There isn’t much to praise about this defense. After being pretty solid during their six-game winning streak, they’ve been very bad during the three-game losing streak.
The lone bright spot is the defensive line with Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, and Javon Hargrave. Early on in this game, the defense struggled to stop the run, but that was more on the linebackers not hitting their gaps or setting the edge. These three guys, more times than not, were constantly pushing their opponents backward.
Each of the three made eye-popping plays, with mainly Tuitt making the most of his opportunities. Heyward was great as always and Hargrave has turned into one of the most versatile interior defensive linemen in football.
Say whatever you want about the secondary and linebackers, but this defensive line is special. They are doing their job. They did their job again today in Oakland. Let’s hope they can do even better next week with the Patriots bound for Heinz Field.