Steelers D Steps Up

Key interception & stop close win over New England

Jeff Hathhorn
December 16, 2018 - 9:25 pm

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 the Fan) – After struggles throughout the year, especially in the last couple of games, the Steelers defense stepped up in a key moment as the Steelers beat New England 17-10.

The Steelers holding the Pats to a single touchdown on a busted play in the first series and under 400 total yards.

“Everybody was doing their job, besides that first series when they got that long touchdown, we didn’t give them any freebees,” said linebacker Anthony Chickillo. “They had to work for everything they got and when you play this team that’s what you have to do to beat them.”

Veteran Joe Haden was the game-leader with 12 tackles and intercepted Tom Brady near the goalline with under eight minutes to play.

“When he first let it go, I was just hoping it would not get out of bounds,” Haden said.  “I really didn’t know where he was throwing it to, I was like ‘if this doesn’t go out of bounds I can high point and catch it’.  Once it started getting closer, I jumped and I killed me legs and they went dead and I was able to land in bounds.”

“We are going to need more from here on out, but what a heck of a play,” said defensive captain Cam Heyward.  “Instead of giving up seven or three, we gave up zero and gave the ball back to our offense and they got three points.  What a turn of events.”

“Our DBs were very violent and the hands were active.  There weren’t a lot of open routes besides that one early on.  I loved our contact with our DBs, we were aggressive.”

The Steelers managed only one sack, but it was the seven pressures that were key against Brady.

“We realize that we might not be able to sack them five, six, seven times or whatever the things that define the good rush games because they are good,” said head coach Mike Tomlin.  “So we talk openly about pressure and winning those moments and creating plays in those moments.  The sack total wouldn’t necessarily reflect the effectiveness of the group.”

“It’s not always about sacks, it’s about pressure and guys playing together,” said linebacker Jon Bostic.  “Sometimes it’s just pushing to pocket, you have a mobile quarterback, keep him in the pocket, push the pocket so he can’t see and have those throwing lanes.  It’s just as good as a sack.”

Heyward also said there was something extra about tonight.

 “Those night games are something special,” Heyward said.  “I love having every Steelers fan in those seats and we just have to perform for them and we did tonight.  Thank you Steeler nation for all you guys bring.”

“That was the loudest I’ve heard Heinz Field since I’ve been here,” said linebacker T.J. Watt.  “It’s incredible.  You see how many false starts they had.  The get off we were allowed to get because of the fans, what an atmosphere to play football in.  What a great night.  I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, it’s the best job I’ve ever had.”