushed for 270 yards in their last game, against the New England Patriots, albeit in a loss. They still rank fifth in rushing offense.

And they still have to face the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens again, two of the best rushing offenses in the NFL. The Kansas City Chiefs also do what they need to do on the ground, although, of course, their offense is rooted in the passing game. But when you can run in a defense the way teams have against the Steelers, plans could change.

To Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!