First 3 quarters: PPG Allowed: 1st YPG Allowed: 2
fourth quarter: PPG Allowed: 28th YPG Allowed: 32
That's disgusting, embarrasing numbers. I saw these cracks coming since the Super Bowl game.
When the Pittsburgh Steelers took a 27-7 lead over the Cincinnati Bengals early in the fourth quarter Monday night, the thousands of Steelers fans in attendance at Paul Brown Stadium undoubtedly began to turn their thoughts to the team’s week 10 showdown with the New England Patriots.
And who could blame them? Never in the 77-year history of the Steelers has the team lost a game it led by at least 20 points. And no team has overcome a 20-point, fourth-quarter deficit in nearly four years, since the Tennessee Titans beat the New York Giants 24-21 in week 12 of the 2006 season.
But over the following 14:50, the same Steelers defense that held the Bengals to seven points and 156 yards through three quarters allowed 14 points, 116 yards and was a Jordan Shipley drop away from giving Cincinnati four shots to win the game from the 5-yard line. The Steelers’ late meltdown is the latest in a disturbing trend for one of the league’s premier defenses.
Pittsburgh has allowed an NFL-best 123 points through nine weeks, but more than half -- 63 to be exact -- have come in the fourth quarter. It’s not a one-year phenomenon for the Steelers, who allowed more fourth-quarter points than all but two teams in 2009, and let up 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLIII before coming back to win.
Three of Pittsburgh’s seven losses last season came after it led by more than a field goal entering the final quarter, shocking when you consider in the previous 10 seasons (1999-2008) the Steelers were 75-3-1 in games where they led by at least four entering the last quarter, the best record in the NFL. Since 2009, Pittsburgh is 10-3 in such games, the league’s 27th-best record.