If there was one perceived weakness to the Pittsburgh Steelers' defense coming into the 2005 season, it was their secondary. During the 2004 campaign, Pittsburgh's defensive backs were tested vertically quite often, and the mixed results they had against these long passes were a major cause for concern.
Pittsburgh's opponents again tried to test this secondary vertically in '05. Just over 20 percent of the pass attempts against the Steelers this year were from medium-depth routes, a percentage that likely will be the highest in the league. It didn't stop with medium passes, either, as deep passes accounted for over 14 percent of opponents' pass attempts.
The good news for Pittsburgh is that these vertical attempts weren't very successful. Here are the Steelers' metric numbers by route depth: