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Steelers, Seahawks, Titans - unexpectedly unbeaten in the NFL

The clash of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns was nominally the top game of this sixth NFL game day. The undefeated Steelers met the Browns, who had lost once.

It became a show of force. With 38: 7, Ben Roethlisberger and Co. set a big exclamation mark and refuted the doubters who had put the four successes of the Steelers on the program to date. In fact, the first four games in the New York Giants (one win), Denver Broncos (two wins), Houston Texans (one win) and the Philadelphia Eagles (one win, one draw) weren't the toughest opponents of Pittsburgh. The first meeting against a team with a positive record should be a determination of the situation, which Mike Tomlin's team mastered with flying colors.

Steelers-Defense: pressure, pressure, pressure

The Steelers showed their great strength again in this game: Opposing quarterbacks get as much pressure against Pittsburgh as hardly any other team in the NFL. The linebacker duo Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt, plus defensive end Stephon Tuitt - the opponent can get nervous and throw interceptions. So did Baker Mayfield, who threw the ball into Steelers hands twice. 52 percent of his dropbacks put Mayfield under pressure - a figure he has never been exposed to in his NFL career. And which he probably never wants again.

From the aforementioned defensive trio of the Steelers, all players have at least four sacks in their account. No other team achieves this value - and the Steelers even had a corona-related break and thus not the maximum number of possible games.

Roethlisberger very effective

In addition to the incredibly uncomfortable defense, especially in the front, the Steelers also have their quarterback back. After "Big Ben" was injured almost all of last season, the return of the 38-year-old has brought the offensive game back to a high NFL level. The problems in the position had become blatantly noticeable in his absence - fewer than the eight wins of the season from 2019 were last seen in 2003. The veteran plays his boot down with remarkable consistency: no other quarterback has thrown so few in so many touchdowns (11) so far Yards in total. Roethlisberger gets rid of the ball as quickly as usual and thus hardly gives opposing defenders the opportunity to put it under pressure.

Titans: Tannehill and Henry prove themselves

The upcoming Steelers game is expected to be all the more exciting. Because the number of unbeaten teams will then very likely decrease again. In the Tennessee Titans on Sunday (October 25th, 2020) you will be dealing with one of the other two franchises with a "clean slate".

The Titans have been one of the hottest teams in the NFL as the season progresses. After only two successes from the first six games, quarterback Marcus Mariota was demoted and Ryan Tannehill, who had been brought in as a back-up from Miami, was allowed to try his hand at "signal caller". With resounding success. Of the next ten games of the season, they lost only three, made it to the playoffs and only failed there in the conference final to the Kansas City Chiefs.

For a long time the question was how sustainable this excellent season of Tannehill, who was named "Comeback Player of the Year", would be. In addition, the also outstanding season of running back Derrick Henry, who ran the most yards of all players with his incredible physique, was an important component in the Titans game, to which the teams would probably be better prepared for the coming season - it was thought. Henry is the rushing leader again, even if the running game is still a bit uncreative at times. And Tannehill is still playing strong.

Bill's game stands out - now comes the biggest test

The Titans delivered their best performance of the season in the fourth game of the season against the Buffalo Bills, when one of the best teams in the league to date was dismantled with 42:16. All other four wins were extremely close, however - most recently the wafer-thin 42:36 success in overtime over the Houston Texans. The Titans definitely have crunch time quality and can assert themselves in tight games. However, the Tannehill-Henry axis against the Steelers Defense is now subjected to a tough test. If she passes this, Tennessee should be able to trust a deep playoff run again this season.

The Seahawks keep it tight

"Can you win a game in the first quarter?" "No!" "Can you win a game in the second quarter?" "No!" "Can you win a game in the third quarter?" "No!" "Can you win a game in the fourth quarter?" "Yes!" The euphoric dialogue from Seahawks coach Pete Carroll after the wild 27:26 over the Minnesota Vikings, which quarterback Russell Wilson had completed with a touchdown pass to DK Metcalf, is somehow emblematic of the Seahawks season so far.

Five wins out of five games - and only the first against the Atlanta Falcons was it more than a "one-score game" in the end, a game that ends with a maximum of eight points. Otherwise it was always tight, always tingly. Now it's not as if it was any different last year. Of the total of eighteen games played at the time, only four were more pronounced for one side.

Bad defense so far well concealed

That this is the case again is due to the fact that, as in the past, the defense of the Seahawks that were last free from play simply does not meet the highest standards. No single defense of the NFL allows more passing yards on average than Seattle. The fact that the field position in which the opponents have to start is usually a bad one against the Seahawks, because the offense and the special teams do a really good job, did not lead to more touchdowns.

This is a problem that has not (yet) made itself felt in defeats. But the Pass Rush in particular, in which only the safety Jamal Adams acquired by the Jets is convincing, but who in turn was only able to play three games, is simply not consistently dangerous enough.

The offense is the ultimate

It is absurd that this problem has not yet become more prominent. And that alone actually shows how absurdly good the Seahawks' offense plays. Wilson is the best quarterback in the NFL as of now. On average, Wilson have managed almost four touchdowns per game so far - an outstanding record.

The connection with Metcalf, who in addition to his already outstanding physique, also developed further in all other areas in his second NFL year, is almost perfect. The one with Tyler Lockett had been great for years anyway. The two have scored nine touchdowns together and in connection with Wilson and the equally strong running back Chris Carson cannot be eliminated.

A defensive improvement removed from a great title chance?

As spectacular to look at and as fascinating as the Seahawks games this season are without question - the structure is quite fragile. If the defense doesn't get their weaknesses under control, that's an enormous problem, especially for later playoff games. If Wilson ever has a day on which he does not show a brilliant performance, it will inevitably lead to a defeat against a strong opponent - especially in the playoffs. On the other hand: Should Seattle somehow manage to improve just one adjustment screw in defense, preferably the Pass Rush, there would currently be hardly a team that could keep up with the Hawks.

red; sid; dpa | Status: October 19, 2020, 2:00 p.m.