The 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers dropped their third-straight game of the season as they fell to the Green Bay Packers by a score of 27-17 at Lambeau Field. Even with all the “what ifs” which could have changed the game significantly, the Steelers were on the wrong side of the scoreboard and now find themselves 1-3 as they return home to Heinz Field for Week 5.
So without further ado, here are some of the numbers involved in the Steelers loss to the Packers in Green Bay.
On the first drive of the game, the Pittsburgh Steelers put seven points on the board after Ben Roethlisberger connected with a 45-yard touchdown pass to Diontae Johnson on a free play where the Green Bay Packers jumped offside. It was the first time the Steelers have scored an opening possession touchdown in a game since Week 7 of 2020 against the Tennessee Titans. It was the first offensive score in the first quarter since Week 10 of the 2020 season as the Steelers had gone 11-straight games without a first-quarter score.
After the Steelers scored on their opening drive, they forced a punt by the Packers on their opening position. After this drive, the Steelers saw the Packers score 17 points in the second quarter take a 17-10 halftime lead.
The Steelers continued to surrender points with their defense as the biggest issue was being able to get off the field on third down. In all, the Packers were nine of 15 on third down conversions for a 60% rate.
The Steelers attempted two fourth-down conversions in the game and came up short on both occasions. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Ben Roethlisberger became the first quarterback in 20 years to complete two fourth-down passes in the same season which went for negative yards.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Najee Harris did much better than before with getting the running game going. With 15 carries, Harris rushed for 62 yards which came to a 4.1 yards per carry average.
As for the other Steelers 2021 high draft pick, tight end Pat Freiermuth did not get in on the action very much on Sunday. Only targeted one time in the game, Freiermuth had one reception for 8 yards against the Packers.
At the end of the second quarter, the Pittsburgh Steelers blocked a 31-yard field goal attempt returned it 75 yards for a touchdown. Unfortunately, the Steelers were flagged for being offside. So far, I haven’t been able to find anyone who believes the Steelers actually were offside on the play. By the officials making the bogus call, they created a 10-point swing in favor of the Green Bay Packers as it took the points off the board for the Steelers and allowed the Packers to kick their field goal gain. Although the entire second half is a mystery as to how it would have played out had to Steelers taken the lead, that’s a second half game I would have loved to have seen.
Keeping with the turnover theme which I discussed of the Steelers Stat Geek podcast, the Steelers lost the turnover battle on Sunday as they were -1 on the day. Although Steelers managed a takeaway, they turned the ball over two times to the Packers. The 2021 trend continues for both teams have a Steelers have not won a game in which they had a negative turnover margin, and the Packers have not lost a game in which they had a positive turnover margin.
The Pittsburgh Steelers offense went 11:02 on the game clock without being able to run an offensive play during the game. After hitting a 52-yard field goal, the Steelers kicked off to the Packers with just under 5 1/2 minutes to go in the half. The Packers ran down the clock to where their field goal only left enough time for a kickoff. With the Packers deferring and getting the ball to start the third quarter, they went on another drive which ended a 29-yard field goal after almost another 5 1/2 minutes. In all, the Steelers offense did not take the field again until 11:02 ran off the game clock.
The Steelers struggled with stopping the run game of the Packers. With run defense being dominating in the past for the Steelers, Pittsburgh surrendered 131 rushing yards to the Packers on 33 carries. In all, the Packers averaged 4.0 yards per rush.
So there are some numbers to help put the Steelers Week 4 loss in perspective. With the offense struggling to put points on the board yet again this week, the defense struggled to get stops throughout the game. Dropping their third game in a row, the Steelers still have work to do to end their losing streak.
So what numbers from Sunday’s game stand out to you? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.