At the quarter mark of the 2019 season Steelers are a work in progress
Generating more sacks and improving the third-down conversion rate
As mentioned earlier, through the first four games of the season, the Steelers defense is ranked 19th in total yards allowed per game. This is a double-digit improvement in ranking from where they were through the first three games. The strong performance against the Bengals was the reason for the growth, but it must be a catalyst for continued improvement.
What the Steelers defense must do to turn things around and to assist the offense is two-fold. First, we have to generate pressure on the opposing QB to either get a sack or to force an errant throw.
At the quarter mark of the season, the Steelers defense has notched 14 sacks, which put us tied for 4th best in the NFL. That’s impressive, but we need to continue to manufacture sacks to make the defense one that opposing offenses fear.
What’s not so impressive is the fact that the Steelers ‘D’ is allowing opposing offenses to convert 42% of their third downs. What that means is that the ‘D’ is not getting off the field on third downs in order to get the ball back for our offense. That conversion rate needs to improve post-haste if the Steelers want to be still playing in January.
Let’s take a look at what the coaching staff has to do to turn it around.