Re: steelers horrible on 3rd down defense
I am hoping with experience and more McFadden plays the secondary will get better during the second half of the season, although Ike Taylor has regressed since the Cincy game.
One key to getting off the field on 3rd and long is pass rush pressure and that has not happened consistently since the Houston game (which does not count as any indication of having a good pass rush). My guess is that flaw is due to unsatisfactory pressure from the OLBs. I am hoping that will change as Haggans recovers from his surgery (Haggans was a non-factor Sunday) and we get Harrison and Haggans on the field together more. Porter has been listed as having knee problems all season and since it now is November it is hard to anticipate he will be getting better anytime soon (maybe they should sit Porter for a week).
Another problem is that, starting with the Patriot game, Farrior (now out) and Foote have been required to cover (unsuccessfully) crossing patterns out of the backfield.
For whatever reason, it is obvious this year's D has dropped off from the level of the 2004 D - I attribute it primarily to Haggans' absence together with a dropoff by Porter and (while still very good down from from his All Pro level of last season) Farrior.