During his post-game press conference last night, Pittsburgh’s head coach Mike Tomlin discussed how turnovers doomed the Steelers in their most recent game:
Obviously, you’re not going to win football games when you’re turning the ball over in the manner in which we did. It produced direct points. It produced other point opportunities. You’re not going to beat anybody in the NFL playing like that. We’ve got to get better.
Although I agree with Tomlin that the Steelers need to exercise better ball security on the offensive side of the ball, the fact that Pittsburgh’s head coach did not mention anything about how Dick LeBeau’s defense has failed to record a turnover in 12 quarters was nothing short of baffling.
Pittsburgh’s offense has proved to be too mistake-prone and inefficient over the 2013 season’s first three weeks, but the defense must step up to provide them with extra possessions.
Is it fair? No. But even the least competent defenses in the league can force at least one turnover every once and a while.
Pittsburgh’s defense cannot put pressure on opposing signal-callers on a consistent enough basis to force mistakes. Through three games, the Steelers have only accumulated 3.0 sacks! While the pressure was amped up against the Bears, particularly in the second half, they could not rattle Jay Cutler enough to make him throw balls into traffic.
Without a pass-rush, cornerbacks who can catch the ball on a consistent basis, and a defensive scheme in which opposing quarterbacks will just take five yards with the dink-and-dunk passing game every chance they get, Pittsburgh’s defense has not even sniffed a turnover during the first 12 quarters of the 2013 regular season.
I am not sure why the defense gets a “free pass” when it comes to their inability to take the ball away, but Tomlin needs to step up and blame that unit for their poor-play in that area. Zero turnovers through three games is ridiculous, and it would not shock me at all if this team finished with less than five for the entire season.
Blame the offense all you want, Steelers fans. I know they deserve at least some of it. Yet to ignore or bush aside the defense’s lack of takeaways makes absolutely no sense.
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