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Analyzing the Steelers’ Week 12 loss to the Broncos, by the numbers

There were plenty of numbers which showed the Steelers could have won, but plenty which also showed why they lost.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

1, 2, 23, & 47

These are the yard lines where the Steelers’ turnovers occurred, all in Denver territory. Fumbles took place on the 1 and the 23 yard lines. On the interceptions, the original line of scrimmage was the 2 and the 47. So three turnovers occurred when the Steelers were already in field goal range.


Even though the biggest problem with the Steelers turnovers was they did not score any points, Denver still managed to put up 14 points off of those turnovers. This does not even include the three points scored after the blocked field-goal.

62 to 14

The Denver Broncos came into this game in the bottom quarter of the league in run defense. Knowing this, many people expected to Steelers to come out with a heavy rushing attack. This was anything but the case. The Steelers actually attempted to pass the ball on 62 plays. Ben Roethlisberger attempted 56 passes, was sacked twice, and scrambled on two other times where he dropped back. Antonio Brown and Chris Boswell also attempted a pass each. As for running the ball, the Steelers only handed off to James Conner 13 times and Ryan Switzer once.


Of the major team stat categories, the Steelers failed to lead in only four of them. Most importantly, they failed to lead in the only category which really matters: points scored. The other stats they did not lead were turnovers, rushing yards, and rushing attempts. The Steelers were either tied or led the Broncos in all other major categories including time of possession, total yards, passing yards, passing percentage, third-down conversions, fourth-down conversions, penalties, sacks, and total plays.


The Steelers have only had one takeaway in their last four road games. The lone forced turnover was the strip sack to end the game in Jacksonville. The Steelers had no takeaways in Cincinnati, Baltimore, or Denver. In these past four road games, the Steelers are -6 in the turnover ratio but somehow managed a record of 3–1, largely in part by not turning the ball over in two of the games.


It would be tragic to not mention JuJu Smith-Schuster’s 97-yard touchdown reception. It is his second such reception in his two years in the league. With 25 games played in total in his career, JuJu averages a 97-yard touchdown every 12.5 games.


The Steelers have zero outside linebackers who have not missed any plays due to injury in the last two games. Look for the team to make some sort of roster move this week as health at the position could be a major concern moving forward.