The Pittsburgh Steelers are rolling through the 2020 season as they continue to stack their wins all the way up to 10. Although it wasn’t a perfect game in Jacksonville, the Steelers offense did more than enough while the Steelers’ defense all but completely shut down the Jaguars.
After continuing their historic winning streak to open the season at 10-0, here are some of the numbers which helped lead to the Steelers decisive 27-3 win over the Jaguars.
As head coach Mike Tomlin says, “If they can’t score, you can’t lose.” Other than giving up a 41-yard field goal on the first drive, the Steelers kept the Jaguars off the scoreboard on Sunday as they only surrendered 3 points. It was the fewest points the Steelers defense has allowed since Week 4 of 2019 when they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals by the same score of 27-3.
Although the Steelers did not play flawless in the turnover department, they did finish with a +3 advantage in the turnover margin. With a pair of interceptions each by Minkah Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds, the Steelers had four takeaways on the day. Their only blemish was an interception in the end zone thrown by Ben Roethlisberger on the final play of the first half.
Throughout the entire game, the Jacksonville Jaguars only took two snaps inside the Steelers red zone. With 3:50 remaining in the second quarter, the Jaguars snaped the ball at the Steelers 12 yard line and ran for one yard. On the next play, Tyson Alualu batted the Jake Lutton pass into the air which resulted in a Minkah Fitzpatrick interception. Not only was it the last snap taken in the red zone by Jacksonville, they only took 3 more snaps in Steelers territory the remainder of the game. On their first drive of the second half, the Jaguars moved the ball as far as the Steelers 36 yard line only to commit two penalties followed by a Stephon Tuitt sack which pushed them back across midfield before punting.
The Steelers had a much improved run the defense on Sunday holding the Jaguars to 73 yards on 17 carries. It was the fewest amount of rushing yards the Steelers have given up since their impromptu bye week in Week 4.
This number stands out for two different reasons on the defense. No, it’s not the number of takeaways as that was already addressed. The most first down the Steelers gave up on any drive on the day was four. Those four first downs were actually in the second quarter on the drive which ended with Steelers first interception. The other number four for the day was the Steelers held the Jaguars on four different drives where they did not achieve a first down—three ended with punts while one was a turnover on downs.
Although the scoring percentage is not as high as the Steelers have had throughout the season, they did manage to put up 14 points on the scoreboard coming off of their takeaways. The Steelers first interception on the day by Minkah Fitzpatrick led to a drive which resulted in a Benny Snell Jr. rushing touchdown. The other score following a takeaway came from Terrell Edmunds second interception which led to the Eric Ebron touchdown. The two drives following a turnover which did not end in points were the Steelers interception where they should have at least had a field goal attempt, and a late punt after the Steelers ran the ball three times with Ben Roethlisberger out of the game.
Not only did the Steelers have a good day somewhat containing the Jaguars running game, they held them to barely 200 yards of offense. With 206 total yards, it was the fewest amount Steelers have given up in 2020.
Ben Roethlisberger continues to spread the ball around through the passing game. Although Diontae Johnson did have 12 receptions for 111 yards, there were five different Steelers who had at least four receptions on the day. Other than Johnson, Chase Claypool, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Eric Ebron, And Ray-Ray McCloud each had 4 receptions on the day. As for the Jaguars, D.J. Chark was the only player to reach 4 receptions.
For the first time in five games, the Pittsburgh Steelers went over 100 yards rushing on the day. With a total of 106 yards, there were three carries for -4 yards as a result of Mason Rudolph taking a knee to end the game. James Conner had an impressive 89 yards on 13 carries for a 6.8 yards per carry average.
Rookie Chase Claypool scored his 10th touchdown of the 2020 season on Sunday. With eight receiving touchdowns and two coming via the rush, Claypool is the only player in the Super Bowl era to score 10 touchdowns in his first 10 NFL games.
So there are some numbers to help evaluate the Steelers’ performance Sunday against the Jaguars. Once again, it was not a perfect performance and there are still things in which the Steelers can improve. But scoring 27 straight points, holding their opponents out of the end zone, and coming up with four interceptions is more than enough to build on going into a short week.
There were so many more numbers than the ones listed above. Were there any other numbers which stood out to you? Please leave your answers in the comments below.