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Archives for : Dick Lebeau

Pittsburgh Steelers defense back to old form

The Pittsburgh Steelers are living up to the their nickname of the “Steel Curtain” thru two games in the 2010 season. In week 1 the defense held the high powered Atlanta Falcons offense to 9 points. Quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 252 yards and one interception while running back Michael Turner rushed for 42 yards on 19 carries. Overall the Steelers gave up under 300 yards of total offense and sacked Ryan two times.

In week 2 against the Tennessee Titans the Pittsburgh Steelers defense forced seven turnovers (four fumbles and three interceptions), had four sacks, gave up 192 yards threw the air, and limited rushing to only 46 yards giving up 11 points total. The best running back in the league, Chris Johnson, was held to only 34 yards rushing. The total yards relinquished by the defense was only 238. Starting quarterback Vince Young was benched in favor of Kerry Collins as well.

It is quite impressive the way the Steelers have suffocated their opponents with Dick Labeau’s zone blitz 3-4 defense. The various defensive sets and blitz schemes wreak havoc for offenses. With a wild card like Troy Polamalu healthy it enables various sets that causes confusion and pressure. The Atlanta Falcons scored 41 points the week after their loss and the Titans had scored 38 points the week before so points were at a premium against the Steelers. The linebackers have been playing at high level that is unmatched by any unit in the league thus far. In the Tennessee game James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, James Farrior, and Lawrence Timmons combined for 34 tackles, 3 sacks, and an interception. The impact of Troy Polamalu cannot be understated because he is so disruptive in the secondary and at the line of scrimmage. The Steelers missed him in 2009 as was shown in the late game collapses. As long as the Steelers offense does not turn the ball over than the defense can carry the team until Ben Roethlisberger comes back after his suspension to try to ignite the anemic offense.

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