Let's take a quick look at some of the more compelling numbers from last night's game before we begin to look ahead to the Bengals starting tomorrow.
Key Team Statistics
Time of Posession: Jacksonville = 37.25; Pittsburgh = 22.35.
I don't care who you are; if you get dominated that badly in the TOP battle, you're done. Here's a point of reference to illustrate just how tough a time we had on offense last night: in the Chargers demolition of Tennessee on Sunday, they had the ball for 38:35 to the Titans 21:25. That's not much of a difference between our game, yet check out some of the stats from that game. The Chargers absolutely crushed TEN in every facet of the game, an even more thorough beating than the one Jacksonville laid on us. My point is, despite being outplayed so substantially, the Steelers still had the resolve and fight to keep the game close until the final 6 minutes or so of the game.
# of Rushes: Jacksonville = 30; Pittsburgh = 14
This number surprised me. A lot. I know we didn't have the ball for much of the game, but it's uncharacteristic of a Bill Cowher team to throw the ball 34 times while running it only 14. Wasn't the score tied at halftime? Can you believe we did not run the ball ONCE in the third quarter? Don't believe me? Check the play-by-play . Who knows what kind of success we would have had doing so, but I find it bizarre that we'd fail to run the ball at all after seeing Ben struggle for the most part during the 1st half.
Penalties: Jacksonville = 10 for 86 yards; Pittsburgh = 3 for 25 yards
Unfortunately for us, none of their defensive penalties came in critical situations. There were no big defensive pass interference calls in their territory, and not once were they penalized on 3rd down while playing defense. Fortunately for us, most of their penalties were enforced while they were on the march. Without some of these flags, the score could have been worse. The low number of penalties at least reminds me that we're dealing with a veteran football team that's not going to get flustered by a raucous crowd and a bad half of football.
Team Yards: Jacksonville = 362; Pittsburgh = 153 .
You know that Oakland team everybody's making fun of these days? Well, they outgained us offensively this week. I'm not going to say anymore.
Here's hoping for a great week of practice. Some home cooked meals and the support of the Heinz Field Faithful better help get this team back on track against the Bengals this Sunday. Previews begin tomorrow.