Coach Tomlin said we can’t live in our fears. But the more he says it, the more I do it. When it comes to games the Steelers look like they should win handily, that is when I get the most nervous. I prefer The Steelers being the underdog. They seem to rise to the occasion. But when so many numbers are coming together to show why the Steelers should defeat the Miami Dolphins on Monday night, it makes me think that too much of a good thing is probably too good to be true.
In this weeks installment of Crunching the Numbers, we’ll take at some of the Pittsburgh Steelers numbers on various topics such as coming off the bye week, playing at home on Monday night football, being favored by two touchdowns, and facing Dolphins’ quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
It has been discussed at length that the Steelers have won 17 straight games at home on Monday Night Football. Their last loss was in 1991 to the New York Giants. Obviously, the Steelers have never lost a Monday night game at Heinz Field where they are currently 9-0.
Not only have the Steelers never lost on Monday night at Heinz Field, they’ve also never lost a game when they’ve worn their color rush uniforms. The Steelers have defeated the Ravens, Titans, Panthers, and Patriots all when wearing their color rush uniforms at Heinz Field.
The Steelers also have a six-game winning streak against Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick whenever he’s started the game. Fitzpatrick has never defeated the Steelers and Monday will be his seventh try with the sixth different franchise. The last time Fitzpatrick faced the Steelers was in 2018 in Week 3 as part of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football where the Steelers were victorious 30-27.
The Steelers are currently favored by 14 points on Monday night. Since the 1970 merger, the Steelers are 13-3 straight up when they are favored by 14 points. Chuck Noll had a 4–0 record while Bill Cowher was only 1-2 in said games. Mike Tomlin has been favored by two touchdowns more than the other two coaches combined and has an 8–1 record. The last time the Steelers lost when favored by two touchdowns or more was in 2009 against the Oakland Raiders at Heinz Field by a score of 27–24.
While it is not a super-impressive number for some, the Steelers are 8-4 coming off of the bye under head coach Mike Tomlin. With a winning percentage of 66.7%, his record after a bye is slightly higher than his overall regular-season coaching record at 64.4%.
23 vs 54
One number that is concerning for the Pittsburgh Steelers coming out of a buy is their slow start on offense under Mike Tomlin. Since 2007, the Steelers have only scored 23 total points in the first quarter in games following the bye. In fact, you would have to go back to 2008 to find where the Steelers scored a first quarter touchdown in there first game back from the bye week.
But after examining this number, the Steelers are meeting the perfect opponent in order to break this trend. In 2019, the Dolphins are last in the NFL in the number of points given up in the first quarter. They have surrendered six touchdowns and four field goals for a total of 54 points in each game. Their only contest in which they did not surrender any points in the first quarter was against the Washington Redskins whose lone victory on the season is against the Dolphins.
So these are some of the numbers outlining the Steelers situational history of multiple factors concerning Monday’s matchup with the Miami Dolphins. Can the Steelers keep these positive stats going with a win? Or are the reasons behind why the Steelers should win the game setting fans up for disappointment? Please leave your answers in the comments below!