Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
The Steelers lead the league in takeaways in 2019, but can they keep that up in 2020?
Welcome to the BTSC Pittsburgh Steelers ‘Think Tank’. Here is where there will be a general question asked, and the answer will be hashed out in the comment section below the article. Unlike in the Friday Night Six Pack, and other articles which are banking on fan responses, this is just one topic to discuss.
Today’s ‘Think Tank’ question is based solely around takeaways. The Steelers led the NFL in takeaways in 2019, but can they continue to lean on that aspect of their defensive game this upcoming season?
The Steelers mroe than doubled their takeaway number from 2018 to 2019, and while this is impressive in its own right, it also shows how these type of statistics can dry up from time to time too. Needless to say, the the takeaway was a huge part of the Steelers’ success last season. Players like Minkah Fitzpatrick and Devin Bush were magnets for the football, and it gave their lethargic offense extra possessions to try and win games.
But can this trend continue? Or will the takeaway production stall or plateau next season?
Clearly this production didn’t tail off last season, and it had gotten to the point where fans were always expecting the big play. Expecting the key turnover to happen at a critical moment in the game.
Are these continuing expectations realistic?
It all ties together with the trends for things like takeaways. Conventional thought is these types of plays come in bunches, and they also come and go. However, there have been teams in recent NFL history who have kept up this pace and not slowed down one bit.
One of the biggest factors with the Steelers keeping their takeaway arrow trending in the right direction has been the fact they get after the quarterback better than anyone. The Steelers have been in the top 3 of sacks the past three seasons, and show no signs of stopping anytime soon. This means less time for the quarterback to scan the field and deliver good passes.
So, with all this said, do you thin the Steelers can continue their takeaway trend into 2020? Or will it be a flash in the pan and the group will come crashing down to earth? Let us know your thought in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned in to BTSC as the Steelers prepare for the start of the new league year, NFL Free Agency and the 2020 NFL Draft.