Pittsburgh Steelers: Defense Protecting the House
The Pittsburgh Steelers defense is protecting the proverbial house in 2012. In three home games the Steelers have given up 36 points. This is an average of 12 a game. Pittsburgh has allowed four touchdowns at home, all through the air. The Steelers have not given up more than 14 points in any game at home.
On Sunday, Pittsburgh held the Washington Redskins and their rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III to 12 points. The Redskins scored a touchdown on their second possession of the game and did not reach the end zone again. Washington had to settle for two field goals in the third and fourth quarters. The Redskins came into Sunday averaging 177 yards a game on the ground. The Steelers held them to 86.
In the Jets game, Pittsburgh gave up a touchdown pass on New York’s opening drive. The Jets did not reach the end zone again. New York quarterback Mark Sanchez was held to 138 yards passing.
Philadelphia played almost the entire first quarter in Steelers territory when they met. The Eagles did not score. Quarterback Michael Vick fumbled on his way to the end zone and Philadelphia had to wait until the second half to cross the goal line. The Eagles added another touchdown in the fourth.
Though Pittsburgh has not exactly played a Murderer’s Row of quarterbacks in their three home games the defense has been impressive. Let’s not forget that Sanchez and the Jets have scored more than 40 points in two games. Vick is a Pro Bowl quarterback and has taken a team one game short of the Super Bowl. Going into Sunday, Griffin III and the Redskins had scored more than 20 points in six of their seven games including last week against the defending champion New York Giants.
The Steelers defense has done this despite having injuries cut into the playing time of linebacker James Harrison and safety Troy Polamalu. Harrison did not play in the Jets game. Polamalu saw only limited action against the Eagles and did not play against the Jets and Redskins. Pittsburgh’s defense has taken head coach Mike Tomlin’s mantra of, ‘No excuses, no explanations,’ to heart.
In the Jets and Redskins games, Pittsburgh’s defense was helped by their offense which controlled the ball and put points on the board. Against Philadelphia the defense bailed out the offense by stopping the Eagles from scoring in the first quarter.
No matter how they have gotten it done the Steelers defense is shutting teams down at home.
When offenses come to Pittsburgh they are told, ‘Not in our house.’