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Analyzing the Steelers Week 7 win over the Titans, by the numbers

There were plenty of numbers to discuss after the Steelers 27-24 victory on Sunday

Pittsburgh Steelers v Tennessee Titans Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

After a nice, relaxing victory by the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 6, Week 7 appeared to be shaping up in a similar fashion through the first half of the game. Unfortunately, the Pittsburgh Steelers gave many of those in their fan base little room to relax as the game came down to the wire against the undefeated Tennessee Titans. But regardless of how it ended up, the Steelers got the victory over the only undefeated team left in the AFC.

After opening the season 6-0 for the second time in franchise history, here are some of the numbers which helped lead to the Steelers win on Sunday in Nashville over the Tennessee Titans.


The Steelers managed a victory even though they were -3 in turnover margin. With Ben Roethlisberger’s three interceptions and no takeaways, the Steelers got the rare victory with such a bad differential. Since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, the Steelers now have exactly 100 regular-season games in which they had a turnover margin of -3 or worse. The Steelers are now 12-87-1 in those games after the victory over the Titans. The last game in which the Steelers had a -3 turnover differential and they still were victorious was in Week 12 of 2017 against the Green Bay Packers.


The Pittsburgh Steelers held the NFL’s leading rusher Derrick Henry to only 72 yards from scrimmage. Not only did Henry only have 75 rushing yards on 20 attempts, he had two receptions for -3 yards. It was only the second game of Henry’s career in which he had negative yardage receiving with the other game and being the 2019 AFC championship game. Henry’s 75 rushing yards is the second fewest he has had in his NFL career in a game in which he had at least 20 attempts with the only fewer being 51 yards in Tennessee’s victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 17 of 2017.


Coming into Week 7, the Pittsburgh Steelers had three drives on the season which took seven minutes or more off the game clock. On Sunday, the Steelers had three drives in the game which each lasted seven or more minutes. The Steelers opening drive of the game lasted 9:18 and ended with a Ben Roethlisberger to Diontae Johnson touchdown. The Steelers second offensive drive lasted 7:05 and ended in a Benny Snell Jr. touchdown. The other Steelers drive which took over seven minutes was in the fourth quarter which took 7:38 and ended with a Ben Roethlisberger interception in the end zone.


Although the Steelers consecutive streak of regular-season games where they recorded at least one sack was extended to 63 games, the Steelers had a season low of two sacks in the game. But Tennessee had only given up six sacks in five games coming into Week 7, so the Steelers knew getting to the quarterback was going to be a challenge. Although it did not go down as the sack, Stephon Tuitt did force Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill to throw the ball away to avoid a sack which resulted in an intentional grounding and moved the Titans farther back causing them to miss the game-tying field goal at the end of regulation.


For the first time in the 2020 season, the Steelers did not have a player with either 100 rushing yards or 100 receiving yards. On the other hand, the Steelers had three players go over 80 yards in either rushing or receiving as James Conner had 82 rushing yards, JuJu Smith-Schuster had 85 receiving yards, and Diante Johnson had 80 receiving yards. The only other game the Steelers had three players over 80 yard in 2020 was against the Denver Broncos.


One exciting play for the Steelers in the second quarter was the 57-yard punt return by Ray-Ray McCloud. Unfortunately, McCloud did not make it into the end zone but was tackled at the 17-yard line. Three players later, Ben Roethlisberger found Diontae Johnson for a 9-yard touchdown.


The Steelers yet again held their opponents to less than 100 yards rushing for the game. It marks the fifth time in six games in which the Steelers held their opponents to less than the century mark on the ground. The only team to rush for over 100 yards against the Steelers was the Denver Broncos who had 104 yards in Week 2.


The completely lopsided first quarter of the game saw the Pittsburgh Steelers run 23 offensive plays in the quarter. When it came to the Titans, they only ran three plays in the first quarter.


The Steelers held high-powered Tennessee Titans offense to 292 total yards. Although it It is right in the middle of the road in terms of how many yards the Steelers have surrendered in 2020, it is the lowest amount the Titans have amassed in a game in 2020. In fact, it is less than half of the yards they gained the previous week when they had 607 against the Houston Texans.


Sunday was the 17th career game, including both the regular and postseason, in which Ben Roethlisberger threw three or more interceptions. The Steelers record in these games improved to 4-12-1. The last game in which Roethlisberger threw three interceptions where the Steelers were victorious was Week 11 of 2018 in Jacksonville when the Steelers won on a last-second touchdown.

So there are some numbers to help evaluate the Steelers’ performance Sunday against the Titans. While there was plenty of positives to take out of the game, particularly in the first half, there are also many areas for improvement the Steelers can focus on this week as they prepare for their next AFC North matchup.

Were there any other numbers which stood out to you? Please leave your answers in the comments below.