The Pittsburgh Steelers have reached their much-needed by week. But first, they dropped their sixth loss of the season, this time to the Philadelphia Eagles. I’m not sure which is worse, the 35-13 score or the Steelers current record of 2-6.
So without further ado, here are some of the numbers involved in the Steelers loss to the Eagles.
Coming into weekend, the Philadelphia Eagles were leading the NFL with a turnover margin of +12. After facing the Steelers, they pushed that number up to +14 as they had two takeaways where the Steelers had none. When facing a team that thrives off of takeaways the way the Eagles do, the best chance the Steelers had was to come out on the positive side of the battle. They did not.
There were a large number of statistics from this game that don’t accurately portray the problems with the Pittsburgh Steelers. For example, the Steelers had 144 rushing yards in the game on 24 attempts for a 6.0 yards per carry average. Although this is the most yards they have had in a game this season, it does not reflect the Steelers inability to run the football when it was necessary. Running back Najee Harris had 0 yards on four carries in the first half. Before the game was completely out of hand and the Steelers needed rushing yards, they simply didn’t get them. Of the 144 yards, 93 came in the second half with 56 coming in the fourth quarter. By this time, the Eagles were content to let the Steelers run as much as they wanted.
Here’s another statistic that would normally look as if it was encouraging as the Steelers possess the ball for more than 8 1/2 minutes more than a Philadelphia Eagles in this game. With 34:18 time of possession for the Steelers to the Eagles 25:42, it goes to show that possessing the football for a large amount of time can be helpful, but not when teams fail to put points on the scoreboard.
The Steelers actually had more first downs in the game than the Philadelphia Eagles had. This is even more surprising when it is noted that a touchdown also counts as a first down. For the game, the Steelers had 21 first downs to the Eagles’ 20.
The Steelers defense also kept the Eagles from taking a snap in the red zone until the fourth quarter of the game. In all, the Eagles only made it into the red zone one time. Philly only ran one play in the red zone and it was an 11-yard touchdown run by Miles Sanders. The reason this is the case is they scored their other four touchdowns from outside of the red zone.
The Steelers played a sloppy brand of football on Sunday and they were called for nine accepted penalties for 60 yards. Ranging from multiple illegal formations, ineligible players downfield, and kickoffs out of bounds, the Steelers were not doing themselves any favors throughout the game. It should also be noted that the Eagles had eight penalties accepted against them also for 60 yards.
The Steelers offensive line struggled with protecting the quarterback on Sunday. While the Philadelphia Eagles defensive line may very well be the best in the NFL, the Steelers offensive line did not step up to the task as hoped. In all, Kenny Pickett took 11 quarterback hits in the game, six of which were sacks. This does not count another play where Pickett was sacked but it was negated due to a defensive holding penalty.
for the entire game, the Pittsburgh Steelers only had one third-down conversion. The only successful third-down conversion the Steelers had was on their touchdown drive where Kenny Pickett ran a quarterback sneak for 2 yards on a third and one at the Eagles 44-yard line in the first quarter. For the game, the Steelers officially were 1 for 12 on third downs which is an 8% conversion rate. As bad as it was, the Steelers were 4 for 4 on fourth-down attempts.
While it was very disappointing that George Pickens did not have a reception in the game that stood, what is just as disappointing is that he was only targeted three times in the game. To put it in perspective, A.J. Brown had as many touchdown receptions as George Pickens had targets on Sunday.
The Steelers didn’t win. I didn’t expect the Steelers to win. But there was more to this game than the win or the loss, there was also playing well against quality competition. And the Steelers weren’t able to do that and were never really in the game after the Eagles second touchdown. So even though no number gets added to the win column, there also was not very much to build on going forward.
So there are some numbers to help put the Steelers Week 8 loss in perspective. In a game that was much more lopsided on the scoreboard than some of the statistics show, the Steelers once again showed they are not on the same level as the NFL’s top teams.
So what numbers from Sunday night’s game stand out to you? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.