Last season, a big part of why the Steelers won the AFC North was the team’s ability to generate takeaways.
Pittsburgh finished No. 2 with 27 of them — 18 interceptions and nine fumble recoveries.
But things have changed in 2021. While the Steelers are still seventh in points allowed and 11th in yards allowed, the club is tied for 27th in generating just six turnovers. Pittsburgh has only two interceptions and four fumble recoveries through seven games.
But as things stand now, head coach Mike Tomlin isn’t worried about how the takeaway numbers stand midway through the year.
“I’m not overly concerned about the lack of interceptions to be quite honest with you,” Tomlin said on Tuesday, via Teresa Varley of the Steelers’ website. “We’re playing good ball. The more detail we play with, the more game circumstances that lend itself to the ball getting turned over. We’ll get them. In the meanwhile, we better tackle well. We better get people off blocks and do fundamental things. When you do those things. You’re more opportunistic. We’ve been opportunistic around here in the past, I expect us to continue to be.
“We’re not going to change our approach or what we’re doing or who we’re doing it with. We’re going to keep rolling the ball out and playing and knowing that as we get better, as we get more detailed, as we get in hotter game environments, that the environment is going to be ripe for turnovers and we’ve got to capitalize on it then. As we get further down the line and the numbers are still where they are, maybe that’s a discussion for us. But it’s just not a discussion for me. It’s not registering big on my radar as I sit here right now.”
The Steelers will play the Bears on Monday night in Week Nine. That could be an opportunity to get some picks, as quarterback Justin Fields has thrown three touchdowns to seven interceptions so far in his rookie seasons.