Steelers secondary ranked 4th in 2020 in WAR per PFF

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Curt Popejoy
·1 min read
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According to Pro Football Focus, the Pittsburgh Steelers secondary ranked No. 4 in the NFL last season in a stat called “wins above replacement” or WAR. If you would like to read up on what WAR is all about, here is a great article that breaks it down in an enormous amount of detail.

Here is a brief summary from the article to help understand it:

  • Determine how good a given player was during a period of time (generally a season) using PFF grades;

  • Map a player’s production to a “wins” value for his team using the relative importance of each facet of play;

  • Simulate a team’s expected performance with a player of interest and with an average player participating identically in his place. Take the difference in expected wins (e.g., Wins Above Average);

  • Determine the average player with a given participation profile’s wins above replacement player, assuming a team of replacement-level players is a 3-13 team;

  • Add the terms in the last two calculations to get that player’s WAR.

The Steelers have invested heavily in their secondary. Their tandem of starting cornerbacks account for nearly $29 million off the salary cap and both starting safeties are former high draft picks. But as with any secondary, they are typically only as good as the pass rush in front of them. Last season we saw the Steelers secondary falter down the stretch in large part when Bud Dupree was lost for the season.

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