The 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers are now on a four-game win streak with a 29-27 victory over the Bears at Heinz Field on Monday night. With the Steelers having a two touchdown lead going into the fourth quarter, Steelers’ Nation did not think it was going to come down to a game-winning drive in the final minutes for the Steelers to secure the victory. Although the path was tumultuous, the end result got the Steelers their fifth win of the 2021 season.
So without further ado, here are some of the numbers involved in the Steelers win over the Bears.
With the Steelers rushing for 105 yards in the game, it marks a streak of 21-straight games in which the Steelers hit the century mark rushing the ball which resulted in a victory. Since the game before the streak began with a tie, the Steelers have actually gone 24-straight games without a loss where they rushed for 100 or more yards. The breakdown for the game was Najee Harris with 62 yards on 22 carries, Benny Snell with 6 yards on two carries, Chase Claypool and James Washington each with 13 yards on two carries, and Diontae Johnson with 11 yards on two carries. Ben Roethlisberger also had two carries in the game, but his one-yard run was cancelled by his kneel down of negative one yards to end the first half.
The Steelers scored seven points off of turnovers in this game as their second touchdown of the game came after a Cameron Heyward interception. It was the first time in the 2021 season where the Steelers scored a touchdown on a drive that started with a takeaway.
The Steelers went for it on fourth down twice in this game, both cases when they were in field-goal range. On the two 4th & 1 attempts, the Steelers converted both of them with runs by Najee Harris. Not only did they convert on both occasions, the drives both ended in touchdowns giving the Steelers an additional seven points by going for it. The reason it was not eight additional points was because of the missed extra point.
Looking at the number of 21 on the negative side of things, it was the number of points the Bears scored in the fourth quarter in order to come back and take the lead in the game. With the Steelers leading 20-6 to start the final 15 minutes of the game, they surrendered three touchdowns, one of which was the return from a fumble on a punt.
On Monday night, rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth doubled his touchdown total on the season. Coming in with two receiving touchdowns in his rookie year, Freiermuth added two touchdowns on the night, one in the second quarter and one in the third quarter. In all, Freiermuth ended the game with five receptions on six targets and 43 receiving yards.
After kicking a field goal with just under 12 minutes remaining in the game to take a 10-point lead, the Steelers managed to get a takeaway on the ensuing kickoff. Getting the ball at the Bears 42-yard line in a prime position to put the game away, the Steelers only managed 3 yards on the drive even after getting a first down. A sack of Ben Roethlisberger which lost 9 yards left the Steelers with a forth and 18 from the 39 yard line. Instead of getting any points off the turnover, the Steelers managed to punt the ball which ultimately went into the end zone and only gave them 19 yards of field position.
Coming in to the game as the 32nd ranked offense in the NFL only averaging 264 yards per game, the Chicago Bears had 414 total yards of offense in the game. Despite having only 127 yards of offense in the first half, the Bears had 143 yards in the third quarter and 144 yards in the fourth quarter. Although the Bears were the fifth ranked rushing offense coming into Week 9 averaging 136.6 yards per game on the ground, they basically matched their average by rushing for 136 yards. It was the yards through the air, 278 net yards to be exact with only 52 of them coming in the first half, which gave the Bears a much greater output than normal as they had only been averaging 127.4 yards per game in the passing department.
Once again, one of the biggest reasons the Steelers managed a victory was they were +1 in the turnover margin. With each team having a special teams turnover, it was ultimately Cam Heyward‘s interception of Justin Fields which gave the Steelers the takeaway advantage, even though both teams managed seven points off of the turnovers they generated.
1, 19, & 150
The victory on Monday night hit several milestones for the Pittsburgh Steelers. First, it was Mike Tomlin’s first victory in four games over the Chicago Bears since he took over as the Steelers head coach in 2007.
Monday night’s victory also marked the 19th-straight game the Steelers won at home on Monday Night Football. Although the Steelers did have a loss on Monday last season against the Washington Football Team, it was a 5 PM kickoff and not part of the MNF telecast. The Steelers last home loss on Monday Night Football was on October 14, 1991. The only players on the current 53-man roster who were already born at the time were Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Heyward, Joe Haden, and Chris Boswell. B.J. Finney was born 12 days later.
The other milestone achieved with the Steelers victory against the Bears was it was Mike Tomlin’s 150th career win, surpassing Bill Cowher on the Steelers all-time win list for head coaches.
54, 52, & 40
Steelers kicker Chris Boswell returned Monday night after missing half of the Steelers game in Week 8 with a concussion. Although he missed an extra point in the third-quarter, Boswell was 3 for 3 on field goals in the fourth quarter, hitting from 54 yards, 52 yards, and the game-winning field goal from 40 yards. All three kicks were a farther distance than the Steelers punting average on the night which was 39.2 yards.
In what has become a trend, I save the best number for last. Even though the Pittsburgh Steelers almost blew a 14-point fourth quarter lead, almost doesn’t count when it comes to determining records. Instead, the Steelers eked out their fifth win of the season and have moved into second place in the AFC North only one game behind the Baltimore Ravens.
So there are some numbers to help put the Steelers Week 9 win in perspective. While their performance was enough to get the win, there are plenty of points to improve upon as the Steelers head into a short week.
So what numbers from Monday night’s game stand out to you? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.