Thank The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Defense

By Jessica Costello

The Pittsburgh Steelers have recorded a 4-2 record under combined efforts between Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges at starting quarterback. After last night’s 26-24 win against the Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh is 4-1 in their past five games, now recording a .500 record at the halfway point.

It’s hard to argue that the team’s success is credited to one side of the ball, but rather quite a bit of it should be attributed to the defense. Rudolph and company agree with that too, after being asked to categorize his sense of where the team is at, he had a pretty good response.

“Our defense is creating turnovers at an unbelievable rate,” he told reporters during his post-game press conference. “I would like on the offensive end to be able to punch in some more of those balls in the end zone, whether we’re moving the ball down the field, or whether we’re getting a short field due to their turnovers.”

The team’s offense seemed to struggle while inside of the red zone, making it clear when Chris Boswell made four separate appearances to get a score on the board for Pittsburgh. Being limited to Jaylen Samuels and Trey Edmunds at running back is good reasoning to the 1-for-4 in the red zone and 1-for-3 in goal-to-go situations but can’t be used for excuses.

“I think we’re right there. I think we’ve got good schemes, and it’s just a matter of getting the ball in the end zone” Rudolph said, “and creating some energy for our defense and backing them up when they’ve almost all season done an unbelievable job of giving us the ball on short fields, sacking the quarterback, just splash plays from the defensive side. They continue to play great. It was a great team victory, but we’re looking to do our part more and more, is how we kind of treat it.”

The Steelers defense has looked close to perfect during some of these games this season but unfortunately, the team’s record doesn’t do their efforts justice. If the offense can be just as consistent as the defense, the Steelers could very well create a different narrative for this season.

Minkah Fitzpatrick’s 96-yard pick-six (which was the third-longest in franchise history), and then Bud Dupree’s strip-sack-recovery early in the second half, played out to be huge factors in the game.

Head coach, Mike Tomlin, acknowledged the strong apparent presence of the defense against the Colts and made it clear that the Steelers shouldn’t be counted out of this season.

“It’s like a boxer who has a (strong) chin and he knows it. You’re not knocking him out,” said Tomlin about the positives to be drawn from the team’s travails earlier in the season. “I’m a big combat sports fan, an MMA fan. There are some guys you’re going to have to beat by out-pointing them, because you’re not going to knock them out. And it’s because they have a general aptitude in that area, but they also have a knowledge of their strengths. When you’ve been through something and you consistently come through the other side, it strengthens you for the similar challenges that lie ahead. That’s just the reality of sport competition.”

The Steeler’s next test will be hosting the Los Angeles Rams next Sunday at 4:25 PM.

Let us know what you think about this season thus far in the comment section below, Steeler Nation!


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