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Pittsburgh Steelers: Who Is the Most Valuable Player on Their Defense?

Joseph BrunoCorrespondent ISeptember 29, 2016

Pittsburgh Steelers: Who Is the Most Valuable Player on Their Defense?

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    The Pittsburgh Steelers have the second-best record in the AFC at 10-3 and that is mainly because of their fourth-ranked defense.

    The Steelers may be 23rd in pass defense however they are third in the AFC with 17 interceptions and second in the AFC in sacks with 35.

    What the Steelers are really known for is their rush defense, which ranks first in the NFL.

    The Steelers only give up 60.1 rushing yards per game, which is 27.8 yards fewer than the next best team.

    The Steelers have the best defense in the league and here are six players who could be labeled as the most valuable of that unit.  

6. James Farrior

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    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    2010 Stats:

    93 tackles, four sacks, five pass defenses and one forced fumble.

    James Farrior looked like he had nothing left in the tank last season and many fans were calling for him to be cut in the offseason.

    I thought the Steelers should give Farrior at least one more season and at 35 I think he has shown that he had plenty left to contribute.

    Farrior may not be the best in pass coverage, however he is second on the team with 93 tackles and is a leader on the defense.

5. Ike Taylor

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    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    2010 Stats:

    56 tackles, one sack, 10 pass defenses, two interceptions and one forced fumble.

    Many would probably not have Ike Taylor in their top five however he has been the Steelers top cornerback for years and should be a priority for the Steelers to sign in the offseason.

    Ike routinely shuts down the opposing teams’ best receiver and would be considered one of the best corners in the league if he ever learned how to actually catch interceptions.

    This year Taylor has more than one interception for only the third time in his career and also had an interception returned for a touchdown called back against the Raiders.  

4. Lamar Woodley

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    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    2010 Stats:

    44 tackles, 8.5 sacks, four pass defenses, two interceptions, three forced fumbles and a touchdown.

    Lamar Woodley is one of the best all-around linebackers in the league and continues to prove why he is the top priority to sign for the Steelers this offseason.

    Woodley’s 8.5 sacks is second on the team and puts him tied for 14th in the league and he showed his versatility against the Bengals by dropping into coverage and picking off his second interception of the season and bringing it back for a touchdown.

    Lamar is a beast in the run game as well, and his presence allows for James Harrison on the other side to not be continuously double teamed through out games which makes the Steelers pass rush that much better.

3. Lawrence Timmons

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    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    2010 Stats:

    108 tackles, three sacks, nine pass defenses, two interceptions and one forced fumble.

    Lawrence Timmons is in the midst of the best year of his career by far and should at least be in the discussion for defensive MVP for this season.

    He has shown bursts of speed all over the field, racking up 108 tackles and actually has one more pass defense than cornerback Bryant McFadden this season.

    Timmons has been nothing short of great this season for the Steelers and is finally proving why the Steelers drafted him in the first round.

2. James Harrison

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    2010 Stats:

    79 tackles, 10 sacks, four pass defenses, two interceptions and six forced fumbles.

    James Harrison is one of the most feared players in the league and is another Steelers player that is in the running for defensive MVP of the league.

    Harrison is such a force that Roger Goodell and the officials have taken it upon themselves to try and slow him down for the opposing offenses by calling a penalty every time he walks on the field.

    He is maybe the most versatile linebacker in the league and continuously drops into coverage during games while still racking up 10 sacks for the season with six forced fumbles and two interceptions.

1. Troy Polamalu

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    2010 Stats:

    62 tackles, one sack, 10 pass defenses, six interceptions, one forced fumble and a touchdown.

    Was there any doubt?

    Troy Polamalu could be the defensive MVP this season and brings a confidence to the entire Steelers defense which allows them to play at such a high level.

    Polamalu does anything and everything from leaping over the line against the Titans, to picking off six passes, which is good for second in the NFL, to getting the sack-fumble in the fourth quarter against the Ravens to set up a Steelers win.

    Troy makes plays that no other player in the league can make and the opposing offense has to know where he is on the field at all times.

    We have seen what happens when he is not on the field which proves that Troy Polamalu is the most valuable player on the Steelers defense.

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