The Pittsburgh Steelers had a repeat of the second half of their Week 13 win when they were unable to stop the run. With it being the entire game this week, it ultimately led to a 16-14 defeat at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens. Falling to 5-8 overall, and 2-4 at home, the Steelers will need a fantastic four games in order to avoid losing records in both respects.
So without further ado, here are some of the numbers involved in the Steelers loss to the Ravens.
Yikes. After going four games coming out of bye where the Steelers put up a positive turnover margin as they didn’t turn the ball over at all themselves, throwing three interceptions and not having any takeaways of their own played a huge part of this game. Any one of those interceptions could have changed things in the two-point margin the Steelers experienced. Additionally, if the Steelers could have pulled off one takeaway, much like the one they almost got on the “dual possession” fumble, it would have made a difference as well.
The Steelers woes in stopping the run which started in the second half against Atlanta continued for the entire game on Sunday. The Steeler surrendered 215 yards on 42 rushing attempts for a 5.1 yards per carry average. In the first half the Steelers surrendered 127 yards on 20 carries and in the second half it was 88 yards on 22 carries. Of those second half carries, three of them were kneel downs for a total loss of 5 yards. J.K. Dobbins led the way with 120 yards on 15 carries for an 8.0 yards per attempt average. Whether it was in the first half or second half, the Steelers simply didn’t get the job done in containing the Ravens rushing attack.
Speaking of the running game, the Steelers rushed the ball for 52 yards on 14 attempts in the first half for a 3.71 yards per carry average. But in the second half, the Steelers pretty much abandoned the run as they only had six rushing attempts for 13 yards. Najee Harris only had two carries from 1 yard in the second half after rushing for 32 yards on 10 carries in the first. As soon as the Steelers first rushing play in the second half was shut down, they went to about a 4 to 1 ratio of passing to running the rest of the way.
Even though the Steelers transitioned to utilizing the passing game in the second half, how they distributed the ball is quite puzzling. On the game, George Pickens had 78 receiving yards on three receptions. What is curious is that he only had three targets in the entire game. In the second half, Pickens was only targeted once for an 11-yard reception. With such a dynamic playmaker, it is curious how he is not utilized more both by his quarterback and with the offensive scheme throughout the game.
While the Steelers threw the ball 31 times with 22 completions for 276 yards, the Baltimore Ravens only had 17 passing attempts between their two quarterbacks who played. With only 11 completions 104 yards (94 yards net), the Ravens simply didn’t pass the ball because they didn’t need to pass the ball. Even when the Steelers knew a run was coming at the end of the game they simply couldn’t stop it.
Another number 17 from this game came in the form of the horrendous punt by Pressley Harvin in the first quarter. Following the Steelers only three and out which proved to be Kenny Pickett‘s last snaps of the game, Harvin punted the ball from his own 31-yard line just across midfield only to see the ball bounce backwards and ultimately get downed at the Steelers 48. Given their best field position of the game, the Ravens took little time to score their only touchdown two plays later.
1 of 8 vs. 3 of 5
Throughout the majority of the game, the Steelers did a great job of containing the Ravens on third down. Threw three quarters, the Steelers only gave up one third-down conversion on eight attempts. The only conversion came on a busted coverage play on a third and seven where Tyler Huntley hit DeSean Jackson for 25 yards. But once the fourth quarter began, the Ravens had five more third down opportunities in which they converted three of them, two of which came on the ground. Ultimately, it was surrendering these conversions which made the difference in the game.
The longest drive of the game from a time standpoint by either team came by the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth quarter. After the Steelers failed to finish off another drive, this time with a blocked field goal, the Ravens moved the ball 57 yards on 13 plays where they finished off their drive with a 30-yard field goal to push their lead to nine points. At a time where the Steelers needed a stop in order to give their offense another opportunity, they simply could not do it until almost 8 minutes later.
2 of 4
I’m going to throw a lot of numbers out here with this one. The main statistic is how the Steelers went two of four in the red zone for the game. While scoring touchdowns in half of the red zone trips might seem to be successful, it’s the fact that the other two trips came up empty in the points department which ultimately lost them a game. One red zone trip ended in an interception while the other resulted in a sack taking the Steelers out of the red zone and ultimately concluded with a blocked field goal. When looking at drives that went inside the 25-yard line of their opponents, the Steelers had five of them but only put points on the board twice. As for the Ravens, they reached the Steelers 25-yard line four times with drives ending in a touchdown and three field goals. As much as finishing drives with a touchdown is important, coming away with no points on more than half of their drives inside their opponent’s 25-yard line is devastating.
Steelers had every opportunity to pull out a win in this game but they simply couldn’t do it. With the Ravens’ quarterbacks unable to get things going significantly in the passing game, the Steelers couldn’t get the job done despite focusing on the run. Because of all of these factors listed above, there is no tally added to the win column.
So there are some numbers to help put the Steelers Week 14 loss in perspective. The Steelers moved the ball down the field on multiple occasions but couldn’t put enough numbers on the scoreboard.
So what numbers from Sunday’s game stand out to you? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.