Can Steelers fix their defense?
Pittsburgh must maintain better gap control, give up fewer big plays
Statistically, the Pittsburgh Steelers continue to be an elite defense in almost all pass and run categories. However, when you break the Steelers down on film, they do not look as dominant as in past years. Injuries have taken their toll this season, and age might be starting to be a factor, but, when everybody is healthy, they are still capable of stopping elite offenses. The question is whether they can do it on a weekly basis.
After watching the film, let's examine the main areas of concern on defense that the Steelers must address.
Pass defense sub-packages
Even when healthy, this does not look like an elite cover group at cornerback. With its best corner Ike Taylor out with a foot stress fracture, Pittsburgh doesn't have a guy who can line up versus the opposition's best wide receiver and take him out of the game. The two starters outside, Keenan Lewis and Cortez Allen, are decent players, but they don't always show great ball skills and can be fooled by double moves and pump fakes. However, where the Steelers really get into trouble is when they have to go to their nickel and dime packages.
To read more about the issues the Steelers have on defense, plus get all of Insider's NFL content, sign up to be an ESPN Insider.
NFL WEEK 15 COVERAGE
Fantasy Football on ESPN.com
NFL Nation blog | Leaders NFL Stadium Guides | QBR ratings
Playoff Machine | MONDAY NIGHT HQ
WEEK 15 PICKS
MNF: Jets at Titans, 8:30 ET
CLAYTON / FOX / SCHEFTER
ESPN THE MAGAZINE: HOF ISSUE
2013 NFL DRAFT
- Salary Cut For Manning
- 2015 contract
MORE NFL HEADLINES
- Nike Women's Home Limited Jersey Pittsburgh Steelers Troy Polamalu #43