The Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 season is underway. After the excitement that was Week 1 of the preseason at Acrisure Stadium last week, the Steelers hit the road for their second preseason contest. Despite it being a much uglier game than the previous week, the Steelers still managed to get on the plane back to Pittsburgh with a win.
After a second game of three in order to help determine who will make up the 2022 Steelers, here are some of the numbers involved in the Steelers win over the Jaguars.
After having a great game rushing the football for 185 yards last week, the Steelers struggled mightily in running the ball against the Jaguars. With only 24 rushing yards in the game, 8 of which were in the first half and 16 coming in the second half, only 10 yards were gained by running backs. Mataeo Durant had the most rushing yards with one attempt for 7 yards but it came on a play when he fumbled the handoff and had it fortunately bounce right back to him and was able to gain positive yards. The rest of the breakdown of running backs came with Max Borghi having one attempt for 1 yard, Anthony McFarland having two attempts for 1 yard, Jaylen Warren having three attempts for 3 yards, and Benny Snell with three attempts for -2 yards. The rushing yards primarily came by 10 from Mitch Trubisky on one attempt and 11 from Steven Sims on one carry.
27% vs. 50%
After coming out on the right side of the third down conversion rate last week, the Steelers were on the wrong side in Jacksonville. The Steelers only converted 3 third downs out of 11 chances which came out at a 27% efficiency while the Jaguars converted 10 out of 20 third downs.
Although the Steelers did have a turnover in this game, it came on a failed fourth-down play where whether or not the Steelers recovered the ball was insignificant as otherwise it would have been a turnover on downs. But because of the Steelers interception by Justin Layne late in the game, they were able to draw back to even when it came to turnover margin as well as have the opportunity to score the game-winning touchdown.
The Steelers had some improvements when it came to certain percentages for the game. Completing 28 of 36 passes, the Steelers had a 78% completion percentage between their three quarterbacks. With one of the passes being a spike to stop the clock, if it would not have been included in the numbers the Steelers would have had an 80% completion rate.
6 of 7
Speaking of spiking the ball, Kenny Pickett’s only incompletion on the night was when he intentionally spiked the ball to stop the clock with 0:42 left in the first half. Otherwise, Pickett was perfect on the night completing six passes for 76 yards. Pickett would have had another 30 yards on two completions that were nullified by penalties, with one being a third-down conversion and the other being a touchdown.
While one might think that the 76 in this case was the number of passing yards by Kenny Pickett, it’s actually the number of yards on Pressley Harvin’s free kick following the Steelers safety. In a play that normally gives the other team good starting position, Harvin pinned the Jaguars inside the 20-yard line. When punting on the night, Harvin had 4 punts with a 44.3 yard per punt average with a long of 47 yards. On the night, Harvin’s distance was very consistent as well as having great hang time.
Unfortunately, quarterbacks Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett did not get to share in very much time for the offense. The Steelers only had the ball for 10:55 in the first half where they ran 22 offensive plays. The second half the Steelers ran 29 offensive plays with 14:44 time of possession. But when the Jaguars held the ball for almost twice as long as the Steelers did in the first half, it was difficult to get adequate playing time for both quarterbacks.
For the second straight game, the Steelers only managed four quarterback hits as they were rushing the passer. Two of the hits were sacks by T.J. Watt and DeMarvin Leal with the other two quarterback hits coming from Carlos Davis and Genard Avery.
As exciting as it was for the Steelers to score 32 points in their first preseason game, the story of Week 2 was the Steelers defense only surrendering 13 points. Yes, the final score was 16-15, but I’m not attributing the safety to the defense. Although Jacksonville was able to move the ball on the Steelers, they held them to four field goal attempts and stopped the Jaguars on fourth down in Steelers territory. It was coming through in key moments which ultimately kept Jacksonville out of the end zone on all but one occasion which allowed them Steelers to secure a victory.
While there are many things that coaches and fans want to take away from preseason games, the the one that might be the most successful thing for the Steelers was they have apparently left Jacksonville with no notable injuries. During Mike Tomlin’s press conference following the game, he said that there were no injuries that he is aware of at the time.
So there are some numbers to help evaluate the Steelers’ second preseason game of the 2022 season. It obviously wasn’t perfect, but the Steelers managed to still win the game on the road and get a another look at their players.
So what numbers from Saturday night’s game stand out to you? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.