Stopping the run: The Steelers defense is ranked No. 1 against the run in the AFC, No. 4 overall in the NFL, allowing 90.8 yards per game. It’s a far cry from where they were after two games, when they were ranked 15th in the AFC and 30th in the NFL.
“I just think it’s continually getting better every day not only in what we are doing, but how what individuals are doing fits within the bigger scheme of things,” said Coach Mike Tomlin. “I have said that repeatedly and I know it sounds cliché, but it all shapes up into being more consistent. More consistency allows you to have less breakout runs which brings your average down, increases opportunity for splash. I think we are better in all areas and I think that is what is creating it.”
Red zone efficiency: When it comes to leading the way, the offense is doing their part too. The Steelers lead the NFL with a 78.6 red zone touchdown scoring efficiency. They have crossed the goal line 22 of the 28 times they have been in the red zone. Tomlin said he isn’t sure what has caused the success there, but he did credit the play of Ben Roethlisberger for them being so successful.
“I don’t necessarily know, other than execution,” said Tomlin. “I know we spend a lot of time planning in that area, but we generally put in a lot of time planning in that area. The guys have been executing it well, and it starts with No. 7. He has been outstanding.
“I just know we are scoring and that is important.”
Road warriors: The Steelers will hit the road this week to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field, and they are hoping their luck on the road is with them once again.
In their last 16 games, the Steelers are 14-1-1 on the road, including 3-0-1 this season with wins in Tampa, Cincinnati and Baltimore.
“I think with this group, with each passing week they have shown an increasing ability to get singularly focused,” said Tomlin. “I am looking for that to continue when they walk in the door tomorrow. That allows you to roll out a consistent effort. Usually that gives you a chance to be successful and win and that is what we are hunting.”