Lost in all the euphoria surrounding the Steelers win over the Bengals is the fact that the defense still needs to force more turnovers.
Only when they faced butter-fingered Michael Vick have the Steelers produced more than one takeaway in a game this season. They have just seven takeaways. Only four teams have fewer than that, according to Pro Football Reference.
A strong pass rush can disrupt the quarterback and help create turnovers. In three games since coming back from his knee injury, James Harrison has just one sack.
It helps to have LaMarr Woodley on the opposite side dividing the blockers' attention, and Harrison has been on the field with Woodley for only about five quarters. Still, the Harrison-Woodley tandem was intact Sunday in Cincinnati, and Andy Dalton wasn't sacked.
The Steelers are tied for 24th in the NFL with 11 sacks this season, according to NFL.com. That has to improve.
Woodley gets a pass because his interception was the Steelers' only takeaway Sunday, and it led to the game-tying points.
Harrison, however, didn't even register a tackle in the game.
Perhaps, at 34, Harrison is on the decline. Maybe he's not the same after his knee injury. If he can't get in the face of opposing quarterbacks, the Steelers will have a hard time getting into the playoffs.