Thanks largely to the efforts of linemen Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt, the Steelers often have been getting to opposing quarterbacks with a four-man rush.

That's helped their blitz be more effective, too.

According to ESPN, the Steelers are applying pressure when they blitz at a better ratio than any team in the NFL this season: 56.8 percent of the time, a wide lead over No. 2 Jacksonville (51.4 percent) and roughly twice the rate of New England (28.6 percent).

“You've got to have a good enough four-man rush to be effective before your blitzing is effective,” defensive coordinator Keith Butler said. “I don't know if that makes sense or not (but) it's a lot more effective if you can rush four and get to the QB and play good coverage and then every now and then blitz. Because then, they won't be ready for it.”