The Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 season has kicked off! It has been more than 200 days since our beloved Steelers last took the field, and Week 1 of the preseason gave us a look at part of the Steelers’ roster for the upcoming season. With so much change coming for this year, seeing the new-look Steelers offense come through to get the victory with the help of a splash play on defense can give fans a lot to be excited about.
Now that the 2022 preseason is getting underway, here are some of the numbers involved in the Steelers win over the Seahawks.
With all the focus being on the three quarterbacks getting their first action of the 2022 season, the Steelers running attack really made a difference in their ability to move the ball. With 185 rushing yards on 27 rushing attempts, the Steelers averaged 6.9 yards per attempt. During the 2021 season, the Steelers only had one game in which they rushed from more on the total they put up to start the 2022 preseason, which was in Week 17 against the Cleveland Browns with 190 rushing yards.
54% vs. 45%
While a lot could be said for the specific numbers of each quarterback, where things really begin to shine for the Steelers is the fact that they had over a 50% third-down efficiency as they were 7 of 13 for 54%. When it came to the defensive side of the ball, the Steelers held their opponent under 50% on third-down efficiency as the Seahawks were five of 11 for 45%. It was not until the final drive of the first half by the Seahawks when they finally had a third-down conversion.
Usually it is the turnover margin that stands out, but the fact the Steelers did not have a turnover in their first preseason game is significant. Although the Steelers offense did put the ball in the ground a couple of times, they were able to recover their own fumbles. Additionally, they were a couple near interceptions where Seahawk players weren’t able to come away with the ball and kept the Steelers clean in the turnover column. By getting a fumble recovery really late in the game to set up the winning score, the Steelers ended up on the positive side of the turnover differential.
Between the three quarterbacks, the Steelers managed to complete 70% of their passes. In all, the Steelers completed 26 of their 37 passing attempts for 251 passing yards and a 70% completion rate.
Unfortunately, the Steelers also seemed to pick up where they left off last season in surrendering too many yards on the ground. In all, the Steelers surrendered 159 rushing yards on 26 attempts where the Seahawks averaged 6.1 yards per carry.
Throughout the game, there were 12 different players who were targeted in the Steelers’ passing game. Every player who was targeted received at least two targets, and all 12 players had at least one reception. Of the 12 players, eight were wide receivers, three were tight ends, and one was a running back.
One area of the game which may get overlooked was a key drive for the Steelers in the second quarter. Taking over from their own 10-yard line with 12:45 left on the clock, Mason Rudolph leda 17-play drive which moved the ball 87 yards to the Seahawks’ 3-yard line. Although the drive ultimately stalled and the Steelers settled for a field goal, it took 8:22 off the clock and was the longest drive from a time perspective in the game.
Another place where the Steelers can improve throughout the preseason is getting pressure on the quarterback. Although none of the defensive front five who are expected to be starters for 2022 played in the game, the Steelers did not get a lot of pressure on the quarterback. Although they came away with 3.0 sacks in the game, the Steelers only had four quarterback hits while the Seahawks managed seven quarterback hits on the night.
The fact that Steelers put up 32 points for the game was quite impressive by the offense. The Steelers managed four touchdowns, a two point conversion, and field goal. Only one time in the 2021 NFL season did the Steelers score over 30 points, which was in a 41–37 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Steelers also stood out on special teams. Although they only had one punt return, it went for 38 yards by Steven Sims and set the Steelers up for their second touchdown. On the other side, the Steelers only gave up seven return yards on two punts by the Seahawks. Ironically, Sims also added a 38-yard rush during the game.
So there are some numbers to help evaluate the Steelers’ opening preseason game of the 2022 season. It obviously wasn’t perfect, but the Steelers managed to still win the game and get a good look at a lot of their young players.
So what numbers from Saturday night’s game stand out to you? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.