Steelers

Heyward, Tuitt setting up rest of defense

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Steelers defensive linemen Stephon Tuitt, left, and Cameron Heyward have been critical to the team's run-stopping success. -- MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

Mention the Steelers' defense and you'll likely get a reply, "What defense?"

But in Sunday's 41-17 win over the Falcons, that might as well have changed to "What defense!"

The Steelers put together an old-school defensive effort against Atlanta's explosive offense, recording six sacks and limiting the Falcons to 324 yards, 111 of which came in the fourth quarter after the game had basically been decided.

A big part of that defensive effort was derived from the Steelers' ability to stop Atlanta's two-headed rushing attack of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Those two were limited to 47 yards on 15 carries, an average of 3.1 yards per attempt.

It's been nothing new for the Steelers, now 2-2-1 this season. Though their defense has given up some passing yards, the run defense has been much improved over where it was at the end of last season after losing Ryan Shazier Dec. 4 at Cincinnati.

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