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Analyzing the Steelers Week 8 win over the Browns, by the numbers

It was not a conventional win, or a conventional score, but it got the Steelers out of Cleveland with a victory.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers are now on a three-game win streak with a 15-10 victory over the Browns in Cleveland on Sunday. The Steelers had to make some non-traditional decision the second half of the game as they did not have a placekicker after Chris Boswell left the game with a concussion in the final two minutes of the first half. Although the Steelers had to make some atypical calls, it ultimately paid off as they scored the game-winning touchdown on a fourth-down play. Regardless of how they got there, the 15 points scored was enough to get the win.

So without further ado, here are some of the numbers involved in the Steelers win over the Browns in Cleveland.


96

One of the biggest concerns for the Steelers entering this game was taking on the number one rushing offense in the NFL of the Cleveland Browns. The Steelers were up to the task and held the Browns to only 96 rushing yards on the day. With Nick Chubb returning to the lineup after missing Week 7, he only rushed for 61 yards on 16 attempts.


115

With the Steelers toward the bottom of the NFL in rushing offense, they outgained the Browns on the ground with 115 yards on 32 carries. Najee Harris lead the way for the Steelers with 91 rushing yards on 26 attempts as well as an 8-yard touchdown. It now marks the 20th-straight victory in games where the Steelers rush for at least 100 yards.


3-10

The Steelers defense did the job again in Week 8 and held the Browns to a 30% conversion rate on third downs. The Browns only converted three times in the game on third down out of 10 chances. Additionally, the Steelers held the Browns on both of their fourth down attempts.


5

The Steelers offensive line is continuing to grow throughout the 2021 season. Not only did they open up some lanes in the running game, they kept Ben Roethlisberger upright for most of the day. The Browns were only able to get five quarterback hits in the game, two of which were sacks. In turn, the Steelers were able to get four sacks of Baker Mayfield, all of which occurred in the first half.


4 for 44

Rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth had another solid game for the Steelers. Seemingly quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s first option on many occasions, Freiermuth was target seven times and had four catches for 44 yards and the game-winning touchdown.


2 for 4

The Steelers attempted four fourth-down conversion in the game and converted two of them. One of the conversions was a tough one-yard run by Najee Harris in the first half. The other conversion for the Steelers was Pat Freiermuth’s game-winning touchdown. The two plays in which the Steelers did not convert was the faked field goal attempt which knocked Chris Boswell out of the game, and the final play the game when Ben Roethlisberger scrambled and heaved the ball into the end zone in order to run out the clock.


50

In order to get to the point where the Steelers could run out the clock on a fourth down, they first had to convert at least one first down on their final possession. On the Steelers second play the drive, Ben Roethlisberger hit Diontae Johnson on a quick slant which he ran for 50 yards and wisely stayed inbounds to make Cleveland use one of their precious timeouts.


+1

Once again proving to be a key statistic, the Steelers came out on the right end of the turnover margin as Joe Schobert forced a fumble from wide receiver Jarvis Landry and T.J. Watt was there to pounce on the ball. With the Steelers doing an excellent job of taking care of the football and not turning it over, the one takeaway by the defense did not result in any points. Most importantly, the fourth quarter takeaway the Steelers came up with killed the Cleveland Browns drive and helped improve their field position.


27

With the victory in Cleveland on Sunday, Ben Roethlisberger had his 27th win in the state of Ohio in his NFL career, including both the regular and postseason. It was Roethlisberger’s 12th win in Cleveland in 15 games to go along with 15 wins in 18 games in Cincinnati. It was Roethlisberger’s first win in Cleveland since Week 1 of 2017 as his only other start since was a Week 1 tie in 2018.


4

Once again, it’s the most important number of them all with the Pittsburgh Steelers getting their fourth victory of the 2021 season. Even though they were only able to put 15 points on the board, style points do not matter as the Steelers were able to exit Cleveland with the victory.


So there are some numbers to help put the Steelers Week 8 win in perspective. While their performance was enough to get the win, what was even more important was getting a victory in the division, as well as on the road.

So what numbers from Sunday’s game stand out to you? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.