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Minkah Fitzpatrick Named To Third-Quarter PFF All-Pro Team

As one of the top safeties in the NFL year in and year out, Pittsburgh Steelers star safety Minkah Fitzpatrick doesn’t get as much national attention as he does.

Even after his two consecutive All-Pro honors in his first two seasons with the Steelers, Fitzpatrick seemingly still flies under the radar overall nationally.

Once again this season though, he’s out to change that, playing at an All-Pro level once again. On the season, Fitzpatrick has recorded 62 tackles, one tackle for loss, one quarterback hit, eight passes defensed and four interceptions — one of which he returned for a touchdown in the Week 1 overtime win over the Cincinnati Bengals on the road.

Through 10 games played on the season (two games missed due to injury), Fitzpatrick has a career-high 85.2 overall grade from Pro Football Focus, including a 85.4 grade in coverage and an 80.0 grade against the run. Currently, out of safeties that have played at least 100 snaps on the season, Fitzpatrick is the No. 2 safety in football according to Pro Football Focus.

Knowing that, it’s not surprising to see Fitzpatrick land on PFF’s Third-Quarter All-Pro Team Thursday, joining Denver safety Justin Simmons on the first team, edging out Tampa Bay’s Antoine Winfield Jr. and Seattle’s Ryan Neal on the second team at safety.

“When Fitzpatrick is at his best, few safeties can rival his impact,” PFF’s Sam Monson writes Thursday regarding his selection of Fitzpatrick. “He has four interceptions and three pass breakups this season, earning the highest PFF coverage grade of any safety. He also has just three missed tackles from 62 attempts.”

After struggling in the tackle department in recent seasons, Fitzpatrick has completely cleaned up that area of his game for the Steelers. He’s become one of the most reliable tacklers on the Steelers this season, which is huge in the last line of defense.

Outside of his terrific play in the tackling department, Fitzpatrick is back to being his ball-hawking self defensively for the Steelers, shaking off a rough 2021 season that saw him playing downhill more in run support due to injuries in the front seven. Able to sit back, read the quarterback’s eyes and jump routes, Fitzpatrick is back to being arguably the best safety in football, consistently coming up with clutch plays for the black and gold defensively.

Based on the trajectory of his season, Fitzpatrick will likely earn his third First-Team All-Pro honor again after the 2022 season — his third as a Steeler.

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