The Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 season is now just about a quarter of the way over and the Steelers fell short for the third-straight game. Dropping to 1-3, the Steelers now have put themselves in a big hole to start the season and don’t have the easiest stretch of games to get things back on track.
So without further ado, here are some of the numbers involved in the Steelers loss to the Browns.
This is the number I start with every week. The Steelers once again came up on the wrong side of the turnover margin as they threw four interceptions while having two takeaways of their own. One of these interceptions was on the final play the game on the heave into the end zone, it was the one before that which really changed the tide. Sometimes turnovers are bad plays, bad decisions, or just tough breaks. Either way, when the the majority of them go in a team’s favor it really goes along way towards victory.
The Steelers found themselves down by two scores early in the game on Sunday as they trailed 10–0 just over two minutes into the second quarter. The Steelers were able to overcome the 10-point deficit and took their own 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter. But the 10 points were not enough as the Jets also erased the 10-point deficit to win the game.
With the Steelers run defense getting a lot of scrutiny, they were able to hold their opponent to under 100 yards for the first time in 2022. The Steelers surrendered 98 yards on the ground on 29 rushing attempts for a 3.4 yards per carry average. The Jets rushing attack was fairly even between the two halves as they rushed for 50 yards on 15 attempts in the first half and 48 yards on 14 attempts in the second half.
As the season has gone on for the Pittsburgh Steelers, they have had a higher total of rushing yards each game in 2022. Going over 100 yards for the first time last week with 104, the Steelers rushed for 119 yards on 31 rushing attempts for a 3.8 yards per carry average. Both Steelers running backs had averages over 4 yards per carry as Najee Harris had 74 rushing yards on 18 carries for a 4.1 average while Jaylen Warren had 18 yards on three carries for a 6.0 average.
For the first three games of the season, the Steelers time of possession has been under scrutiny and has often been used as a reason as to why the Steelers defense might struggle late in the game. In Week 4, when the Steelers blew a 10-point lead by surrendering 14 points the only two drives the Jets had in the quarter, it was not due to being on the field for far too long. The Steelers actually held a 0:02 advantage in time of possession as they were credited with 30:01 while the Jets had 29:59. Even though the time of possession was overwhelming in the Jets favor in the fourth quarter at 9:23 to 5:37, it wasn’t like the Steelers defense was on the field the entire game up to that point.
The New York Jets had 348 yards of offense, and 161 of those yards came in the fourth quarter. The Jets only had two positions in the fourth quarter which both went for touchdowns. New York first had an 81-yard drive for a touchdown followed by a 65-yard drive. The Jets had an extra 15 yards in offense as they overcame some penalty yardage as well. In the quarter, the Steelers surrendered three or four third-down conversions and then gave up the ensuing fourth down conversion as the Jets completed 83% of their passes and went 10 for 12 for 128 passing yards.
Other than the big zero which will be talked about in the last section, there were several other zeros in this game. First, it’s the number of receptions by wide receiver Chase Claypool. Additionally, it’s the number of punts by the Steelers in the second half of the game as they went five for six on third down and was one for one on fourth down on the only play that wasn’t converted. Kenny Pickett also had zero passes that were not caught in the game. Having 13 pass attempts, Steelers receivers caught 10 of the passes while jets defenders caught the other three.
To highlight some other encouraging performances from the Steelers, rookie wide receiver George Pickens had his first 100-yard receiving game as he had 102 yards on six receptions. Once Kenny Pickett came into the game, Pickens had four receptions on four targets for 71 yards.
Despite the loss, one play that needs outlined is Chris Boswell setting the Heinz Field/Acrisure Stadium NFL record with a 59-yard field goal to end the first half.
Unfortunately, this number has been held in the same spot now for three straight weeks. Despite the excitement of Kenny Pickett coming into the game and leading the Steelers back, it still wasn’t enough and the Steelers did not get to put a tally in the win column. Even looking at everything else, this is ultimately the most important number.
So there are some numbers to help put the Steelers Week 4 loss in perspective. Even though the offense showed life in the second half, the defense continued to struggle late as the Steelers fell to 1-3.
So what numbers from Sunday’s game stand out to you? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.