This Steelers Defense is Incredibly Talented
The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t have their best defensive performance in Week Nine, allowing journeyman Brian Hoyer to carve them up to the tune of three touchdowns while Marlon Mack put up 89 rushing yards, but even in this effort, we saw just how incredibly talented this unit is. Three players, in particular, stood out in this one.
First off, Minkah Fitzpatrick, yet again, showed that he is well worth the trade that brought him over from the Miami Dolphins. Not only did he intercept his fourth pass of the season, which is the most for a Steelers defender since 2010, but he took that pick 96 yards for a touchdown that kept the Steelers in the game early. After Pittsburgh once again came out slow, Fitzpatrick’s pick-six provided some much-needed momentum. As has been the case since he joined the Steelers, Fitzpatrick came through when the team needed him the most.
While Fitzpatrick was incredible in this contest, the Steelers edge-rushing duo of T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree were equally impressive. As good as Hoyer was, his numbers would have looked even better had he not been under constant pressure from the two outside linebackers. Dupree, who has come on strong in a contract year, had two sacks and continued to look like an essential part of the Steelers’ defensive future. Meanwhile, Watt chipped in 1.5 sacks of his own and once again looked like a guy with the potential to be one of the NFL’s premier sack artists. Pressuring the quarterback is more important than ever in the NFL, and the Steelers have one of the league’s most promising pass-rushing duos.
Again, this wasn’t the Steelers’ best performance on defense, but there were still visible signs of talent. Between the aforementioned players and guys like Devin Bush and Cam Heyward, Pittsburgh’s defense is special.