The Pittsburgh Steelers came out strong again in the first half against the Indianapolis Colts, but once again had a big letdown in the third quarter. After surrendering their lead, the Steelers finished strong in the fourth quarter to take the lead back and keep the Colts off the scoreboard to leave Indianapolis with a 24-17 win.
So without further ado, here are some of the numbers involved in the Steelers win over the Colts.
Once again the Steelers came out on the right end of the turnover margin. With two takeaways, the Steelers played a clean game and have not had a turnover since their Week 9 bye week. While the Steelers not having any turnovers was a huge advantage, they didn’t score any points off of the turnovers they forced in the game. Even after James Pierre’s interception on the Colts second offensive play set the Steelers up at Indy’s 38-yard line, the Steelers moved the ball down to the 24 before two Kenny Pickett sacks forced them to punt. And even though the Steelers did not score any points off the Chris Wormley fumble recovery, it was the fact the Colts were preparing to push the ball in for another touchdown and the points the defense did not surrender because they were able to get the ball back to the offense.
The Steelers defense did almost everything they could in the first quarter of the game. Not only did they give up no yards, they had an interception and a sack. The Colts had two rushes for 7 yards, but were 0 for 2 in passing with a sack for a 7-yard loss. Because they did not allow a first down, it added to the Colts only possessing the ball for 2:16 in the opening quarter.
For the second-straight game, the Steelers’ offense came out of halftime and did absolutely nothing. With no first downs in the third quarter, the Steelers had two three and outs where they failed to convert a third and one (a rush out of shotgun for no gain) and third and two (a drop by George Pickens). On the final two plays of the half, the Steelers had an incompletion and a one-yard run to finish the quarter with 18 yards of offense and facing a third and nine to start the fourth quarter. After a terrible offensive quarter, they did open the fourth with a completion for a first down plus a roughing the passer penalty.
Even with Najee Harris missing over half the game and Jaylen Warren inactive due to a hamstring injury, the Steelers were able to run the ball effectively against the Colts. With 172 total rushing yards on 36 attempts for a 4.8 yards per carry average, it was Benny Snell leading the way with 62 yards on 12 carries along with a touchdown. Before leaving with his injury, Najee Harris added 35 yards on 10 carries along with the touchdown. In his first game elevated from the practice squad this season, Anthony McFarland had 30 rushing yards on six carries. With Kenny Pickett adding 32 yards on six carries as well, the final yardage came as 4 yards from Derrick Watt and nine from Gunner Olszewski as they each had a rushing attempt. What was even more impressive was both Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland had their first rushing attempts of the 2022 season.
Although Steelers did not put up a bunch of yards through the air, Kenny Pickett was very efficient with his passing. Completing 20 of 28 passing attempts, Pickett had a 71% completion percentage for the night.
With the Steelers averaging 272.1 passing yards surrendered per game, which comes in last in the NFL, they managed to keep the Colts under 200 yards through the air on the night as their net passing yards were 199. It was only the second game of the season the Steelers have held an opponent to under 200 yards passing with the other being their Week 10 win over the New Orleans saints with 157 passing yards.
What really changed the Steelers fortunes in the second half was the Colt’s 89-yard kick off return to start the third quarter and put the Colts in the red zone for their first offensive play. In all, the Steelers surrendered 225 kick return yards on 15 returns for a 45-yard average.
25% vs. 50%
When it came to third down conversions, the Steelers held a decisive advantage on the night. Converting 7 of 14 third-down attempts, the Steelers held a 50% conversion rate while the defense held the Colts to only 3 third down conversions on 12 attempts for a 25% conversion rate. It should be noted that the Colts also were two for three on fourth down conversions with the only missed conversion being the one to potentially win the game.
There were a number of firsts for Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett in Monday night’s game. Just to list a few, it was his first victory on the road as an NFL starting quarterback. Pickett also got his first prime time victory in the NFL, which also was his first Monday Night Football victory. Additionally, it was the first game where Kenny Pickett led the Steelers back from trailing in the fourth quarter to win the game.
This is the big one. This is the number we’re looking for each week, except for those who are only worried about the Steelers getting a higher draft pick. After their performance on Monday night, the Pittsburgh Steelers were able to put another tally in their win column increasing the number by one up to four victories on the season.
So there are some numbers to help put the Steelers Week 12 win in perspective. The Steelers did some nice things, particularly in the first half, they also came through on both sides of the ball in the fourth quarter.
So what numbers from Monday night’s game stand out to you? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.