The Pittsburgh Steelers are rolling through the 2020 season as they continue to stack their wins even when their performances are less than stellar. To say the Steelers did just enough to secure the victory would be an accurate summation of what happened on Wednesday. But bringing to a conclusion a very strange Week 12, being a strange game wasn’t a big surprise.
After continuing their historic winning streak to open the season at 11-0, here are some of the numbers which helped lead to the Steelers 19-14 win over the Ravens.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have now gone four straight games without surrendering a sack. The last time Ben Roethlisberger was sacked on the season was with 9:08 remaining in the third quarter of the Steelers Week 8 matchup against the Ravens in Baltimore. The Steelers have gone 264 minutes and 8 seconds of game clock without surrendering a sack, or 199 pass attempts.
The Steelers controlled the ball much more than the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday. Not only did the Steelers have 7:18 more in time of possession, they ran 22 more offensive plays than the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday.
The Steelers held the Ravens to only 90 net passing yards on the day. Between the two quarterbacks, they completed only 9 of 18 passes. In all, Robert Griffin III and Trace McSorley combined for 110 yards, but the Steelers also had 20 yards on three sacks. If it were not for the 70 yard touchdown on the Ravens’ last offensive play of the game, Baltimore would have only had 20 net passing yards.
Once again, the Steelers forced two takeaways in a game. The Steelers have had two takeaways in seven games in 2020 with an additional two games with four takeaways. Unfortunately, the Steelers also had two turnovers in the game. Interesting enough, all four turnovers in the game happened in the first 10:19 of the first quarter.
The Ravens had 12 drives in the game against Pittsburgh Steelers. On 7 of those drives, they failed to get a first down. Five of the seven drives ended in a punt while two ended in turnovers.
The Baltimore ravens did not do much offensively in the game. Of their 12 drives, only two of them gained more than 25 yards. Both drives were the final possession for the Ravens of each half. In the first half, the Ravens drove the ball 74 yards but came up short and ran out of time at the 1 yard line and did not score any points. Their are other drive of more than 25 yards consisted of only two plays and a 70 yard touchdown.
On the other hand, the Pittsburgh Steelers had five different drives in which they traveled 40 or more yards. Three of those drives resulted in scores with two being field goals and one being the touchdown to JuJu Smith-Schuster. The other two drives were the one to begin the second half which ended on a failed fourth down conversion and the final drive of the game where the Steelers were able to run out the clock.
One problem which plagued to the Steelers on Wednesday were the number of drops by the receivers. According to BTSC’s Geoffrey Benedict who checked every incompletion on film, he classified five egregious drops where the receiver simply didn’t catch the ball and another five drops which were because a defender disrupted the play in some manner even though the ball got to the receiver’s hands. Exactly how how many of the second five would be classified as drops is up for interpretation, but it was the worst performance of 2020 by the Steelers receivers in the drop department.
One of the most important plays of the game was a 16 yard pass completion to James Washington on third and six with 2:42 remaining in the game. By extending the drive, the Steelers were able to run out the clock with a couple additional first downs. Washington’s catch was when Ben Roethlisberger lofted the ball up in traffic to Washington who held off the defenders and secured the catch. On the previous play, Washington had a reception for 3 yards. These were his only two receptions in the game as he finished with two catches for 19 yards.
Even though the Steelers got the win and pushed their record to 11-0, there was still a very big loss in the game. Bud Dupree suffered a season-ending ACL injury in the fourth quarter. As usual, it will be the “next man up” for the Steelers, but the defense is going to miss number 48.
So there are some numbers to help evaluate the Steelers’ performance Wednesday against the Ravens. It was definitely not a perfect performance by any standards, but it was enough to get the job done this time. although the defense did the job and held the ravens to less than the Steelers season average Which is leading the NFL, it was the first time they failed to score at least 24 points. Add in the defense being responsible for 6 of the 19 points and it’s no surprise the offense was dissatisfied with their performance.
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.