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There were plenty of numbers to discuss after the Steelers 38-29 victory on Sunday
The Pittsburgh Steelers are continuing to stack wins throughout the 2020 season as they have yet to fall to the hands of an opponent. While there were plenty of reasons for concern with Sunday’s game, especially with the defense surrendering 29 points, there were also a lot of positives to be taken. Since it was a Steelers nine-point victory, let’s stick to as many positives as we can.
After opening the season 4-0 for the first time since 1979, here are some of the numbers which helped lead to the Steelers win on Sunday at the Heinz Field against the Eagles.
It would seem disrespectful to not start off the numbers by mentioning Chase Claypool‘s four touchdown day. With one rushing touchdown and three receiving touchdowns, he is the first member the Pittsburgh Steelers to score four touchdowns (not including passing touchdowns) in a game since Roy Jefferson in 1968 when he had four touchdown receptions against the Atlanta Falcons. Additionally, the last time an NFL player had three receiving touchdowns and a rushing touchdown was Danny Woodhead in the 2015 season for the San Diego Chargers. The last rookie to score 4 touchdowns in an NFL game was Reggie Bush for the New Orleans Saints in 2006.
The Steelers put up five sacks against the Eagles on Sunday, bringing their total for the first quarter of the season to 20. It is the most sacks the Steelers have achieved in the first four games in a season in their franchise history. It also extended their streak to 61 consecutive regular-season games where they have registered at least one sack.
As much as the Steelers defense struggled to get off the field on third down, the Steelers offense actually won the statistical matchup by converting 11 of their 15 third down attempts. The four plays where they did not convert on their third down opportunities resulted in 2 punts, one field goal, and the Steelers lone turnover on the day.
The Steelers did not have a single drive against the Philadelphia Eagles where they did not have at least one first down. It was the Steelers first game in which they did not have a single drive that went three plays follwed by a punt since Week 15 of the 2018 season when they defeated the New England Patriots at Heinz Field 17–10. On the other hand, the Steelers held the Eagles to two drives that were three and out which just happened to be their first two drivers of the game.
The Steelers had a 23-game streak a feeling to score 30 points in a game. The last time the Steelers broke the 30-point threshold was in Week 13 of the 2018 season when they lost to the Los Angeles Chargers 33–30. The last time the Steelers were victorious in a game where they scored more than 30 points was three games earlier when they defeated the Carolina Panthers 52-21 in Week 10.
The Steelers once again had a pretty balanced attack when it came to their 67 offensive plays. The Steelers had 32 rushing attempts, two of which were kneel downs, and 35 passing plays, one of which was a surrendered sack. Steelers had 136 rushing yards and 231 passing yards. It was the first time in the 2020 season where the Steelers did not have a 100-yard rusher in the game.
The Steelers turned one of their two take a ways into seven points as Steven Nelson‘s first interception lead to a James Conner touchdown. Nelson’s second interception of the game on a fourth and long became the Steelers first take away of the season where they did not score points. But all was not lost as the Steelers ended that drive in victory formation.
Through the first four games of the season, Ben Roethlisberger has thrown nine more touchdowns than interceptions. With 10 touchdown throws to only one interception on the season, it is his best start in the Steelers first four games with the next closest being 2012 where he had nine touchdowns to one interception. On Sunday against the Eagles, Roethlisberger had three touchdown passes and no interceptions.
15 for 20
One of the most frustrating plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday was the 74-yard touchdown run they surrendered to Miles Sanders. A missed tackle would have forced a punt had it been made, but instead the Steelers gave up their first touchdown of the day. Other than that particular run, the Eagles only rushed for an additional 20 yards on 15 carries. As for Sanders, he only added six more yards on 10 more carries outside of that touchdown.
So there are some numbers to help evaluate the Steelers’ performance Sunday against the Eagles. Yes, they are concerns when it comes to the Steelers pass defense and the 29 points they surrendered were the most since Week 1 of 2019. But the Steelers are 4-0 and that is the most important statistic which matters.
Were there any other numbers which stood out to you? Please leave your answers in the comments below.