The 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers dropped their second-straight game at Heinz Field this season as they fell to the Cincinnati Bengals by a score of 24-10. Despite some intriguing statistics for Steelers, the scoreboard was not in their favor as they dropped to 1–2 on the season.
So without further ado, here are some of the numbers involved in the Steelers to the Bengals in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers’ 75 consecutive regular-season games where they registered at least one sack came to an end on Sunday. Although the Steelers did not register a sack in their last two playoff games over that streak, the last time they did not sack the quarterback in the regular season was in the 2016 season against the New England Patriots.
Not only did the Steelers not get any sacks in the game, they did not officially have a quarterback hit. Although Melvin Ingram did hit Joe Burrow in the final minute of the second quarter, he was flagged on the play which took away the stat even though it was a terrible call. Not only the Steelers not get any quarterback hits, they only had one quarterback pressure the entire game.
Part of the reason the Steelers did not get to the quarterback was they did not have as many opportunities as in previous games. Joe Burrow only attempted 18 passes on Sunday, and although he did not attempt many passes, he did complete 14 of the 18 passes for a 78% completion rate for 172 yards three touchdowns.
Not wanting to focus too much on the number zero, the Pittsburgh Steelers once again scored no points in the first quarter. Including the postseason, it’s the 11th-straight game the Steelers offense did not score a point in the opening quarter. Although the Steelers did put up six points against the Ravens last December, it was on a Joe Haden interception. The last time the Steelers scored offensive points in the first quarter was Week 10 of the 2020 season where they scored 12 points against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field.
Despite putting up 342 yards of offense, the Pittsburgh Steelers only managed to score 10 points in the game. It is the fewest amount of points that Steelers scored in a game since they only scored 10 points in each of the final three games of the 2019 season. The last game in which Ben Roethlisberger was the quarterback and the Steelers did not score more than 10 points was in Week 1 in 2019 when they only scored three points against the New England Patriots.
With the Steelers struggling to stay on the field on offense the first two weeks of the season, they managed to win the time of possession battle by a large margin in Week 3. The Steelers had 35:22 minutes of possession to the Bengals 24:38 which gave them almost an 11 minute advantage in the game. The Steelers used the time to run 77 plays to 42 by the Bengals. Unfortunately, it did not equate to a victory.
In a category that appears to determine the outcome far too often, the Steelers were -1 in the turnover margin category. After getting their first interception of the season, the Steelers subsequent possession gave the ball right back to the Bengals in better field position with the first of two Ben Roethlisberger interceptions. So while the Steelers turned the ball over again after their takeaway, the Bengals turned both of their takeaways into 14 points which was their margin of victory.
This is where I may go on a bit of a rant because it made me very angry. With 1:22 left in the first half, the Steelers converted on third and five with an 18 yard catch and run by Najee Harris. At the conclusion of the play, Harris wisely stayed inbounds in order to keep the clock moving to help run out the first half. Unwisely, the Steelers called timeout with 1:09 left in the half. Rather than taking their time and running another 40 seconds off the clock with three timeouts at their disposal with only three more plays needed to be run at most, the Steelers did the Bengals a favor by giving them plenty of time to respond with a touchdown of their own and kill the momentum Steelers would have had going into halftime.
In trying to find something positive from the game, Steelers rookie running back Najee Harris had 14 receptions on 19 targets and 102 receiving yards. Harris had as many receptions carries in the game. His 14 receptions set a Steelers rookie record.
After the Steelers performance in Week 2, it appears the fan base is already faltering with their dedication to the team. Only counting the number of people who actually come through the turnstiles, the reported attendance at Sunday’s game was 58,076 at Heinz Field. With a capacity of 68,400, the Steelers had more than 10,000 unused tickets on Sunday.
So there are some numbers to help put the Steelers Week 3 loss in perspective. With the offense struggling to put points on the board even worse this week, the banged-up defense had a tall task to keep the Bengals to single-digit points in order to win the game. Dropping their second game in a row, the Steelers have a lot of work to go to end their losing streak.
So what numbers from Sunday’s game stand out to you? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.