The 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers have won back-to-back games for the first time this season with a 23-20 overtime victory over the Seattle Seahawks at Heinz Field on Sunday night. The Steelers got out to a halftime lead only to find the Seahawks coming back to tie things up twice in the fourth quarter. Regardless of how it all played out, the Steelers are now back to .500 as the head into their bye week.
So without further ado, here are some of the numbers involved in the Steelers win over the Seahawks in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers defense really got the job done in the first half on Sunday night. Holding the Seahawks scoreless, the Steelers only allowed three first downs through the first 30 minutes of the game. In all, the Seahawks only had 65 yards on 21 plays and only possessed the ball for 9:15 during the first half. Additionally, the Seahawks went 1–6 on third down in the opening half.
As good as the Steelers defense was for the first two quarters, it was the third quarter which saw the game turn around. After only allowing 18 rushing yards in the first half, Seattle exploded in the third quarter with 110 rushing yards on 15 carries for an average of 7.33 yards per rush. The Seahawks had 11 first downs and were 1–1 on third down and scored 14 points in the third quarter.
As the Steelers continue to figure out their offensive identity in Week 6, their young offensive line did a good job of protecting Ben Roethlisberger once again. Not only was Roethlisberger not sacked during the game, he only received one quarterback hit which was by Darrell Taylor, the player who was taken to the hospital during the game for a neck injury.
The Pittsburgh Steelers won their 19th consecutive game on Sunday in which they rushed for 100 yards or more. Although Najee Harris did not go over 100 yards rushing himself, he had 81 yards on 24 carries. With Kalen Bellage adding 15 yards on two carries as well as Diontae Johnson having a 25 yard rush, the Steelers ended the game with 119 rushing yards on 30 attempts. Not already listed were Ben Roethlisberger‘s two rushing attempts in overtime to set up Boswell‘s field goal which lost the Steelers 3 yards and, most importantly, Eric Ebron‘s one-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Although the Steelers went over the century mark for the second-straight week, they did not out rush there opponents as Seattle finished the game with 144 rushing yards on 27 attempts.
Helping the Steelers secure the victory in overtime was the defense who came up big on both Seattle possessions. T.J. Watt had two sacks, both in overtime, as well as a forced fumble to set up the game-winning field goal. Of the Seahawks’ six offensive plays in OT, three of them went for negative or no yards as Cam Heyward also had a tackle for a 4-yard loss.
The Steelers targeted seven different receivers in the passing game on Sunday night, and four of those receivers caught every one of their targets. Leading the way with a perfect catching percentage was Pat Freiermuth who caught all seven of his targets for 58 yards. Both Eric Ebron and Ray-Ray McCloud caught both of their targets as did James Washington, who was only targeted once in the game. The players who did not catch all of their targets were Najee Harris who caught six of his seven targets, Chase Claypool who caught two of his seven targets, and Diontae Johnson who caught nine of his 13 targets.
10 vs. 2
One key defensive statistic in which the Steelers held a large advantage was tackles for loss. The Steelers had 10 plays in which they were credited for a tackle for loss while Seattle only managed two on the night. The Steelers also held an 8-1 advantage in quarterback hits, a 5-0 advantage in sacks, a 5-3 advantage in passes defensed, and a 3-0 advantage in forced fumbles.
I will continue to highlight this statistic as it is very telling with the Steelers results. Although the Steelers did turn the ball over once in the game, the defense stepped up to force a three and out and not give up any points. What helped to secure the victory was the fact the Steelers got back to a zero turnover margin with their fumble recovery in overtime. Scoring three points in overtime on the forced fumble by T.J. Watt which was recovered by Devin Bush was ultimately the difference in the game.
27, 52, & 37
After jumping out to a 14-0 lead at halftime, the Steelers failed to find the end zone remainder of the game. Fortunately, the Steelers have one of the best kickers in the NFL as Chris Boswell knocked home three field goals for the Steelers from 27 yards, 52 yards, and the game-winner in overtime from 37 yards.
The best number for Steelers could have come up with on Sunday night, they earned their third win of the season. Being able to get back to .500 before the bye should give the Steelers a boost as they move forward for the remainder of the NFL season. In getting their third win, the Steelers won their first overtime game since Week 17 of the 2016 NFL season when Landry Jones hit Cobi Hamilton for a 26-yard touchdown pass to defeat the Cleveland Browns.
So there are some numbers to help put the Steelers Week 6 win in perspective. While their performance was encouraging, it is more important for the Steelers to build on their win against the Seahawks and keep things going in the right direction coming out of their bye week.
So what numbers from Sunday night’s game stand out to you? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.