The Steelers face an uphill battle Sunday at Heinz Field against the favored Los Angeles Rams. In order to secure the victory, the Steelers might have to change some of their offensive philosophies in order to take more shots for a greater point output. Facing the Rams coming off of their bye week, there are a lot of things that don’t stack up in the Steelers favors. But they can still make the best of it.
In this weeks installment of Crunching the Numbers, we’ll take a look at several different categories from 2019 in which the Steelers need to improve on this week, as well as several historical statistics in regards to issues the Steelers face in Week 10 against the Los Angeles Rams.
If excluding The kneel down at the end of the Chargers game, the Steelers are one of two teams who have scored points every trip they’ve made into the red zone in 2019. The Steelers have zero turnovers, either by fumble, interception, or on downs, and have not missed any field goals. The only other team who have not turned the ball over or missed a field goal is the Baltimore Ravens.
Unfortunately, the Steelers are towards the very bottom in the NFL in red zone efficiency at 38.1%. While the Steelers are constantly getting points in the red zone, they’ve only converted eight touchdowns of the 21 attempts. So while the Steelers are going conservative to make sure they get points, they are not maximizing their points enough once they get deep into their opponents territory.
When it comes to the Steelers defense in the red zone, they are leading the NFL with five takeaways. While forcing a turnover in the red zone is the ultimate goal, the Steelers are surrendering a touchdown on 53.6% of the opponents drives which get inside the 20 yard line. The turnovers are great, but the Steelers also need to couple that with more stops and give up only three points instead of seven.
Since Mike Tomlin has taken over as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, they have faced an opponent who’s been coming off of their bye 11 times. In those games, the Steelers are 6-5. The last time the Steelers faced a team coming off of their bye week was in Week 8 of the 2017 season when the Steelers defeated the Lions 20-15 in Detroit.
More importantly, when the Steelers face an opponent who has just completed their bye week with the game being at Heinz Field, the Steelers are 4-1 under Mike Tomlin. The only loss came in 2015 when the 7-0 Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Steelers 16-10 in a game where Le’Veon Bell was injured and Ben Roethlisberger threw interceptions on back-to-back passes late in the fourth quarter leading to 10 Cincinnati points.
The Steelers are currently 3.5 point underdog’s against the Rams on Sunday. It will be only the eighth time since 2007 the Steelers have been an underdog of three points or more at Heinz Field. In the previous seven games, The Steelers are 4-3. Earlier in 2019 the Steelers were 3.5 point underdog’s against the Ravens at home. Unfortunately the Steelers fell in overtime. The only teams to defeat the Steelers at Heinz Field when favored by a field goal or more since 2007 have been the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots.
On a side note, in the first half of the 2019 season the Steelers have not surrendered a 100-yard receiving game to a wide receiver. In fact, the top two wide receivers, and three of the top five, were all New England Patriots who the Steelers faced in Week 1. The only player in 2019 who has 100 yards receiving against the Steelers is tight end Hunter Henry of the Los Angeles Chargers with exactly the century mark.
So here are some random numbers from various things heading into the Steelers Week 10 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. Can the Steelers improve their red zone efficiency on Sunday? Can they continue their winning streak against the Rams? Please leave your answers in the comments below!