It was a complete beat down by the Pittsburgh Steelers in their first AFC North action of the 2020 season. Although the Cleveland Browns came to Heinz Field with a record of 4-1, they were completely outplayed from the onset as the outcome this Sunday for the Steelers was never in question.
After opening the season 5-0 for the second time in franchise history, here are some of the numbers which helped lead to the Steelers win on Sunday at the Heinz Field against the Browns.
It was extremely tempting to just type this number and call it an article. The score really says it all when it comes to the Steelers dominance on Sunday. But you all are here for some numbers, so I’m ready to give you some more. Not only did the Steelers 38 points scored match their season high from last week against the Philadelphia Eagles, the 7 points they surrendered on defense is the lowest in 2020 and the least the defense has surrendered since Week 4 of 2019 when they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 27-3.
The Cleveland Browns came in to Heinz Field Sunday leading the NFL in takeaways. While the Steelers did not turn the ball over at all to the Browns, they forced two takeaways of their own in which they scored 14 points. The first interception was on the Browns opening drive of the game and was returned for the Steelers first defensive touchdown of the 2020 season by Minkah Fitzpatrick. The second takeaway came courtesy of a Cameron Sutton interception which turned into a James Washington touchdown catch from Ben Roethlisberger four plays later. The Steelers have either scored points or ended the game with all of their takeaways in 2020.
In Week 5, the Steelers struggled with getting off the field on third down on defense. In Week 6, the Steelers only gave up one third-down conversion in 12 chances on the day. Additionally, the Steelers kept the Browns from converting all three of their fourth down conversions.
It was only 5 minutes and 55 seconds into the game when Minkah Fitzpatrick returned the Baker Mayfield interception for a touchdown. It was at that point the Steelers took a two-score lead and they never looked back. Basically, just over five minutes into the game and this one was out of reach for the Browns.
I have to give credit to this crazy stat to Bob Pompeani of KDKA. Pompeani posted on Twitter the Steelers have won 13 straight home games in which their opponent’s starting quarterback was drafted with the number one overall pick. It is the longest streak in NFL history.
#Steelers extended its regular-season home winning streak to 13 games when facing a starting QB drafted No. 1 overall.— Bob Pompeani (@KDPomp) October 18, 2020
13-game regular-season home winning streak when facing a starting QB drafted No. 1 overall is the longest streak in NFL history.
For the first time this season, the Steelers had one player reach 20 rushing attempts in a game. James Conner went over 100 yards on his 20th carry which was his last one of the game. It’s been nice to see the Steelers not overwork any of their running backs early in 2020.
The Steelers also accomplished another feat in their fifth game of the season. For the first time since 1985 in which the New York Giants accomplished the same feat, the Pittsburgh Steelers have started their season with five straight games with at least three sacks and at least one interception in each game.
The Cleveland Browns came into Heinz Field on Sunday leading the NFL in rushing. Averaging 188.4 yards per game prior to Week 6, the Steelers shut down the Browns running attack for a combined 75 rushing yards. Additionally, 27 of those yards came on the final two drives after the Steelers were up 30 points. At this point, the game was no longer in doubt and both teams were beginning to rest players.
Of course, the sack streak continues as the Steelers have now gone 62 straight regular-season games with at least one sack. It is the fourth longest streak in NFL history and the second longest streak since sacks became an official statistic in 1983. Manny look at the “official” record being 69 by the Tampa Bay buccaneers from 1999 to 2003, but the Detroit Lions went 76 straight games from 1960 to 1965 where they recorded at least one sack.
Normally the Steelers are quite balanced with their offensive attack, but when they have a lead like they did throughout the game it was one of the more unbalanced games they have had in a while. The Steelers had 37 rushing attempts with 25 pass plays. Of the 37 rushing attempts, four came as quarterback kneel downs. Of the 25 passing plays, 23 were pass attempts where two plays the Steelers took a sack.
So there are some numbers to help evaluate the Steelers’ performance Sunday against the Browns. With a victory of more than 30 points, they were a lot of numbers to look at on the positive side and basically no negatives on the list. The Steelers dominated on both sides of the ball and made for a great Sunday for Steelers’ Nation.
Were there any other numbers which stood out to you? Please leave your answers in the comments below.