AFC North: run defense

Steelers' run defense on historic pace

December, 27, 2010
12/27/10
4:00
PM ET
The Pittsburgh Steelers have had various issues this season, but a consistent strength is their run defense.

With one game remaining, Pittsburgh is on a historic pace for stuffing running backs. The Steelers are allowing just 64.1 yards rushing per game, the fifth-best figure all time according to the NFL. Pittsburgh's run defense is third all time since the Super Bowl era in 1966, trailing only the 2000 Baltimore Ravens (60.6 yards) and 2006 Minnesota Vikings (61.6 yards).

It takes a stout and disciplined front seven and a sure-tackling secondary to stop the run. Pittsburgh by far is the best in the league in those areas. The San Diego Chargers are a distant second in run defense, allowing 90.3 rushing yards per game.

Stopping the run and making teams one dimensional will be huge in the playoffs. It's one of several reasons Pittsburgh (11-4) has a chance to reach its second Super Bowl in three seasons.

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