4. Pittsburgh’s Pass Defense Is Its Biggest Weakness
Dec 14, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Devin Hester (17) catches a touchdown pass behind Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Antwon Blake (41) during the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Though Pittsburgh’s passing game has been incredibly effective this season, its pass defense has not.
The Steelers pass defense is ranked 25th in the NFL. In fact, they have allowed more touchdowns through the air (28) than all but four other teams in the league. They are also fourth-worst in opponent passer rating.
Pittsburgh’s inability to stop the pass bodes well for the chances of Alex Smith repeating his strong performance from last week. Though Smith still has yet to eclipse the 300-yard mark in any game this season, he came just three yards short against the Raiders, while tossing two touchdowns. The Steelers have already allowed opposing QBs to equal or surpass those stats four times this season.
I would expect Pittsburgh to put up a tougher fight than Oakland, but if Smith is going to throw the ball down the field, then the Steelers are one of the better opportunities on the schedule.