The Pittsburgh Steelers came out strong again in the first half against the Atlanta Falcons. After the Falcons found their running game in the second half making possessions very few, the Steelers special teams helped pin Atlanta deep and the defense only needed one play to force the turnover and seal the 19-16 win.
So without further ado, here are some of the numbers involved in the Steelers win over the Falcons.
This number really proved to be important and came about completely in the fourth quarter. Appearing as if the Steelers going to have their first turnover since their bye week, it was ultimately ruled that Diontae Johnson never caught the ball before he fumbled it away and the Steelers were able to punt. It was then looking as if the turnover margin was going to stay even, but in the final minute on the Falcons first play of their drive where they were looking for a tying field goal everything changed. Minkah Fitzpatrick came up with the interception and wisely did not take it in for the score in order so the Steelers offense could take victory formation.
The Steelers once again were able to get things going on the ground with 154 rushing yards on 37 carries for a 4.2 yards per attempt average. This marks the fifth-straight game the Steelers have gone over 100 yards rushing. Najee Harris lead the way with 86 yards on 17 carries while Benny Snell added another 24 yards on six carries.
With running the ball being the forte for both teams on Sunday, possessions were at a premium. Not counting the two possessions where the Steelers ran out each half, they only had seven offensive possessions in the game. The Steelers made the most of their possessions as they scored on five of them. As for the Falcons, they managed eight positions while scoring four times.
The Steelers were once again very efficient on offense in getting into scoring position. For this reason, the Steelers did not punt the football until the second play of the fourth quarter. This means that just over 45 minutes of clock time had elapsed before Pressley Harvin had to touch his foot to the ball.
Sticking with the punting theme, not only did Pressley Harvin only punt twice with a 42.5-yard net punting average, his final punt pinned the Falcons at their own 2-yard line. This put the Falcons in a dire situation in which they were deep in their own territory needing to move into field goal range with only 0:42 left in the game and no timeouts. It was great to see the Steelers punt team step up and play the field position game when it was most important.
The Steelers once again managed to convert half of their third down attemps as they were 6 of 12 for the game for a 50% efficiency rating. It was the first half that saw more conversions as the Steelers were five of eight while only going 1 of 4 in the second half. On the defensive side, the Falcons were 3 of 10 on third downs for the game with no conversions on 4 attempts in the first half but 3 of 6 in the second half.
One welcomed statistic from the Steelers passing game is that they were not sacked at all in the game. It was the first time since Week 10 of the 2021 season in their tie with the Detroit Lions where the Steelers have not been sacked. On the flip side, the Steelers were only able to get home for one sack of their own.
Before Connor Heyward caught the Steelers only touchdown of the day from 17 yards away, the Steelers were set up in the red zone by their longest offensive play of the 2022 season. Pat Freiermuth was able to elude defenders and run down the sideline for a 57-yard catch-and-run setting up the Steelers only touchdown of the day.
For the second-straight week, the Pittsburgh Steelers were able to score on five of their drives. Unfortunately, the offense has been settling more for field goals than finishing off with touchdowns. The Steelers only had one touchdown compared to four field goals this week after last week the ratio was 2:3. While the Steelers are improving with their points scored, being able to finish off drives with touchdowns will be key over their last five games.
This is the biggest number of them all, and for the first time this season I’ve got to keep it here from the previous week. The Steelers were able to add another number to their win column. Being able to do this three of the last four games, the Steelers are barely keeping them selves alive as the host the Baltimore Ravens in a key AFC North matchup next week.
So there are some numbers to help put the Steelers Week 13 win in perspective. The Steelers did some nice things as they continue to grow as a team, but they also have plenty of room for improvement.
So what numbers from Monday night’s game stand out to you? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.