The Pittsburgh Steelers came out of their bye and got the second half of their season started off right with a victory over the New Orleans Saints. Yes, the Steelers are still 3-6, but all they can do now is try to stack some wins over the next several weeks. But before looking too far ahead, it’s time to check the numbers from Sunday’s win.
So without further ado, here are some of the numbers involved in the Steelers win over the Saints.
The Steelers played a clean game in the turnover department and had two fourth-quarter interceptions to finish +2 on the day. Yes, Najee Harris did have a fumble in which the Steelers recovered, but Andy Dalton was also able to get back on his fumble from Alex Highsmith’s strip sack. Regardless, the Steelers came out on the right side of the turnover margin which helped them come out on the right side on the scoreboard.
The Pittsburgh Steelers had a coming out party in regards to running the football on Sunday. The Steelers rushed for 217 yards on 43 rushing attempts for a 5.0 yards per carry average. Even with so many rushing yards, the Steelers did not have a 100-yard rusher as Najee Harris ended with 99 yards on 20 carries. But it was the Steelers getting rushing yards from multiple players which led to such a big number. In fact, it is the most rushing yards the Steelers have had in a long time as they not been over the 200 yard mark since Week 14 of the 2016 season when they rushed for 240 yards in Buffalo against the Bills. This was also the most rushing yards the Steelers had in a home game since Week 14 of the 2006 season when they rushed for 303 yards against the Cleveland Browns.
As much as the Steelers were able e to run the ball, they shut down the run of the New Orleans Saints. Only rushing for 29 yards on 15 attempts, the Saints averaged 1.9 yards per carry. Other than a 14-yard run by Alvin Kamara in the second quarter, the Saints only had one other run of 5 yards which came on a third and 18 in the third-quarter. Otherwise, all other rushing attempts were 3 yards or less. Shutting down the run was simply not a result of the Saints needing to constantly pass the ball to get back in the game as the Steelers did not take the lead in the second half until the fourth quarter.
Sometimes a team dominates the time of possession because their opponent is scoring on them quickly. On Sunday this was not the case as the Steelers nearly 18 minute advantage of time of possession was due to them controlling the ball throughout the game. The Steelers possessed the ball for 38:56 while the Saints only had the ball for 21:04.
The Steelers defensive performance in the second half cannot be overstated. Not only did they hold the Saints to 43 yards of offense over the final 30 minutes, they only allowed one first down in the entire second half. That first down came on the Saints’ second drive of the half when they converted a third and 10 with a 14 yard pass to Chris Olave. After that first down, the Steelers moved the Saints backwards on the next set of downs and forced a punt. Otherwise, the Steelers kept the Saints from reaching the sticks in their other four drives of the half.
The Pittsburgh Steelers offense was very efficient as they converted 9 of 17 third-down attempts for a 53% conversion rate. After going 3 for 8 on third downs in the first half, the Steelers were 6 of 9 in the second half.
One place the Steelers fell short on Sunday was the red zone efficiency. Getting into the red zone five times in the game, the Steelers only came away with two touchdowns and three field goal attempts with only two of them being successful. As for the other side of the ball, the Saints scored a touchdown on their only red zone possession of the game. Fortunately, the Steelers only allowed the Saints to even cross midfield on two of their drives the entire game.
On the season, the Pittsburgh Steelers did not have a rush of 20 yards or more coming into Week 10. Against the Saints, the Steelers had for rushes of over 20 yards. What is even more interesting is all four rushes came from a different player. Najee Harris had a 36-yard run, Kenny Pickett had a 23-yard run, George Pickens had a 22-yard run, and Jaylen Warren had a 21-yard run.
Although some may find a way to complain about the overall yardage, the Steelers only punted the ball three times on Sunday for a 41.0 yards per punt average. All three of the Steelers punts came in the first half as the Steelers either scored a touchdown, attempted a field goal, or ran out the clock to conclude all of their second-half drives.
It’s the one I save for last as it’s always the most important. The Steelers got to add one tally to their win total column for the 2022 season.
So there are some numbers to help put the Steelers Week 10 win in perspective. In a game that could have been even a bigger scoring margin if the Steelers had converted their field goals, they did what they had to do to secure the victory.
So what numbers from Sunday’s game stand out to you? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.