On paper the blueprint is simple for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday when they visit the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
A young and inexperienced quarterback in Oakland’s Terrelle Pryor against a Dick LeBeau defense that normally feasts on inexperienced signal callers.
Having said that, it means Pryor will be sacked a ton and be under pressure the entire game, correct?
Not so fast. These aren’t your grandfather’s Steelers any longer.
Judging by the past couple of seasons, especially this season, Pryor is more likely to have enough time to get into a comfort zone on Sunday than spend half of the day running for his life.
That’s simply because this Steelers’ defense can’t get to any quarterback, much less a mobile one such as Pryor.
The Steelers enter Sunday ranked next to last in the NFL with only eight sacks through six games. Only the New York Giants (six) have less.
To put it into more perspective, outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley has five sacks so far. The entire rest of the team has combined for three.
It’s not just the sacks though as the Steelers are getting very little pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
When’s the last time we have seen an opposing quarterback fumble the football as a result of being pressured? Or when is the last time we have seen Steelers pressure force a quarterback to rush a throw that ends up being picked off?
It’s been far too long.
So long that it is no longer a trend and instead it is what this defense has become.
The Steelers defense has played much better the past couple of weeks, but to make a serious charge to get back into things, this defense needs to start making the big plays once again.
They can start a new trend by making life miserable for Pryor Sunday afternoon.
However while that would be nice to see, judging by recent history, I wouldn’t count on it.