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Analyzing the Steelers Week 2 loss to the Chiefs, by the numbers

It was a historically bad performance at Heinz Field for the defense.

Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

42 points.

When a team gives up 42 points it’s extremely difficult to win the game (last year‘s playoff game excluded). That’s 42 points surrendered at home. It’s 42 points entirely surrendered by the defense. There were no special-teams scores or TDs off of turnovers.

42 points...

Sunday was the most points the Steelers have surrendered as a defense in the history of Heinz Field. It’s the second-most points given up all time, with their final outing of last season being the worst – a 45-42 playoff loss to Jacksonville last January. But even that game had a defensive touchdown. So Sunday was the worst Steelers’ defensive performance in the history of Heinz Field — period.

42 points!

Out of 12 KC possessions, six of them ended in touchdowns. The six non-scoring drives included two which ended the first half and the game. That only leaves two 2nd-quarter punts along with a safety and a fumble in the fourth quarter. That equates to the Chiefs having success on 6 out of 10 drives.

Leading to 42 points.

60 pass attempts

Ben Roethlisberger had the second-most pass attempts ever in a single game during his career. The only time he’s attempted more passes in a game was last December in the 39–38 win over the Ravens. In that game, Ben threw 66 times with 44 completions for 506 yards. He threw two touchdowns and no interceptions. That was in a victory.

The numbers show that the more Ben has had to throw the ball, the worse the results for the Steelers. In regular season games where Ben has thrown 40 or more pass attempts, the Steelers are 17-31. BecauseB Roethlisberger has an overall record of 136-65-1, this means 47.7% of his losses have come when he’s been forced to put the ball in the air 40 or more times. Only 12.5% of his victories have come when he’s thrown the ball that much. Additionally, the Steelers are 0-6 in playoff games when Ben has thrown 40-plus times.

There are nine regular season games in Roethlisberger’s career where he’s thrown the ball 50 or more times. In those games, the Steelers are 3-6. Until this past Sunday, every time Ben has thrown the ball 50 times or more, the Steelers have won provided that he had a positive TD-to-INT comparison (more touchdowns than interceptions). This past Sunday changed that because...

0 Turnovers

This is the number that really has me perplexed. After six turnovers last week, the Steelers didn’t turn the ball over once. Other than allowing a long punt-return on a short kick on the first possession, the defense wasn’t put in a bad spot. They just got beat straight-up.

This was only the ninth game since 2001 that the Steelers have lost when they didn’t turn the ball over, with the last game being November 13, 2016 at home against Dallas. Out of those nine games, this was only the fifth game in which the Steelers forced at least one turnover, didn’t lose a turnover, yet still lost the game.

42 Points, 60 Pass Attempts, and 0 Turnovers.

These three stats combined just go to show how historically awful the defense played on Sunday. I’m not ready to say they’re a historically bad defense, but this game was an embarrassing performance.

The number this defense needs to focus on is eight. Eight days will pass from this performance until they get to play again and show they can be better than the product they put on the field in Week 2.