Take that

The Steelers were a middle-of-the-pack defense when it came to coming up with the football in 2021.

Their 22 total takeaways tied for 14th in the NFL.

The Steelers' 13 interceptions tied for 15th and the nine opponent fumble recoveries they managed tied for ninth.

Still, they had their moments when it came to turning the other team over.

Following is a look back at five of the more memorable takeaways in 2021:

No. 5 - Nov. 8, Chicago: The Wizard of Boz
Chris Boswell not only drilled a 54-yard field goal that gave the Steelers a 23-13 lead with 11:54 left in the fourth quarter, he contributed to getting the ball back immediately.

Cornerback James Pierre forced a fumble on the following kickoff return and the ball was recovered by the Steelers' kicker at the Bears' 42-yard line.

The Steelers were unable to turn the turnover into points.

But when the kicker recovers a fumble it's still memorable.

No. 4 - Sept. 12, at Buffalo: Timely Takeaway for Starters
The Steelers' 23-16, season-opening of the Bills included a little bit of everything, including the first turnover of the season.

It occurred with the Bills leading, 3-0, and facing a third-and-13 at the Steelers' 38-yard line in the second quarter. Defensive tackle Cam Heyward flushed quarterback Josh Allen out of the pocket where outside linebacker T. J. Watt produced the strip-sack of Allen, and Heyward came up with the fumble recovery.

The Bills eventually took a 10-0 lead into the locker room but the points they were denied thanks to the Heyward-Watt takeaway eventually loomed large.

No. 3 - Dec. 19, Tennessee: Four of a Kind
The Steelers' 19-13 victory over the Titans came down to a stop in the red zone with less than a minute remaining.

But the lead the defense was trying to protect at the time had been generated thanks in large part to the defense's ability to turn Tennessee over.

A forced fumble by cornerback Arthur Maulet and a recovery by free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick led to a field goal early in the second quarter and got the Steelers to within 10-3.

A forced fumble by cornerback Cam Sutton and a recovery by cornerback Joe Haden late in the third quarter led to a field goal early in the fourth quarter and a 13-13 tie.

An interception by inside linebacker Joe Schobert in the fourth quarter led to a field goal for a 16-13 lead.

And a fumble recovery by Watt in the fourth quarter led to still another field goal and the six-point cushion that ultimately stood as the final margin.

They all added up to a season-high four turnovers generated, and the Steelers needed every one of them on a day that saw the offense produce 12 first downs and 168 total net yards.

No. 2 - Jan. 16, at Kansas City: Scoop and Score
There weren't many highlights associated with the Steelers' 42-21 playoff loss to the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, but the way the Steelers opened the scoring was one of the few.

The Chiefs tried a direct snap to wide receiver Mecole Hardman on first-and-10 from the Kansas City 31 early in the second quarter. Hardman's subsequent attempt at a handoff to running back Darrel Williams was botched, which resulted in a fumble. Williams recovered, but he was quickly engaged by Schobert and Heyward, and Heyward wound up forcing another fumble.

Watt picked up the Williams' fumble at the 26, ran through tight end Travis Kelce's attempted tackle at the 20 and was gone.

Watt didn't stop until he slid halfway through the end zone with the game's first touchdown and the Steelers' first defensive score of the season.

No. 1 - Oct. 17 Seattle: Turning the Tide in Overtime
Turnovers don't come much bigger than when they come in overtime.

Watt came up with one of those with less than five minutes left in an extra session against the Seahawks.

His sack of quarterback Geno Smith on first-and-10 from the Seattle 15 with 4:27 left in OT resulted in a fumble that was recovered by inside linebacker Devin Bush at the Seattle 16.

It was all but over at that juncture.

And after quarterback Ben Roethlisberger took a couple of knees and Boswell kicked a 37-yard field goal, it was officially over.

It was another classic example of Defensive Player of the Year-type stuff from Watt that in this instance produced a 23-20 victory.