Originally Posted by Danny Serafini
Taking those out points out (which makes more sense than leaving them in), it turns out neither dog in this fight comes out on top.
Baltimore may actually be 202, there's a missed XP against them somewhere and I don't know if it came after a defensive or nondefensive allowed TD, and it's not worth digging through the box scores to find it.
Oh, it's more complex than that. Of the 223 points allowed by Pittsburgh, 18 of them were produced via INT return or Safety. However, another 15 points were the result of FG after turnover or return when the defense held the opponent to a single series of downs deep in their own territory. That shows up as a positive (as it should) in the Yards allowed. Yet, because of the starting points for those drives, it appears as a negative in the Points Allowed category (which is silly). Overall, nearly 15% of the points allowed by the Steelers had pretty much nothing to do with the defensive performance. Basically, Pts. per Game is a poisoned well.
What defenses are tasked with is allowing few yards. That's what equal points when you clear the noise away. And that's where Tennessee is good (4th in the NFL in Yards per Play- 4.50), but it's where Pittsburgh dominates (3.97 Y/P). The number 2 defense (Philly) is at 4.40 Y/P, with Baltimore 3rd at 4.49 Y/P. That's really the only thing a defense can control and when you see one team at a much better rate while playing against much better offenses than another, it's a big deal.