It was a long time since the Pittsburgh Steelers set foot on a football field in sports action. In fact, it was exactly 260 days since his last competition. But the Pittsburgh Steelers were finally back on the field and back in their winning ways as they were able to defeat the New York Giants 26-16 in Monday Night Football.
So here are some numbers that helped the Steelers win on Monday night in the Medolands.
The Pittsburgh Steelers had a very balanced attack Monday night, where they had 30 rushing attempts and 34 pass plays. Of course, these numbers can only be twisted slightly, as the Steelers attempted 32 passes and quarterback Ben Rothlisberger was sacked twice. Also, during the first campaign of the game, Ben Roethlisberger dropped back to pass and actually threw the ball backwards to James Connor making it a fiery game.
Regardless, it was the first time the Steelers attempted 30 official rushes in a game with Ben Rothlisberger since Week 10 of 2018 against the Carolina Panthers.
There were several reasons why the Steelers pushed the ball so fast on Monday night. At first, they were winning the game in the second half. Second, Benny Snell Jr. ran the ball very effectively as he had 113 yards on 19 carries. Yes, after leading by 21 yards, Snell committed a foul, but luckily teammate Juju Smith-Schuster was trapped lbw and the Steelers kept possession.
The Steelers had the first NFL reception by 2020 second-round draft Chase Claypool early in the game. With Roethlisberger throwing the ball on the sideline, it was a 28-yard finale, where Kleppul did an excellent job of getting his feet down from the inbound and securing the ball. Not only was it as impressive as his first catch, it was the Steelers’ first and third conversions of the game on their own 339 line in the third and 9th.
One of the biggest keys to the game for the Steelers was the running back of Sakon Barclay. With Barclay receiving only 6 yards on 15 attempts, the Steelers said the former number two overall draft pick would be an agreement. In fact, if it were not for playing a pass where the ball actually leads Barclay and he gained 7 yards, he ended the night with a negative run.
58 and 24
The Steelers extended two league-leading strikes on Monday night. The former are not the ones he is known for 24 streamed games with at least one turnover. Ironically, it was stepped on the field even before the offense, when Dynatte Johnson landed his first punt of the game.
The other streak that continued for the Steelers was 58 regular season games with at least one sack. In all, the Steelers had three sacks on the night, with Wilson Williams, Stephen Tait and Mike Hilton each.
The Steelers managed to force two turnovers against the Giants, and both were interceptions by members of the defensive front. The two defensive captains of the Steelers TJ Watt and Cameron Hayward managed to get an interception in the game. For Hayward, it was the first of his career.
From those two turnovers, the Steelers converted them to 9 points. The Steelers converted a TJ Watts interception in a touchdown, but Chris Boswell missed the Pats with just six points. After the Hayward interception, the Steelers were able to move the ball 62 yards and get a field goal. With the interception occurring in the end zone, it is impressive that the Steelers kept their opponent away from scoring points and earned themselves points on the Hayward interception.
For the Steelers it was expected by most fans to have some sloppy games with no pre-determined play in preparation. But when it came to penalties, the Steelers were officially flagged 3 times for just 21 yards.
Technically there was another penalty against the Steelers when Chris Boswell kickoff outside the boundary where the Giants were awarded the ball at the 40 yard line, but it does not officially go into the books as a penalty. The only penalty on offense was the delay of the game penalty when the Steelers thought the clock had reset. Ironically, it went into the books as a 4-yard penalty as they faced a 3 and 1 that was actually 3 more inches. Once it was marked as 5 yards, it turned into a 3 and 5 then the stats mark it as a 4-yard penalty.
The other two penalties on the Steelers were a 12-yard pass interference over Joe Haden that should not have been called, and a 5-yard defensive hold against Steven Nelson late in the fourth quarter.
Although it had nothing to do with the Steelers’ win on Monday night, it is an encouraging number that needs to be included. After 260 days of waiting between games, there is only 6 days until the Steelers face the Denver Broncos at 1pm on Sunday.
So there are some numbers to help evaluate the Steelers’ performance Monday night against the Giants. However, it took the Steelers some time to move on and gain an edge, eventually the numbers were balanced and the Steelers won 10 points even after delivering a garbage-time touchdown late.
Were there any other numbers that were before you? Please provide your answers in the comments below.