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mmalone
06-20-2009, 09:03 AM
Top 10 third down defenses in 2008

Third down Pct. Total sacks Sacks/drop back

1. Pittsburgh 31.4 51 11.5
2. Philadelphia 32.2 48 11.9
t-3. Baltimore 33.5 34 16.5
t-3. Minnesota 33.5 45 12.7
5. Chicago 34.9 28 23.2
6. Tennessee 35.0 44 14.1
7. Washington 35.6 24 22.3
8. Dallas 35.7 59 9.6
9. Buffalo 36.1 24 21.5
10. Miami 37.8 40 14.8

1. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers finished 2008 as the No. 1 team on third down, holding opponents to a 31.4 percent conversion rate. Pittsburgh had two players record double-digit sacks (James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley combined for 27.5 sacks) and they had the best pass attempt-to-sack ratio, delivering a sack once out of every 11.5 drop backs. LB Lawrence Timmons steps into the starting lineup this year and should build on the five sacks he tallied in limited play last year.

In the secondary, Troy Polamalu puts significant pressure on opposing quarterbacks by disguising the coverages. That's a big part of what makes Dick LeBeau's schemes so effective. William Gay makes the loss of Bryant McFadden tolerable and rookie lineman Ziggy Hood adds a quick defender up front to pressure quarterbacks.


Our Worst game last year:::: who was ranked number 2...

2. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles had 16 different players sack the quarterback last year. That speaks to the creative scheming of the coaching staff and the roster depth assembled by the front office. Philadelphia sacked the quarterback once every 11.9 drop backs and returns every key player in its pass rush group. The secondary lost veteran safety Brian Dawkins, but the addition of Ellis Hobbs on the corner gives Philadelphia excellent nickel and dime coverage groups.

Last year, the Eagles were the second-ranked third-down defense, holding teams to just a 32.2 percent success rate. The big question for the Eagles is the potential loss of defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, who is battling cancer. Hopefully Johnson will still have an influence on this great defense.

slashsteel
06-20-2009, 09:47 AM
Probably the only team on that list that surprises me a little is Buffalo.

Both Baltimore and Tennessee have players lost that could effect their ranking this year.

Rek
06-20-2009, 10:16 AM
Big Nasty D. Not really a surprise to see Pittsburgh's D up at the top.

Steeldude
01-01-2010, 01:21 AM
and this year the steelers are ranked 26th in that category.

the steelers have been penalized for 858 yards this year. that's the 5th worst in the league.

AllD
01-01-2010, 08:35 AM
The 2009 Steelers have given up more 3rd or 4th and longs than any competitive team in recent memory. There might be something to the easy training camp and lack of preparation mentioned in some newspaper articles.